Tobagganing... Triathalons... Guinness World Chewing Gum Records... Competitive, yes. But like a one-player game of Hungry, Hungry Hippos compared to the heavy, brow-sweating, heart-pounding competition I face ritualistically every weekday:
Getting a parking space at work.
There are four spaces, count 'em, four spaces alloted to us, Ye Regular Joe Working Rabble in this crammed section of town. Yet we are legion. And, as a result, each morning, it's like some four-wheeled version of musical chairs only with a dash of road rage tossed in for grins. You've got to get up pretty early in the morning to snag one of these coveted containers of automotive glee....
Preferabally, sometime the evening before. In fact-- just stay there overnight, buckled in the bucket seat with the engine running. Sure, you blow through gas like you're Smokey and the Bandit. But it's the only way to truly be assured.
As a result, I've noticed that while work begins officially at 8:30, we birds have begun arriving earlier and earlier in order to tuck into this coveted parking space worm. And it's gotten so that, like today, as I drove in at 7:30, patting myself on the back about my commuting cleverness, I realized I'd patted too soon.
Four cars filled the four slots. One clicked with radiating heat.
I'd missed it by that much. I am now parked somewhere out past the fifth moon of Betelgeuse.
So now I'm thinking we need to keep some kind of scoreboard for this, the Parking Space Number Four Dash. It could be an office morale thing. And there should be prizes. But not for the people who get the most spaces-- oh, no! For we slackers who aren't rolling in at 4 am to plant our flags and claim this space in the name of smart office drones everywhere.
No, I think we office jockey underachievers should win items to help us in our quest for True Parking Space Greatness. Like a blanket for sleeping in the car... A coffeemaker that plugs into the cigarette lighter... A sleep mask that has open eyes printed on it, so we can safely snooze at our desks because we headed to work at midnight.
Sure, our families and friends might miss seeing us. Little Timmy will no longer recognize his daddy, but hey, he'll develop a close bond with the mailman, which is almost as good. Little Suzie will grow from a mary-janed moppet into a teen Bratz doll in no time.
But they can always pop by the office to say 'hi' sometime.
If they can only find someplace to put the car.