Surviving the parking garage Hunger Games

These are the keys to victory in the arena

It was not your choice to play this game. You don’t want to, but you have to. Six-packs of Kraft Easy Mac aren’t going to buy themselves.

There are many gripping reasons to leave campus, including the fierce beckoning of the grocery store, driving to your study location instead of walking three quarters of a mile due to coldness, and a quickie Plan B run. The battles over whose need for speed is the greatest are frequent and bloody.

As a veteran and your mentor, I have seen what cannot be unseen, and must prepare you for that which you cannot be prepared.  From airborne hubcaps to spittle-ejecting motorists, the range of obstacles is prolific and their occurrences inexplicable.

Parking spots are coveted in the student garage and whether driver, passenger, or unsuspecting slothful pedestrian, you are in danger.  I offer these tips, although notably possess little emotional attachment to you given your likely peril. May the odds be ever in your favor.

Avoid stupidity

Use the garage entrance closest to your vehicle, so as to minimize travel time to your safe zone.  This should be obvious.

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Be willing to play chicken over who gets to proceed

We both know the road isn’t wide enough for two vehicles to actually pass each other, and winners don’t quit.

There’s no such thing as being ‘too aggressive’

Should a battle arise between who gets an empty parking space, by all means stomp the gas and whip your vehicle right in there. If your vehicle tips onto only two wheels it will serve as fair warning to your opponent not to park next to you, either.

A garage shark never stops moving

If you encounter lost adults seeking directions or other chatty pedestrians while en route to your vehic
le, the best option is to brandish your keys with a wild look in the eye, as if one were encountering a wild black bear.

Alliances are for the weak

If you happen across a tussle between other players, continue to safe zone as quickly as possible.  Help no one.

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The time has come to apply your skills. Keys in hand, adrenaline creeping into your system, you tentatively approach the entrance of the student parking garage.  You spot your car. Check left, right, then commence power-walking toward the safe zon–

Nope. You have become a casualty to a raging showdown between a black Escalade and a gutsy Prius over the honor of who may use the exit ramp first.

Don’t be surprised when you hear a cannon fire.

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Washington University in St Louis