Rules is Rules!

There used to be a funny commercial about fried chicken franchises; when the customer orders a chicken meal she asks, “What parts of the chicken are in my meal?”

The kid behind the counter replies in a thick southern accent, “Parts is parts.”

As “parts is parts,” I myself go by the “rules is rules” concept. I wish I had a dime for each time the Crankee Yankee breezes through a stop sign in the supermarket parking lot. He says that there are “no rules” for driving in a parking lot (that’s Crankee Yankee-ese reasoning for not stopping at stop signs in parking lots). Sigh. I am a stickler for rules, and whenever and wherever there is a stop sign ANYWHERE,  I stop. Period.

I’m hidebound by rules, and it’s become second nature for me to stop at stop signs, signal well before I turn, let that impatient person behind me on the highway pass me, and so on. Basically when I drive, I want a peaceful ride. I don’t want to assert my dominance over other drivers, or be first to get to the exit or any of that stuff. It’s not that I’m such a wonderful person; I just don’t want stress and anxiety in my life. Following the rules is what helps keep me sane.

However, in order to follow the rules, you first need to know the rules. The first time I had to use a kiosk for parking, I flubbed it up because I didn’t read all the directions. I paid for my parking stub at the kiosk, put the stub in my wallet and went on my merry way. When I returned to the car, I found a PARKING TICKET under my windshield wiper! I thought, ‘but I paid for parking–why’d I get a ticket?’

So I went back to the kiosk, and there in large letters at the bottom of the instructions read “PLEASE PLACE YOUR PARKING STUB FACE-UP ON YOUR DASHBOARD.”

…well, duh. So I went to the local police station, admitted my mistake and showed them my parking stub. The nice man at the counter laughed and said that everyone does that the first time, and that this time there would be no charge. Then his eyes narrowed and he leaned toward me and said, “Now you know how to do it. Don’t mess up the next time.” I assured him that I had learned my lesson.

So, there you go; when you screw up, admit it, learn from it and move on. Rules is rules after all. So yes, I am that annoying person who stops at stop signs, even in a parking lot.

Live with it, Crankee Yankee!


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