Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Fiat Unos, lady drivers and parallel parking

This week my blogging endeavours seem to lean towards driving and some of the weird and wonderful things that are happening out on the roads. What I witnessed today is nothing compared to the "excitement" and drama that has been recently witnessed by our good friend Johnny John in the madness of Jozi traffic a week or two ago. That however does not in any way take away the humour and surprise that was aroused in all who beheld today's spectacle .

One of the challenges that people go through when learning how to become a driver is how to successfully ease their way into a parallel parking bay. Even the more experienced drivers prefer to seek a parallel parking space with two free bays next to each other so that there is enough space to just drive forward into the bay without the headache of reversing into it. Reversing into a parallel parking bay is particularly annoying when behind the wheel of a lengthy vehicle and and there are cars parked on either side of the bay.

Back to today's story. Along comes a lady in a Fiat Uno and she chooses to park in the space behind mine. Surely you will agree with me that the Uno is not the longest of cars and quick google search is likely to reveal dimensions that are far from humoungous. Were it human, this car would probably be called all sorts of names such as elf, dwarf or midget. How one can then fail to manouvre such a dwarfish car into a space that is way longer, is really astounding , to me anyway. I have never doubted the statistics that the insurance companies churn out to the effect that lady drivers are more careful than male drivers, hence the lower premiums but I couldn't help wonder if she had actually passed a driver's test or if she was just playing driver.

For the sake of woman kind, I truly hoped that this lady did not distort the statistics and cause a massive increase in insurance premium charges for women. After plenty of reversing , moving forward, swerving and more reversing, she finally cracked it and settled into the ever elusive rectangle. "Boy," I thought, "She must never think of upgrading to driving a truck or bus, that would mean some big business for the auto wreck towing companies!" Of course that thought came after I had breathed a sigh of relief that she did not ram into me during the ten minutes of combined comedy and horror.

Was my male ego stroked by this incident? Let us just say that the next time that I see an insurance advert on television glorifying the lady driver, I will have my own point of reference to "download" from my mental datatbase!

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