JUST  FINE FOR PARKING!

 

My mother, rest her soul, drove her 2002 Buick until almost 90…and sometimes faster.  She was in great health at age 87, but it irked her that many of her friends had handicap license plates that allowed them to park closer to the grocery store.  She’d get out of her car and drag her foot along the ground to appear disabled. The A&P manager overlooked it. He wasn’t as lenient on the shoplifting charges, though.

In memory of Mom, I’m going to admit to something that will probably generate a lot of hate mail filling my inbox. Two or three times at the supermarket over the last 10 years—when I’ve been in a huge rush—I parked in the space that said:

 

PARKING FOR MOTHERS WITH TODDLERS

I don’t have a toddler, but I did have one 25 years ago. They didn’t have those reserved parking spaces back then, and I’m kinda feeling cheated (like my mother did). By the way, the sign is sexist: men can obviously have toddlers, although they probably left them home with Mom. Which brings me to the next

PARKING FOR EXPECTANT MOMS

Just once I pulled into this space for three minutes while I grabbed a dozen eggs. Big mistake. Someone recognized me from TV and pointed out to me that I was not pregnant. I don’t plan on ever doing this again. But just in case of a real emergency, so I don’t get busted, I do carry a down pillow in the back seat.

And this one

PARKING FOR ONLINE CUSTOMERS ONLY

What’s the deal here? These folks were too lazy to shop at the actual store, and then they were too cheap to have it delivered. Now they want their own parking space? I don’t think so. Now, to be fair, if you are pregnant and also dragging along two toddlers to pick up a car seat you ordered over the internet, you should be allowed  to park right inside the store.

Here’s one that annoys me:

PARKING FOR TAKE-OUT CUSTOMERS ONLY

Just because you ordered take-out doesn’t mean that you should get a space right in front of the restaurant. You were too tired to cook at home and you’re also too cheap to tip the waitress, so why do you think you should have a special place to park? If you want to feed your face quickly, there’s a McDonald’s drive-thru right across the street from that Applebee’s.

Now, if it were up to me, I’d have the following signs created:

RESERVED PARKING FOR MEN WHO NEED BEER

Some guys just want beer. They should have their own space and a checkout lane that says: 44 BEERS OR LESS.

RESERVED PARKING FOR MEN WHO FORGOT THE ONE THING THEY CAME IN FOR

For the guy who needed a box of nails and came home with a Weber Grill and 200 pounds of mulch…but no nails.

PARKING FOR FATHERS WHO C0ME BACK FOR THEIR CHILDREN

Research shows that many of these fathers go home without the kids only to realize the children are missing when there are empty seats at dinner.

Finally, a sign that says: DICK WOLFSIE, ONLY. I know this makes me sound self-centered and selfish. But here’s how I am different from online purchasers, take-out customers and pregnant mothers with toddlers: if you get to the parking lot and I’m not using my space, it’s all yours.

 

 

 

 

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ANTS IN THE PANTS

I gave my wife a Fitbit this past Christmas. In her attempt to reach that 10,000-step goal, she is continually checking the wristband and monitoring her progress.  The other day I walked into the living room and she was shaking her arms wildly back and forth while watching TV.  “What are you doing?” I asked.

“Very unfair…bad,” she said, which sounded just like a Trump tweet. “It only registers steps when your arms are moving. When I pushed the cart around Costco for an hour, I didn’t get any credit for my effort.  So now I am trying to fool the Fitbit.”

I was shocked by this. Mary Ellen is the most honest person in America, having nudged an entire convent of nuns out of first place. Trying to put something over on your Fitbit is about as low as a human being can go.

Now, I am one of those lucky people who can pretty much eat what I want, lounge around the house all day and not gain an ounce. How could that be?  Well, some new research in the New England Journal of Medicine may explain it.

Scientists recruited 10 overweight and 10 lean people to wear special underwear incorporating technology originally developed to monitor gyrations in jet control panels. Sensors were embedded in the subjects’ undergarments that recorded their activity 24 hours a day for a month. Apparently it wasn’t hard to get people to volunteer for this.  The very idea of having jet controls in their underwear was one of the attractions.

This apparatus is called a “movement monitor,” which intrigued members of AARP until they found out what it was really measuring. The study found that people who are thin spend a lot of time puttering around.  Apparently, we can be divided into two groups: those who love to sit and those who are constantly moving, although not necessarily doing anything constructive or aerobic—just, well…puttering around. That’s me.

My life has always been a moving experience. I eat standing up; I shake my leg up and down while waiting for appointments or having a conversation with my wife; I check my e-mail 20 times a day, going up and down the basement steps each time. I check the regular mailbox five times a day, even on Sunday.

When I watch TV, I never lounge on the couch. I use that time to look for my glasses, my keys, or my iPhone. Also, during most shows, I get up and check the fridge about a dozen times, just in case any new deli meats have magically appeared. I am the poster child for hyperactivity. In the summer, hummingbirds gather at my living room window for inspiration.

When I was growing up, my mother used say:  “If you don’t relax and calm down you won’t live as long.”

That advice gave me the jitters.

 

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