This will be in the next issue of the Brookdale College newspaper. Just wanted to post it here first because no one reads the paper and half the students don’t know of its existence.
Caesar had Gaul, Alexander had Persia, Hannibal conquered the Alps, and Wellington defeated Napoleon at Waterloo. But for Brookdale students, they have the Lincroft campus parking lot, a task so insurmountable that all it needs are rings of fire, spikes on the ground, and patrolling storm troopers with machine guns whose only orders are to shoot first, ask questions later. I enter the traffic circle on Newman Springs Road, not knowing what lies ahead. Will I fulfill my destiny and find a spot within twenty minutes, or do I give the nasty old woman I had for a driving instructor when I was 17 a run for her money?
In a way I feel like General George McClellan, attempting to invade Richmond on his Peninsula Campaign in 1862: I ride very slowly, gauging all my options. I take my time, searching every parking lot aimlessly while the inexperienced Robert E. Lee waits for me to make my move. Where will he let me park, I wonder? Shall it be lot one or lot two? Maybe four or six? Wait a second, this isn’t the Civil War, it’s a sadistic version of The Price is Right, only the price is never right because the only price there is comes in the form of the gasoline I burn trying to ride to Boston and back looking for a spot. Just like McClellan on the peninsula, I fail miserably. I’m no Napoleon, I know, but I feel intelligent enough to be able to do this. McClellan’s horses were tired, his men were hungry, his cannons were broken, and his enemy waited for him with an enormously overestimated amount of men, just like my tires wear out, gas runs low, and my brain melts and oozes out of my ears as I search for the astoundingly elusive answer I so desperately seek.
It has become so bad that some days I leave an hour before class, and for my math class on Mondays and Wednesdays, which runs only an hour and fifteen minutes, I find that I spend more time in the car and walking than actually doing the math in a class I paid handsomely to attend. I don’t mind a long walk, especially in the spring when we can all use a nice breath of a fresh air, but since Mother Nature seems to have it in for us this winter, and snow is mounting in the five degree January temperature, it is not an enjoyable feat, having to walk a mile round trip from the parking spot to the building. In fact, I have stopped looking close to the buildings because I will only annoy myself further. I will not let the Parking Lot Gods trick me into playing their game; I will end the misery rather early, and settle for a spot near the reflecting pool of the Washington Monument.
Should the federal government decide to abolish the death penalty on a national level and look for a punishment of equal or greater value, they should let prisoners on death row wander around the Brookdale parking lot on Monday mornings at 11 am. Within an hour, they would be begging for mercy. Then, if the college front office needs another course for the semester plan, they can have Driving 101: Navigating Lincroft like Magellan, in which students can, for credit, try to park their car in lot four on Wednesdays at 10:30. Should they succeed, they are to receive their diploma and a 4.0 GPA immediately, not having to take any additional courses. The credits they receive will then only be transferable to Harvard and Yale.
But all this complaining would be moot without a solution, correct? It would be like a history major having to take math and chemistry classes; the professors can throw all the numbers they want at you, but at the end of the day it is still meaningless and irrelevant to life and the future. What the heads of Brookdale should do to fix this problem is to first, chop down all of the trees by the main entrance way of the campus. Since when have humans ever cared about nature anyway? Cut them all down; after all, it’s not like they produce breathable oxygen or anything like that. The second option is to fill in the bordering lake. There would be no harm in that because there are plenty of fish in the oceans that haven’t been killed off or contaminated by mercury. Lastly, there is the possibility of demolishing the entire campus and making room that way, but I guess that would defeat the purpose of a parking lot, right?
Basically, if you catch my drift, this is a problem that has no solution, and that is an even bigger problem than the one at hand. How did this situation create itself? What went wrong? Did the Parking Spot Fairy just come down from the heavens one day and zap up the spaces? Please find out for me, because as of right now, the secret to finding a good spot at the Lincroft campus is leaving your car in the driveway and walking from home.