Tell Gorbachev to wait his turn

Tim Paluch

If there’s one thing I can’t stand, it’s hearing people complaining and whining about trivial circumstances. So far this school year I’ve heard a lot of it, from “My classes are too early in the morning” to “My books were too expensive” to “Stop leaving obscene messages on my answering machine.” Then there’s my personal favorite – “There’s nowhere to park.”

Iowa State has a record number of students this year, which means, obviously, that there are that many more C-average high school students who don’t belong and will drop out in a year or two. It also means it’s getting harder and harder to find a place to park on campus. And for God’s sake, we can’t have that at our apathetic little self-centered university.

Mikhail Gorbachev could fall out of the sky wearing nothing but a headband and land at Towers, and all you’d here from the student body would be:

“Dude, he’s taking up two spots.” “Man, that’s not cool.”

Sure, there are more cars than available spots; I’m not denying that. But what can be done to help the situation?

I’ve heard suggestions from people that the university needs to build another parking ramp.

Sounds easy enough, doesn’t it? I guess people don’t realize building a parking ramp isn’t like building a sandcastle or diverse stock portfolio; it’s hard work.

In addition to the millions of dollars worth of concrete and manpower needed, there’s also the hassle of waiting several months while the university decides which member of the Jischke family to name it after.

In actuality, the real solution to the problem is much simpler than building a parking ramp. I’ve been brainstorming and working on this plan virtually non-stop, with the exception of a few bathroom breaks and two or three quick snack breaks, for the last 15 minutes.

Here’s a rundown of a couple of ideas I have that would help:

Don’t drive a car. Now I know there are some out there who will use the age-old adage “guns don’t kill people, people kill people” argument and say it’s the lack of parking spots and not the students who are causing the problems. But just like pointing your index finger at someone yelling “bang!” doesn’t kill anyone, it’s hard to have trouble finding a place to park when you’re not in a car.

Why do some people need cars anyway? Ames has CyRide, a great public transportation system grossly underused. And there’s always man’s first mode of transportation – walking.

And for all the students who claim “But I have to go home and visit my family all the time,” here’s a word of advice – you probably miss your parents a hell of a lot more than they miss you. Do we honestly think mom and dad are shelling out 10 grand a year so you can come home every other weekend to eat their food and make them fill your gas tank? I think not. This is why “Parents Weekend” was invented.

If you must drive on campus, the university needs to instill some sort of standards for restricting the number of vehicles. If we eliminate some automobiles, parking would no longer be a problem, right?

First to go should be the SUVs. People who drive SUVs obviously have bigger penises than me. They have to, right? I mean, anyone whose vehicle can tow a small Caribbean island must be unbelievably endowed.

I’ve come to accept the fact that my petite genitals don’t measure up to the giant organs of those who drive Chevy Suburbans or Ford Explorers or Mazda Behemoths. What I don’t accept is the idea that an ISU student would need such a mammoth vehicle. Mountains and rugged terrain aren’t part of Ames’ landscape, so what exactly do people do with them?

Plus, these gas-guzzlers are expensive to keep. Any automobile that takes one-fourth a tank of gas to empty the ashtray should be banned from campus.

There is no parking crisis. The only crisis we may have is that too many people say the word “convenient” when they really mean “lazy” and drive around in a town you could walk across in an afternoon.

Unfortunately, though, until people realize buses are just like cars except someone else drives you around and they hold more people, we’re still going to have a parking “problem.”

There’s still going to be bitching and moaning until these people wake up, so all we can do in the meantime is peel Mikhail off the lot and make him get in line like everybody else.

Tim Paluch is a junior in journalism and mass communication from Orland Park, Ill. He is opinion editor of the Daily and no, he doesn’t own a car of his own.