Random questions: Part One

After a reasonably long, and often frustrating life, there are always unanswered questions hovering around in my mind. Sometimes they have been there for as long as I can remember. Others are recent, and might pop into my mind as I settle down to sleep, or when I have just woken up. So I decided to get them down on the blog. They are rhetorical in nature, not requiring answers. They may resonate with some of you though. Or they might just be the grumpy ramblings of someone getting on a bit.
Other questions will undoubtedly appear in time, hence I have added Part One to the title of this post.

Why do people walk so slowly in supermarkets?

I do our main grocery shop every week. I work out what meals I am going to prepare, and write a shopping list based around the general layout of the supermarket. Once I arrive and grab my trolley, I walk normally up and own the aisles, avoiding any that contain products I have no need to buy that week. I complete the shopping at the far end of the store, reasonably close to a checkout. Before I put the goods onto the belt, I make a final check of the shopping list, just to ensure that I haven’t forgotten anything. I don’t consider all this to be unusual. I have always shopped this way.
However, most of my fellow shoppers seem to have been trained to shop by snails. They move at a pace that somehow is even slower than actually standing still. Some appear to have to inspect every single product in all the aisles, even if they are only holding a small basket. Just when I suspect that they are going to move, and I make for the gap, they will suddenly turn back, remembering that they had failed to examine one of the hundreds of different brands of coffee or tea. I can only conclude that they intend to spend the main part of their day in the shop. I know there’s not that much to do around here, but please think of the shoppers who just want to buy their stuff and go home.

Why do people drive in the middle lane of an empty motorway?

This is something that has gone on ever since I started driving, in 1969. Most sensible drivers are aware that they should stay in the inside lane, only moving across to the other lanes when having to overtake a much slower vehicle. Once that is done, they should move back to the inside again. However, a large section of drivers do not seem to follow this sensible code. Instead, they get straight into the middle lane and stay there. Generally driving under the maximum speed limit, they make life difficult for all other users of that road, and create dangerous situations that they appear to be blissfully unaware of. You know who you are, so just stop it. Please.

Why do people litter attractive places?

When you live in an unattractive urban environment, one surrounded by graffiti and unloved by those responsible for looking after it, as well as those that have no option but to live in it, littering is understandable. Not that this is an excuse to do it. But when it seems that nobody cares, and the place ends up looking the same whether you do or not, it is easier to come to terms with.
In an attractive country setting, surrounded by the delights of nature, and all that rural Britain has to offer, why do they do it here? The small car park at Hoe Rough is always full of litter. Fast-food containers, drinks cartons and cans, unwanted periodicals or leaflets, and the ubiquitous plastic carrier-bag. All of these and more can be found thrown from car windows in this small space that leads to a very nice nature reserve. When I see this, I sadly conclude that respect has gone, and is unlikely ever to return.

Why do people park across two spaces in car parks?

Are they such bad drivers that they are unable to slot a conventional-sized car into the space available? This habit seems to apply whatever the type of available parking. Huge open-air car parks, multi-storey inner-city car parks, even airports and large public car parks. You will find Mr or Mrs ‘two space’ in all of them. They have made sure that someone else will have to drive around looking for the spot that they have been told is available, only to find a car straddling two bays. They have also guaranteed that their own exit will be made easier, by not having to give a moment’s thought to driving or reversing out. I think that they should get a penalty ticket, even though they have paid. That, or have to pay twice. Even better, why not just stop doing it, and learn to park?

More questions to come. Let me know in the comments if you have any similar thoughts.

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50 thoughts on “Random questions: Part One

  1. The answer to the first, or so I am told, is to shop at 3 am. Supposedly, the supermarket is empty then. I wouldn’t know. I prefer to go in the day time and run over as many people as I can with my scooter. That’s after parking it right in the middle of the aisle while I examine the small print on the instant rice packet to see whether it has onions in it or not.

    This, of course, is perfectly within my rights and I am shocked and scandalised that you should think otherwise. The truth is that there is no greater crime than that of driving a car out to countryside, parking it at the quietest and most picturesque beauty spot that you can find, winding the windows down and filling the entire area with the sound of your favourite music. It is an utter disgrace that anyone should even think of such a thing and there is only one fit punishment. Both car and occupant should be summarily removed and deposited in The Machine™ (beetleypete).

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    1. Thanks, Ros. I suppose I should say that you got me!
      I have been to the supermarket at 3 am (In London) and it is not enjoyable. The shelf-stackers are busy, the pharmacy and other departments are closed, and all the bread is stale. I didn’t mention scooters, as there are almost none here. But the snail-walkers are in abundance, I assure you.
      The music from cars is not an issue here, just the littering. But I will keep the whac-a-mole handy for you!
      Best wishes, Pete.

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  2. Oh my goodness, Pete. I’ve had all of the very same questions.. What a great post you’ve made here and hopefully it might cause a ripple effect for folks to realize just what they are doing. We all have to live on this planet and it appears the Media is always telling us we haven’t any time. Rush, rush because the day is going to run out, before all gets done.. This is just rubbish ~ most have forgotten that to have time for all we need to do is plan out your day. i.e. work, shopping,trash bag in car for garbage (remember to take out said garbage daily from car) etc.. Love, Love, Love, this post and await your part 2 … Bravo!

