Thursday, October 13, 2016

Nurse the Hate: The Parking Lot Story

Perspective is a very powerful thing.  What appears one way to one person might appear totally different to another.  It is all in the angle in which you are looking at it.  Take last weekend for example.  I pulled the van into a small parking lot in Canton.  A grizzled older gentleman in a day glo vest ambled over to commandeer the situation.  He had the unwavering authority of a parking lot supervisor.  He chewed his tobacco and leaned into the driver's side window.  "Whelp...  This van is too big.  It won't fit in here."  He stood back for a second to further appraise the situation.  He was 100% correct.  The van was clearly too long for any spaces in the cramped lot.  Then I threw him a curve ball.

"No.  It will fit.  It's just the angle you are looking at it."

This was a real brain teaser.  I said it without a trace of emotion, my face a total blank.  His face betrayed the confusion in his brain.  It by all rights appeared the van was 50-75% too large for this parking lot.  It shouldn't have even been a point of contention.  Yet the man behind the wheel showed the utmost confidence that this van would not only fit into any of the compact spots but would do so with ease.

"No.  This van is too large.  It's way too big."

I responded.  "We get that a lot.  It's actually not that big.  It will fit in here for sure.  It's the angle you are looking at it."

Once again the old man crinkled his brow.  He was confused.  How could this be?  Did this man in the van know something about the universe I didn't?  Has something this simple evaded me for all these years?  He stepped back to further appraise the situation.  "No.  I have a Bronco and my car is too big.  Yours is way larger than the Bronco."

The van is much larger than a Ford Bronco.  That is a simple fact.  Yet, I defended my point.  "No, it's actually much smaller.  See, you are just close to the van so it seems bigger.  Take a look at that truck way over there.  See how small it is.  That's actually the size of the van.  You're just so close to it that it seems large.  It's the angle."

He began to dig in.  "Well, you can't park here.  It just won't work."

He responded "Yeah... It's a hell of a thing."

We both then nodded out heads, sucked at our teeth and pondered the situation.  There was silence.  I spoke first.  "How about we unload right here.  After that I will move it back there.  You'll see what I mean about the angle then."

He nodded his head eager to be out of the situation.  "Yup.  That will be OK.  But you're still too big for this lot."

I confidently shook my head.  "No.  It's just the angle.  You'll see.  The van is actually too small for the four of us to even ride in it."

The concept of the van being too small to carry four people that were currently inside it was too much.  He began to walk away.  I threw it in park and started to unload with the band.  Life really is all about perspective and angles.  Some you can see and some you can't.  I don't know about chemical engineering, duck pin bowling, the complexities of women, or if life is controlled by fate or force of will.  I do know this though.  It's all in the angle in which you see it.   


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