Chaos in the car park

OH God!

School’s back.

I should be grateful. It means the trail bikes will stop – at least during school hours. It means the doof-doof music around the neighbourhood will only make the walls rattle in the evenings.

But – it means the cars are back on the roads.

All over Queensland there are bad-tempered parents (and come on, let’s face it – most of them are women) trying to fit yet another batch of tasks into their busy schedule.

But they don’t fit them in. They’re always late. You can see them in your rear‑view mirror any morning: knuckles white on the wheel; nose forcing its way out through the windscreen; small child in passenger seat keeping its mouth diplomatically shut despite imminent death.

And okay, sometimes they’re men, but mostly they’re women.

Which explains why school car parks are chaos.

Have you noticed that school car parks have lots of spaces that are never used.

I have a theory.

It’s because you have to reverse into them.

But parents don’t. And the reason they don’t is: They can’t.

They’ve never had the practice to be able to stop, reverse, turn and stop again, all in 30 seconds.

So instead they just pull up at the kerb along with 300 other mums (sorry, parents) while doors fly open, kids fly out and mayhem flies in.

And who is to blame?


Because we own the driver’s seat. The car might be a joint asset, but the driver’s seat belongs to the blokes.

If we could, we’d pee on it, like a dog, to mark our territory.

Hands up if you are a couple and she drives any time other than when you’re not there?

My case rests.

Do I sound like a woman-hater? I’m not. True, I have said women are incapable of squeezing the toothpaste tube at the right end, or cutting a straight slice of bread, but this is different.

This isn’t their fault!

“A patronising woman-hater,” says my wife. “The worst kind.”

I don’t care! I want to feel safe on the roads. And I did; all over Christmas, despite the drunks.

Because there was less traffic.

This week all that changed. They’re back; they’re angry; they’re impatient; they’re dangerous.

And that’s not just because we never let them in the driver’s seat.

It’s because they’re the ones getting the kids ready for school. I have never seen a bloke making the sandwiches, finding the sports kit or ironing the skirt.

When there are two parents involved in the school transport process then the bloke’s job is to start the car and sit in it, drumming his fingers on the wheel and looking at his watch.

The woman’s job is to scrub the Vegemite off the school shirt, remember where the homework books were thrown and yell: “For God’s sake Mitchell, leave your sister alone and get in the car!”

With this in mind, I suppose I have to admit I could be wrong about the school car parks.

They’re parking at the kerb in the hope that during the ensuing mayhem the student population will be reduced.