A few years back, I saw some straight up bullshit. Preferred parking for alternative fuel vehicles. Now, I’ve seen signs for parking spaces that are “reserved” for new and expectant mothers. And I’ve promptly parked in them because it’s not my fault that they got knocked up. I’m also familiar with handicapped spaces. If you’re disabled and need a space by the door, that’s cool with me—assuming it’s legit and you’re not some fat slob who had their doctor get them a permit because you’re too god damn lazy to lose some weight and walk the regular distance like the rest of us. New and expecting though? That’s not a medical condition, that’s self-inflicted. Besides, walking the extra 5 spaces will do those soon-to-be moms some good. It might even help them lose those extra pounds after they pop out their demon spawn. However, I had never come across preferred parking for alternative fuel vehicles.
I have a love/hate relationship with hybrids. In general, it’s mostly hate. The majority on the market are boring, slow and unattractive. They drive like shit and they feel like shit. Of all the hybrids I’ve sampled thus far, the only ones I actually like are the big GM trucks (looking at you, GMC Yukon Denali Hybrid). You still get a V8 with solid power and you still get to drive a real vehicle—not some piece of tinfoil with 76 Duracells strapped to it—you just have to stop for gas less often. That’s a winning formula. However, I absolutely cannot fathom how someone can put up a sign saying “preferred parking for alternative fuel vehicles” in a shopping center parking lot. Who the hell do you think you are? Not only is that ridiculous, how do you plan on enforcing that? Alternative fuel is fairly vague. What if I have a clapped out 1985 Chevy Suburban Diesel with the 6.2L and I’ve converted it to run on used fryer grease? I could park that pile of tetanus in that spot because it runs on “alternative fuel,” right? Doubt it. For that matter, you can’t even figure out what alternative is without knowing what the primary fuel in question is. Perhaps stating that it’s parking for non-gasoline powered vehicles would be clearer. But then, what do you do if the local Critical Mass bike ride comes through and decides to dump all of their bikes in those spaces? Human power is an alternative fuel, right?
Anyway, I get what the plaza owner was trying to do. They were trying to influence lazy Joe consumer to purchase a hybrid vehicle—because lets be real, when you read alternative fuel, your brain instantly says hybrid—with the temptation of parking close to the store door. Well guess what? That’s some bullshit. First, don’t try to overstep your boundaries and try to push your smugness upon everyone else. Let people buy what they want to buy. Second, Americans are fat enough as it is. Why are you trying to cut down on the already minimal amount of physical effort they put out? That’s not gonna help them shed some pounds. Third, don’t try to make some sort of new parking category happen. Much like how “fetch” will never catch on, neither will your “preferred parking for alternative fuel vehicles” category. If jerks like myself are willing to ignore the “new and expectant parking” signs that litter the shopping plazas of America, you can bet your ass that we’re going to park our vehicles that do 12 mpg highway right in your preferential parking spots. In fact, we’ll probably leave someone in the passenger seat just so we can let that sucker idle while we’re inside doing our shopping.
Preferred parking for alternative fuel vehicles? Eat a bag of dicks.