When parking turns into war, there is only one winner
You’ve seen them: the lot stalkers that prowl campus in search of parking. Some Cougars take on the obligation of waking up at 7 a.m. in order to find parking for one Friday class at noon. They may have to kill some time before class, but at least their spots are secure.
Other Cougars assess their limited options and give into illegal parking. Their spots aren’t bad, but they return only to find that their car’s been towed or tickets are flapping on their window. A select few Cougars brave the main aisles — darting between sections — in hope of finding that one free spot.
It’s not even noon, and the parking lot is a battlefield.
A Cougar in a blue Sentra streaks Cougar red war paint under their eyes and revs their engine. Their class is starting in a few minutes, and they use aggression and calculation to secure a spot.
Another Cougar drives a Camry armored with bumpers and protective gear. He’s heard about how intense the parking process is, and he’s not ashamed to wear a helmet and shoulder pads.
A girl in a Camaro with flames on the side has obviously come to get dirty. She’s got extended wheel spokes, and it seems as though she’s using the Statue of Four Lies (the statue in front of Cougar Village) as a jousting stick.
They file into the lot, one after one, using different strategies to reach their goal.
War Paint Cougar stalks students leaving their classes, creeping behind them to take their spot. This Cougar may even offer to give students a ride to their car in exchange for a spot.
Armor Guy plays it smart and finds a good vantage point wherein he can see leaving cars and slide into a spot. He distances himself in hopes of not seeming creepy, but he’s considerate to a fault.
Camaro Girl blazes down the aisles, leaving a trail of exhaust fumes and tire skid marks. She may not be the first to see a spot, but she sure as hell is the first to raise fists over one.
It’s 10 till noon, and Armor guy sees a spot two rows down.
He’s been waiting for this spot for 13 minutes, and he’s primed to go. He just manages to put his car in drive when he hears Camaro Girl speeding toward him. Her joust is ready and Armor guy is locked in place, fearing for both his life and his car. Just when he thinks it’s over, War Paint Cougar emerges from around the corner and blocks Camaro Girl, making way for Armor Guy to claim the spot.
In a rare and astounding display of Cougar solidarity, the victor nods at his ally and proceeds to pull into the spot.
Right before he parks his car, he looks up only to see that the spot he’s in is for handicapped students.
The search continues.
—The Cougar Editorial Board