I have reason to believe that I am the last person on Earth who drives a regular-sized car.

All around me are SUVs, Mini-vans and full-sized vans, Hummers, Jeeps and their clones and deriviatives, and mainly pickup trucks (most of the Monster Truck variety).

How does society compensate to all this? By reducing parking spaces.

3 cars squeeze into 2 parking spacesTo squeeze more people into a business (and squeeze more money out of them), you simply draw the lines in the parking lot narrower and write COMPACT in them. Of course, there are no compact vehicles, but that is not the fault of the businesses.

So the Hummers and Monster trucks can park in every other space, taking up one and a half of them so nobody can park between them, and the parking lot capacity is down to 1/3 of its optimal space.

A shrink I know would probably say that people feel so battered and vulnerable in this world of diminishing freedoms and shrinking income that they feel better in large (HUGE) vehicles.

You can fight back by driving recklessly, cutting people off in traffic, running them off the road. If you have a huge metal shell around you and can speed away, nobody can harm you — no matter how small and weak you are.

But then, I’m no shrink — I don’t know the reasons behind anything. I’m just looking for a parking space. A full-sized parking space.

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Oct. 20 issue of “San Diego Reader” is the “EAT” issue with lots of restaurant reviews and coupons.  Being a burger conniseur, I scoured the relevant section and decided to try out Daddy-O’s — one of those retro 50s type diners.  I love those kind of places and am satisfied with plain old burger and fries (well, bacon cheese burgers, medium and no pickle or mustard).  Wifey isn’t much on burgers (or meat in general) but loves ice cream — especially milk shakes and malts.

Besides, they had a coupon in the “Reader” — so we braved the rain storm and trundled down to Point Loma for a new burger experience.

Visions of hot rods and the strains of rockabilly music danced in my head.  I couldn’t wait to get there.

Daddy-O's Diner

Daddy-O's Diner -- When People Still Went There

But when I did — it was all dark!  We went up and peeked in the windows.  All the fixtures were there but nobody was home.  Then I noticed a sign on the window.

The restaurant had closed Oct. 30 — ten days after they ran a coupon in the “Reader.”  What the sludge

What could we do?  I was stoked for burgers and she was stoked for milkshakes, so we diverted our Cruisemobile for the Corvette Diner.  Sure, it is over-run with kiddie parties and difficult to get good service at times, but darn it — we were gonna get our Retro on!

The evening turned out OK.  The Corvette came through with good grub and good service. I had the “Blues Brothers” burger (a bacon cheeseburger with bleu cheese) and some onion rings, so the evening wasn’t a total loss.

But seriously, folks — the economy is so bad that even a modest little burger restaurant like Daddy-O’s is shutting its doors.  It’s enough to make James Dean weep.

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