Dream Job

I have found my dream job! I don’t know what it pays, but it doesn’t matter. When you’re doing what you love, the satisfaction is its own reward. Unfortunately, there’s not much information on which companies actually hire for this elite skill. Monster.comdoesn’t mention it at all, but if you want something bad enough you must push forward no matter the odds. I checked several other websites and college job boards, and it doesn’t seem anyone in my area or even my state is looking for a Parking Lot Designer. That’s what I want to do with the rest of my life. Think about the prestige, being able to drive over to the local grocery with several friends and proudly state, “This mess of weird lines, pot-holes, and puddles is my personal work of art.”

How did I get to have this lofty dream, you ask? I was looking at a college brochure. It was from a very prestigious engineering school, and it clearly stated that Everything has to be designed by someone. If that’s true then the designer of parking lots must be the pinnacle of the trade. Don’t believe me? Well, just think about the last time you went to the store on a rainy day. Every deep puddle is exactly where the driver has to step when exiting their car. It doesn’t matter what kind of car you have when you step out of the driver’s door, it’s right into a puddle. Sometimes there’s a puddle for the passenger too. That kind of precision in design can’t be taught. It probably can only be learned with years of hard work.

Coincidence, you shout. I say no way. Look in front and behind the puddle. Those areas are higher, and dryer. Specifically designed so children getting out of the van start with dry feet, as well as a platform from which they can jump in to the puddle for maximum splash. So not only are your shoes a little wet from stepping, your pants are also soaked from the splash of your little one’s pleasure.

Next there are the lines. Those have to be painted with the skill, and imagination of Picasso. Think about the work involved with painting the lines, sanding them partially off then repainting them just far enough away, so as to confuse the snot out of drivers. Drivers are never allowed to know exactly where ‘between the lines’ is. And what about the genius behind planning the width of the spaces. They must be designed with drivers of skateboards in mind. However, most people drive SUV’s, minivans, and trucks. To park those behemoths correctly requires the skill and precision of a surgeon. And don’t even get me started about trying to open your door parked next to one, but don’t scratch the paint. Yes, I’m convinced any abstract artist would be proud to create such a confused masterpiece.

If you’re really lucky you might get to produce a lot with Compact Car Only spaces. These spaces are precisely designed so that no vehicle could possibly get in or out of. There are two issues here. First is the fact that only sixteen people in the entire USA drive compact cars, and to purchase one you must sign a waiver promising to never use a compact car parking space. Or perhaps they have a religious aversion. Whatever the reason, you will never see a compact car in a compact car parking space. Secondly, people in Hummers think of these spaces as a challenge, to prove Hummers are somehow not freaking huge. There must be great satisfaction, in designing a surface that has so much vibrant and sustained confusion.

This cannot be chaos, the theory of chaos provides the possibility, somewhere there is a lot with straight lines and wide spaces. I defy you to find that. No, these places are planned, as if they were a Jackson Pollock painting

I will admit, though it crushes me to do so, designing parking lots would be my limit. Even I, could never hope to ascend to the lofty position of windshield-wiper designer. Ah, but what fascinating creations they are. Remember, wipers are sold by length only. The designer has no idea of how a particular windshield will be curved, positioned, or which side the wiper is to be installed. Neither do they do not know the age or height of the driver. Yet, the wiper will always streak directly in front of the driver’s eyes, providing maximum vision impairment, with even the smallest streak. Notice to, they never streak on the passenger side. With those exacting standards, I can only imagine the testing facility that could produce such a device.

Of course, planning such wonderful devices as windshield-wipers and parking-lots would be all for naught if the correct construction materials did not exist. Take asphalt for instance, this primary component of every lot must also be manufactured to the exacting standards of the lot designer. It must be laid smooth so as to give a sense of confidence to the driver, then be able to fall apart in to potholes, at a moment notice. Then the very same asphalt must never be able to repair said pothole. Nay I say, once a pothole, always a pothole. Oh, we feeble humans think we can repair them. Every season we fill holes with the self-same asphalt, hoping that someday the hole will remain closed. Yet again and again, the holes reopen to once more wreak havoc on our tires. People tend to be very naïve, that way.

Personally, I think the original proposal contains the exact location of every pothole and the date, plus or minus two weeks, each hole will appear. Then, at the right time, a small charge under the surface detonates, fashioning the depression within a tolerance of two centimeters. Once the pothole date has been reached, nightly crews are dispatched to see to the hole is maintained. If someone foolishly tries to fill the cavity these crews are prepared to recreate it. Ah, what satisfying work that must be. It’s like every night restoring a Rembrandt to its original beauty.

All of this makes me wonder if there’s a parking lot museum. I mean there’s a Spam museum (the canned meat, not the stupid email) in Austin, Minnesota, chock full of Spam displays and history. Someone thought that would be a draw. So why couldn’t there be a Parking Lot Museum? With fascinating pictures of memorable potholes, and confusing lines, it might just become a vacation destination as big as the Biggest Ball of Twine in Minnesota. It could have a special room for the history of asphalt. Don’t forget to get your picture next to the scratched car as an angry motorist, only five dollars. Sadly, I don’t have the funds for such a project, so the idea is yours, if you want it. Remember, If you build it, Somebody will throw rocks at it.

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