Look, I’m not getting any younger, so I can’t be waiting for well over five minutes while a person in a 4WD has multiple goes at backing a vehicle, which is basically a truck, into a shopping centre parking space.
At the risk of offending drivers of big-ass cars, I’m going to strongly suggest that those who find it challenging to back a big car into a small space maybe find another spot that suits their vehicles’ dimensions, or buy a Mini for shopping trips.
This persistent and, arguably, First World problem is particularly rife in Westfield Kotara where 4WDs outnumber more modest-size cars. You could be mistaken for thinking Kotara was in a wheat belt with the amount of heavy machinery in the shopping centre sheds.
It would be fine if these motorists drove like farmers. That is, when they back in, they have the manoeuvre wrapped up in under a minute. This would mean that the two or three nonplussed drivers waiting patiently in a queue behind them wouldn’t slowly build into an irate conga line of 15.
I reckon most people would cop one or two inept attempts to back in. But three? No. This is when my patience is hit on the full over the fence and, like the people’s umpire, I start moving forward to block any looming fourth attempt. You’re out. Move on.
And when did 4WDs eat the city? I remember when my parents took us kids to the snow for a few days in a Volkswagen. Not a Kombi, a Beetle. That was, two adults, three kids and all our luggage in the VW. We survived. Actually, most of the best trips we had were in the Beetle.
The only drawback was my chronic car sickness. In a Beetle, it’s nigh on impossible to exit the back seat quickly. But I knew the warning signs, and flagged as early as possible that a vomit was around the bend.
We mobilised: dad found a safe place to park; mum jumped out and yanked the seat forward; I climbed over my brothers and, with seconds to spare, was fully out of the car before the old heave-ho.
My exit strategy had been perfected over time. I was confident. If not, I would never have attempted the move and defaulted to using a sick bag.
So, play to your strengths.
If you don’t back yourself, don’t back in.