    Take care, Laura

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  3. A great read Pete, you should be auditioning for ‘Grumpy Old Men’ Not to say that they are not valid questions, far from it, but I found myself reading this post in the voice of Will Self.
    I look forward to more of this new series.

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  4. Haha, as to the first question, I love reading labels so I don’t just walk slowly, I stop to enjoy the view of shelves around me. Weird? And I hate those who don’t have discipline when it comes to throwing their garbage.

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      1. In some places you can be ticketed for not parking withing a bay. I once received a notification for parking in a railway station as my wheel (one wheel) was on the actual white line. Necessary because the car next to me was over his line so I had to squeeze in and I had no time to find another space.

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        1. Well maybe not in your case, Jude, but ticketing for blatant ‘two-bay’ occupancy should be more widespread. When those indicator boards tell me that the car park has spaces remaining, and you drive around to find that they have been ‘doubly occupied’, I turn into Victor Meldrew! x

          Liked by 1 person

          1. I had one double park next to me today and I had to laugh when I saw it (it was only a tiny Fiat too so had plenty of space!) Maybe it is an East Anglian thing!

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  5. The questions that plague you! Sound pet peeves, and we all have them. What bothers me in the shopping market is not that they are slow, but that they “park” in the middle of the aisle while they look for something, oblivious one is trying to get by. My pet peeve on the road is when someone doesn’t use their turn signal, or they do so as they turn instead of beforehand. As far as littering goes, it’s bad form anywhere. I remember when I smoked and tossed out the butt or when walking, I threw them on the ground. It seemed like everyone did that. Now, I sponsor students for highway clean up, and I am on the side of the road picking up butts and bottles and plastic! My penance.

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    1. That’s sad to see, David. Messing with natural formations is much worse than littering. They should make them pay to have it put back! (If they ever found them, of course.)
      Best wishes, Pete.

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        1. I see that it says a Fraternity apologised for the incident. I hope that they prosecuted them. When I saw the previous links, I didn’t realise that the pile of rocks was all that was left. Just another example of disrespectful youth taking something too far.
          Thanks, David.
          Best wishes, Pete.

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  6. haha yes, the eternal questions of life, those & why do audi & bmw drivers not have to stick to the speed limits, are they exempt?, why do people throw their bags of dog poo into the trees and bushes of our park?, why do people lob their coke cans into my front garden, and how come I have 6 footballs in my back garden when neither Phil & I play?

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    1. Those bags of dog poo REALLY annoy me! If they can’t be bothered to dispose of it in a bin then they are better off just scooping it to the side of the pathway or whatever. I think I am now officially a Grumpy Old Woman… 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Unfortunately in our park they do leave bags of poo on the edges of the path, and on the grasslands, as well as fling them into trees and into bushes, it’s got to the point where I see a person walking their dog and can’t think well of them, there’s so much of the stuff I think everyone must be doing it! What’s worse is I really love dogs, and that’s all spoilt. 😕

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Sorry to hear that, FR. Around here I would say that at least 90% of dog-walkers are very considerate. Many of us even clear up litter as we walk the dogs. We are also aware that dog poo contains Toxocariasis, which can cause blindness in children, as well as other severe medical conditions. As there is a playground nearby, most of us are doubly careful.
          It’s a shame that your local dog walkers are not considerate.

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  7. I think these questions will remain unanswered along with the meaning of life! lol I love it when I’m making good time down an aisle to pick up one item and a cart in from of me stops dead – oops!! And littering beautiful places? I was in the FL Keys one time and discovered what I thought a hidden cove, thought I’d get some great pics – but I couldn’t locate a place onshore without diapers, cans, bottles and fast-food wrappers!!

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  8. The third one is also true Pete. I hate when people do that. But what I hate more is when people park in a disabled space when they’re not. It’s a pet peeve and I think very offensive.

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    1. I was going to chip in about disabled spaces too mate, but I didn’t want to just have car-related questions this time. I often see young people leaping from cars parked in disabled bays, and they obviously do not have a disabled person with them. Just plain selfish!

      Liked by 1 person

  9. I think you are observing the most important people in the world. If you don’t believe me, ask them. Since they are so important, common courtesies do not apply to them, following normal practices does not apply to them, being considerate does not apply to them—If you don’t believe me ask them. Either that or they are the most stupid people in the world. Unfortunately, either way, they are everywhere in great numbers.

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    1. You must be right, Theo. I failed to realise that their lives are either incredibly important, or that the individuals are indeed just plain stupid. Still frustrating, whatever the answer.
      Best wishes, Pete.

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  10. Ha, love this! First world problems, eh… I can’t cope with people walking slowly through shops or through town – I’ve got a mission, guys! But I do enjoy leisurely/slowly walking when I don’t have stuff to do.

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    1. Oxford Street in London has to be one of the best examples of the ‘slow march’, FC. I have seen State Funerals move faster than those shoppers. As you say, a First World problem, but still annoying!
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Liked by 1 person

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