7.14.2008

Still Seeking Rational Behavior

Here's proof that the price of gas is still too low.  My wife convinced me that going to the mall in the suburbs would be a great way to get out of the house, buy a few necessities, and give the kids something fun to do.  It was all three, although it was also over 30 miles of driving and far too many stop-and-go lulls. 

But here's the incident of irrational behavior that I observed while out in the burbs.  We had scored a nice parking spot right in front of the Macy's, maybe three rows away from the front entrance.  There were about six columns of spaces, and they were full for a good 20 rows, but plenty of spots after that.

We returned to our car with our stroller full of shopping bags.  We hadn't even gotten to our car when a SUV sat itself down right behind us, waiting for our spot.  Never mind that, even with lots of practice, it takes us a good two or three minutes to get everyone strapped in and everything inside the car.  The driver, who was not old or handicapped, saw everything, and yet decided that waiting for our spot was preferable to driving 200 feet further, parking immediately, and walking the extra 200 feet to the store entrance.

I suppose I should give this person the benefit of the doubt: maybe their mall run involved some heavy item, and the 200 feet would have made a world of difference.  Or maybe they thought we'd be faster than two or three minutes, not factoring in all the snaps and loops involved in buckling two kids into car seats.

But maybe, even as we're complaining up a blue streak about $4+ a gallon gas, we're still doing irrational things like pumping pollution into the air for two or three minutes on end instead of proceeding to an open parking spot and walking the extra 200 feet.  It appears we still don't realize how scarce a resource our scarce resources are, if we're willing to expend them to save ourselves the effort of walking 200 feet.


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