On Monday, Dimples and I began our Spring Break Adventure with the Globetrotters.  (Dimples is my 9 year-old daughter.  The Globetrotters are our world-traveling relatives, who live in Houston.  The fact that they travel a lot is ironic, when you think about it – since the actual basketball playing Globetrotters are probably not allowed to “travel”.)

Dimples never seems quite certain about my navigation skills. I try to tell myself that it is not me that Dimples lacks confidence in, but that it is the Houston drivers.  Of course, that doesn’t explain her saying, 5 minutes after I have backed out of our San Antonio driveway, “Are you sure you’re going the right way, Mom?”  But I think most people would forgive her for tremulously asking, “Do you want me to read the directions to you?” as I glance down at my trusty Google print-out on the seat beside me once I reach Houston, and the windows of our car begin to vibrate while cars whiz past.

If you have never driven in Houston, you must try it some time.  It will make you appreciate the love that Texans have for concealed weapons.

While we were in Houston, we learned that it had just been named #3 of the Worst Places to Drive.

Mrs. Globetrotter hails from St. Paul, MN – coincidentally chosen by the same magazine as the home of the best drivers.

You can see how driving in Houston might be frustrating for Mrs. Globetrotter.

“I hate Backer-Inners!” she seethed as we were hunting for a parking place on Tuesday at the Houston Galleria.

I have to agree.  Backer-Inners are very irritating.  I do not understand the need to spend 10 minutes to back into a parking space so that you can quickly whip out of it when you are finished with shopping.  I am pretty certain that, if you did the math, it would take you less time to pull in forward, then back out quickly over the crowds of shoppers when you are done.  Then you have the extra bonus of having rid the world of a few more Real Housewives of Houston.

But, neither Mrs. Globetrotter or I am from Texas.  So we apparently are unable to understand the logic of Backer-Inners.

We also saw Backer-Inners at Target, the underground parking garage for the 3-story Restoration Hardware, and the Kemah boardwalk.

The only time I have been jealous of Backer-Inners is when we are leaving a concert at 11 P.M., and they have the advantage of Forwarding-Out into the line of traffic that has wound around the 10 levels of the parking garage while we stare at the wall and forlornly turn on our car lights hoping that someone will take pity on us and patiently hold up the rest of the line while we try not to hit poles or other cars as we counterintuitively reverse into the traffic.

I don’t know if Backering-Innering is what put Houston close to being the best at being the worst, but considering that the majority of drivers are maneuvering oversized trucks into spaces designed for compact cars, the mystery becomes even more confounding.  Everything is bigger in Texas – except the parking spaces.

Dimples never questioned the driving of Mrs. Globetrotter while were in Houston, so I suppose that’s a sign.  I don’t know why the kid thinks I’m a bad driver. Her aunt is the one with the nickname “Crash”.  And I did not learn how to drive in Texas. I learned in New Orleans, Louisiana, where the drinking age is 3, the driving age is the first time your dad passes out at the wheel, and there’s no need to park when you can get drive-thru daiquiris.

Now, why would you want to back in and deprive passersby of this bumper sticker masterpiece?



Posted on March 16, 2012, in Children, Dimples, Family, Humor, Parenting and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 23 Comments.

  1. 🙂 great post! I wonder about a lot of things with ppl and their autos…. like why do ppl put so many darned stickers on their cars and trucks? They put them even on the windows…… what is the point? If I wanted their opinion I would ask for it. I figure if I am putting a sticker on my car or truck I want to be paid for it for it is advertizing something. As for backing into a parking spot, they do it for it is easier to get out… um… if that makes sense…. makes it heck to get into I figure…. I always wanted to park kiddy corner and take up four spots right next to a backer inner just to tick them off…….. heheheeh

    Your friends,
    The collies and chuck 🙂

  2. Thanks for giving me something else to think about. Thanks a bunch.

  3. I hope you are having fun, and don’t worry about Dimples, disliking their parent’s driving is on their to-do list. As far as the backing in thing…I never was a backer in, but my husband is. Go figure. Now, I don’t even like backing my wheelchair in places. Those people are nuts!

  4. Can you get Cap’n to wire in a gps to go with the sirius?
    As long as dimples doesn’t scream while you’re making…creative lane changes, you should be alright…

  5. A lot of people at work back in – I guess they really, really, can’t wait one more second to go home. And we actually have a decent lot with decently sized spaces…for Ireland. The lot designers need a lot more education here, for the most part. I love ‘launch-mode’ where you can pull in thru a space to face outward. I guess it’s a rarity in Houston to get that luxury! I do get a bit of culture-shock when I get back to the US and I see what people put on their vehicles. A sticker – or even a magnetic ribbon – is a rarity here! Oh, and I’m surprised Atlanta isn’t on that list any more. Atlanta is a challenge! I’ve driven Orlando in 1998, and it does suck.

  6. We will be spending our spring break in Houston this year. I just let our Texas family navigate the crazy Houston highways for us! 🙂

  7. Backer – Innering is a new terminology for me, but with your permission, I plan to use it! Glad you and Dimples had a good time visiting the cousins. Houston sounds truly crazy to drive in. I think Seattle is right up there with having traffic as bad as LA, but traffic and bad driving are VERY different things so this sounds like an adventure unto itself!

    • I never pictured Seattle with a lot of traffic. I have been to LA, and I’m pretty sure the only reason the drivers aren’t that bad there is because they never get the opportunity to move at a speed higher than 3 mph!

  8. Your posts always make me literally laugh out loud. You should be on stage!

  9. Hahaha! Great post! I did laugh when I read your revelations regarding New Orleans’ very enlightened policy regarding driving 🙂

  10. I admire backer-inners. I can’t do it to save my life. I can back out just fine – but I cannot back in. It must be neurological, don’t you think?

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