My favourite entertainment,
And I know it’s pretty cruel,
Is watching caravanners
Who never went to parking school
I’m sure that you’ve all seen them
As they try to find a place
To park their vans up for the night
In a designated space.
The woman jumps out of the car
To give her man direction,
With gentle movements of her hand
And a kindly voice inflection.
Oh no! He’s missed the concrete pad
He’ll have to have another go
“Don’t worry darl” she sweetly says –
And I sit back and watch the show!
He puts the car in forward gear
And pulls out of the campsite,
She waves her arms to guide him back
And calls out “Go left – now right,”
“Now straighten up and back you come,
Slow down, you’re nearly there.
Don’t pull the steering wheel so hard,
Leave room to put out a chair.”
“And what about the awning?
Have you left some room for that?”
She mutters “God, he’s hopeless!”
He curses “Silly old bat!”
So back into the car he gets
And pulls out once again.
She’s getting louder all the time
With the familiar refrain.
“Go left I said, will you watch my hands?
I’m giving you direction.”
And by this time she’s not as nice
And her voice has an angry inflection
Meanwhile I sit and quietly watch
As they play this silly game,
And she flaps her arms to guide him in
But he misses just the same.
At least five times he came and went
And still didn’t get it right
So they both hopped back into the car
To find another site.
Now I know it’s not just caravans
That don’t know how to park,
And for everyone it’s twice as bad
If they’re doing it in the dark.
When you can’t see hand directions
And you’re guided just by voice
What starts out so politely
Soon becomes an angry noise.
But best of all I like it
When park managers come past
And with one attempt they park the van –
Their guests can set up camp at last.
I’ve been entertained all afternoon
As I sit quietly in my chair
And while pretending to read a book
My eyes have been elsewhere.
I’ve been watching all the caravans
Moving in and out,
And I’ve been listening to raised voices
On the parking roundabout.
I’m very grateful that my campervan
Is about the same size as a car
And I can whizz into tight spaces
Whether on or off the tar.
All I have to worry about
Is whether I am level
Then my fridge will work and my sink will drain
And I can avoid that parking devil.
Rosemary Robinson July 2015