Welcome to Thunderdome (a.k.a. The Harkins Parking Lot)

harkins-theater-on-riverwalk

(Editor’s Note from Patrick:  You may notice that this post is written by a guy named Royce.  This “Royce” is Royce Young from DailyThunder.  Starting today, he is going to bless everyone with a weekly column at The Lost Ogle.  In return for this token of awesomeness, Clark Matthews’ inquisitive and insightful “Peace, Love and Thunderstanding” is now moving to DailyThunder.  You can read this week’s PL&T by clicking here.

In all honesty, this situation is kind of bitter sweet.  We’re losing a popular feature from our site (bitter), but replacing it with a weekly column from one of our state’s most talented bloggers (sweet).  Hopefully, everyone will like it.  If you’re skeptical, consider this fact: Jim Traber dislikes Royce Young almost as much as he dislikes The Lost Ogle.  Considering Royce doesn’t own any type of cardboard cutouts of Jim Traber, that’s saying something.

Anyway, enjoy the new feature.  And as Bob Barry Jr. would say, “Hooters!”

I really like going to movies downtown. The atmosphere is cool, the Cine Capri is awesome and by still using my student ID even though I graduated last December, I get tickets cheaper than anywhere else, sans Tinseltown. (I’ll pay an extra two bucks to avoid a bomb threat.) It’s all very wonderful.

But one aspect of the Harkins experience is not very wonderful.

If I am going to let’s say, an eight o’clock movie, I need to arrive to the theater at six so that maybe I’ll have the chance to get a parking spot that’s within two miles of the front door. Look, I’m not parking in that damn lot that’s back behind Bass Pro. I’m just not. It’s the principle of the matter. What’s that? They have a shuttle I can ride? See, I drove a car so that I wouldn’t have to be shoved up against some slightly overweight guy that covered his entire body in Axe Body Spray, even if it’s just for three minutes. No thanks on the bus ride. And I’m not parking in the lot where you use your ticket to get out for free. I’m too dumb to remember to save my ticket and I’d have to pay the five anyway. So don’t even suggest that.

So I’m that guy that’s circling the lot for 30 minutes, following on the heels of some elderly couple as they SLOWLY walk away from the theater, hoping I nab their spot. And once they walk past The Point I Deem Too Far, I inevitably curse them for parking too far away. Screw that you old people. That’s too far. I can do better.

I love circling over and over and making “friends” with other spot hunters. It’s like you’re all part of a team. You drive by each other making that frustrated face like, “Heh heh, can’t find a spot here, heh heh heh.” But when one of your “friends” finally lands their White Whale, you immediately think “F them. That should’ve been my spot.” And when you’re one car late and they get it right in front of you, you briefly consider slashing their tires when they walk away.

The parking lot at Harkins is like a steel cage death match. We’re all sitting in our vehicles, tightly gripping the steering wheels staring at other motorists like we haven’t eaten for two weeks and they’re our one chance at sustenance. Then some white lights come on and like a shark smelling blood, we all go nuts trying to get the spot. Small child in the way? No bother. Gimme that spot.

And you’ve always got that one douche sack that is coming down the lane opposite of you and puts his blinker on like two hundred yards back. Yeah, like I’m going to just give you that spot because you’ve got your blinker on.

Some Harkins Lot Blinker Rules:

1. You have to be sitting completely stationary with the blinker on to get the spot.

2. If two people arrive at the same time and both put their blinkers on, the spot is decided by which way the existing car backs out. One of the hunters will be “presented” the spot based on which way the car comes out.

2a. If you both pull up at the same time and neither has their blinker on, the spot goes to the first one to put it on. (I love doing that. It’s like your car is giving the guy the finger. You want this spot? BOOM!!! How do you like that BLINKER?)

3. If you are sitting stationary with your blinker on adhering to all stated rules and some Johnny Douche snakes in and takes your spot, you are absolutely justified in getting out and screaming at him and/or breaking his windshield with a tire iron. When the cop shows up, just explain that the guy thieved your spot. The cop will understand and give HIM a ticket. He will.

The worst are the people that park at Harkins, but aren’t going to a movie, unless of course I’m the one doing it. I’m not paying for parking downtown. You kidding me? That’s like five bucks. Like George Costanza, it’s not in the blood. So yeah, I’ll park at Harkins and walk all the way to Abuelo’s. My wife and her high heels aren’t happy about it but I’M NOT PAYING, YOU MONEY-GRUBBING JACKALS. But if somebody else is doing it, eff you. I’m a paying customer for this theater. And you’re in my spot!

One parting word of wisdom: Do not, I repeat DO NOT, try and go to a movie at Harkins when the Thunder’s season kicks off. Evidently, a lot of people think like me and park there and make the walk to the Ford Center. The lot’s more stuffed than Jim Traber’s face after a trip to Mackey McNeer’s. If you want a spot there you’ll have to camp out like you’re getting football tickets. Or maybe bring a gun or something. Two cars enter. One car parks.