It’s almost fall, and one of Northern Kentucky University’s most played, yet unacknowledged, sports is ripening on the vine: the hallowed art of “parking lot spot stalking.”
Like the old sink-or-swim adage, students making the long commute from the homestead to campus had to learn to stalk, and quick-if they wanted to make it to University 101, anyway.
But how good a lot stalker are you? The Northerner’s provided a how-to guide that’s both humorous and handy, and guaranteed to enhance the common student’s parking-lot-stalker tendencies.
Forget the early bird
Arriving early for a class is one of NKU’s tried-and-true methods for perfect attendance. Or is it? Think about it: Sure, you can make it to campus half an hour before your class starts, but do you park any sooner? Heck no! All the lots are ghost towns until ten minutes before class starts, which is why you shouldn’t concentrate on being early. No, my fellow students, concentrate instead on being at the right place at the right time, that time being __:50. Those valuable parking spots open up only when classes do, so don’t start stalking until ten minutes before class at the earliest.
Eye of the tiger
OK, you’re in the lot at the right time. Now what? Let your killer instincts take over. Be a predator. Student pedestrians are your prey. Successful predators (and parking-spot owners) are incessantly aware of their surroundings. Stalkers who make it to class on time must keep the eyes peeled for any student who may appear to be remotely headed their way. Don’t focus on just the lane you happen to be driving in-keep an eye on the entire lot. If you’re comfortable multitasking, keeping an eye on more than one target is also helpful to making it to the Landrum Academic Center in time for roll call.
Stalk them gently
Once you’ve sighted a pedestrian headed to the potential spot, be sure to follow at a courteous and cautious distance. If you follow a student too close, he or she will get nervous. But, if you get cocky and lag behind, some other student will snag your spot! Following at the correct distance (an estimated two car lengths behind), however, will ensure a spot, and perhaps even garner help from your target, who will either point out the direction they’re headed or let you know they’re not leaving, just grabbing a forgotten book and lunch.
Once you’ve familiarized yourself with that useful killer instinct, you still have to restrain it in favor of decorum. Like Aretha said, stalking is all about respect. For instance, if you’re cruising a parking lot and see a student heading to the car, don’t get too excited. That student could already be targeted by another stalker. So if there’s already a vehicle following said student, keep on moving. Also, if another vehicle is parked, turn signal on, waiting for another vehicle to vacate a spot, do NOT take that spot – even if you’re closer and stealing the spot will keep you from being late to a midterm. That spot has been claimed. Respect that, unless you want your parents to claim whatever is left of you after that student is through.
Spread them eggs
Don’t keep all of your stalking eggs in one basket. There’s nothing wrong with favoring a particular parking lot on campus-hey, we all do. (The Northerner staff’s favorite is the tiered lot behind Lucas.) In fact, when we do get a spot in our favorite lot, it feels as if the heavens have parted and the gods themselves have shined down on us. But let’s face it. That “hallelujah” moment comes only so many times a semester. So you have to accept the fact that you probably won’t get a spot there on any given school day. Instead, prowl around.
If you allow yourself more lot options, you’ll be more likely to get an A plus on the quiz you might otherwise have missed. Don’t forget: “my momma told me, you betta ‘stalk’ around.”