Sunday 23 October 2016

Women aren't great at parking but would run the world much better

Published 13/07/2015 | 02:30

Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tspiras - 'For sure, the Greeks are not backers in' (REUTERS/Alkis Konstantinidis)
Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tspiras - 'For sure, the Greeks are not backers in' (REUTERS/Alkis Konstantinidis)

I wouldn't be great at the parking myself. Let me say that at the very beginning. And later on, as you read down through this ground-breaking and controversial piece, please remember I have made this frank and courageous admission.

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I will go further. I find it nearly impossible to back into parking spaces. There are two kinds of people in the world. The first category are those prudent, careful ones who back in to the parking place. The planners are rewarded by an easy exit.

Then there's the rest of us, who drive straight in and put off the toughest part of parking until the very end. The parking test theory also applies to economics. For sure, the Greeks are not backers in.

I have had always had trouble fitting things into things. There's this vague memory of Babies Class. We were given these shapes and the lesson was to fit the shapes in to the right spaces. I put circles in to squares and triangles in to rectangles.

Later on in school, I just couldn't figure out how to bless myself properly and the harder I tried, the worse the blessing became.

That's probably the reason why I didn't become a priest. The mother had great hopes. I was made up into an altar boy. The father always said there's no way that young lad will ever become a priest. It had to do with the day he caught a gang of us playing spin the bottle. You couldn't do anything without the father catching you. He instinctively knew what we were up to.

I was very good at spin the bottle, even if I wasn't that great at the parking. I could spin the bottle right opposite the girl I wanted to kiss.

"Don't tell the mother," I said to the father. Not that the mother would mind that much. Once we were happy.

By the way, the squawking magpie is the reason why these columns are rambling off the point, even more than usual. He's at me again, roaring his hoarse throat off non-stop. I'm going to have him shot. If I can get the badness into me after I leave the house.

I almost forgot this bit. I have to call an electrician to put in a bulb. So when I say that women aren't great at the parking, please do not take offence. I'm only for your good. Tough love and all that. Practice makes perfect and all that.

I know it's unfair to blame it all on just one woman. I was telling one of the lads in the bar that I was about to make the bravest statement of my life.

"Mistake", he said. And on he went. "There was a time up to maybe the end of the Seventies when men had the final say, but all that's changed now. Women decide on everything and men just go along with them for the sake of a quiet life."

I'm not saying he's right and I'm not saying he's wrong. Anything for the sake of peace and quiet, as the man said when he took the job counting gannets on the Skellig Rock.

I'm not saying either that it's necessarily a bad thing that women have taken over, as is the position in the home co-owned by the colleague I met in the bar. Colleague in that we're both men.

Women are great at the problem-solving. If you gave the mother one half-an-hour with the Greeks, she'd straighten out the whole sorry mess without so much as the slightest bit of bother.

The mother would figure out some way whereby the olive oil farmers would get twice the money for their produce and the consumer would be frying for half the price.

She wouldn't be great at the parking, though, but at least she doesn't block up whole roads. Her friend blocked bits of roads and small boreens. But there wouldn't be too many going down through those quiet leafy lanes, except maybe at silage time.

The woman who abandoned her car on the slip road going into the garage just outside Cork city is the worst parker ever. I was heading for the train and time was of the essence. The car is there for a while.

So I'm wondering if it's a breakdown as there's a woman sitting in the front passenger seat. I flash the lights. The lady waves without looking back, as if she's throwing a scarf around her neck. She thinks I'm saluting her.

So I ask in a polite voice "where's the driver". And the lady in the front seat who has a cross face that would turn milk sour with just one look says: "Don't go blaming me. I'm not the driver."

And I was going to say, well that's kind of obvious when you're not actually sitting behind the steering wheel unless alone she's driving with her right foot which might lead to a movie sequel.

She folds her arms and looks away.

But I didn't respond, because men don't really know how to handle cross women. Then out comes the driver, after a long time, with a few groceries in her hand. There's no apology from her, so I say: "That's the worst parking ever."

She says: "I was only getting a few things."

But she blocked up a road. There are times when the lack of logic sends us to an early grave, incrementally.

Probably you could find some study about women and parking to support my view, but I'm not going to check it out in case I'm proved wrong.

Anyway, girls, just make more of an effort from now on. It's only parking I'm on about.

Women are very good at nearly everything else. And please do not take this heartfelt tribute as being in any way patronising or cowardly.

Irish Independent

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