Posted at 9:43 PM on January 15, 2007
by Euan Kerr
Managed to cram in four flicks this weekend, and two of them in the theater no less. A weekend with Judi Dench and Clive Owen. Very intriguing, but more on that tomorrow.
Having driven half way across the metro to drop the teens off at the ski slopes, I decided to take in a matinee. Imagine my surprise to find the parking lot jammed at 2 in the afternoon, even if it was a federal holiday.
I should have known something was up as I followed the two cars ahead of me. The snow had covered the lines and arrows on the road, and much to my horror I suddenly realized I had followed the two folk ahead of me into the oncoming traffic lane, and as there was a sidewalk separating the lanes there was nothing to do but keep heading on, despite the blaring horns.
We got into the right lane, and into the parking lot smartish. That's when the fun began.
This is where you need a little mental map.
The new theater is on the right as you arrive off Snelling Avenue. But it's the new kid on the block, and the lot was laid out to serve the older tenants, the restaurants and stores over in the left-hand corner. As a result the parking lanes run diagonally across the lot from top left to bottom right.
It makes sense when you are heading to those stores, but come in from the access road on the right, and pretty soon your head is spinning. The cars just seem to be facing the wrong way!
It was bad enough when I went on Sunday evening, before the snow, but with the lines covered up people were disoriented and lost. As I traipsed up and down trying to find a spot, I discovered one whole lane was blocked off with traffic cones, despite having lots of open spaces. A few minutes later, having secured a spot half way across the lot, I walked back to see what was up.
Standing in the middle of the open space was a confused looking mall security guy, who was staring at a group of six cars which someone had parked. Obviously a couple of people had just guessed where they should be and then other disoriented folk had parked around them. The result was a huge snarl of cars, some of which were not going to be leaving for quite some time until a whole bunch of other people came back.
Even as the security guard stood and shook his head, another security guy was scraping at the snow, trying to find the lines. Some one was going to be VERY unhappy when they got out of their movie.
When I blinked my way back into the sunlight two hours later most of the blockage was cleared. All except one car. Parked right in the middle of the lane. They must have gone in for a double feature.