I'm approaching the traffic signals on Rye's narrow Elm Place in the Starship Minnie, planning a right turn onto our main street.* A car is coming toward me, having made the turn from the main street.
Suddenly, the driver spots an open parking space, just ahead of me on my side of the road. She swerves across my path and noses into the space, but the road is way too narrow for a complete U-turn, even for a Prius (and even if it were legal). In fact, she's still mostly pointing in my direction, angled across the road and blocking both lanes. And so begins the long, laborious back-and-forth, a turning maneuver that has more points than the Star of David. I wait.
Eventually, she's completed the one-eighty, and pulls forward ahead of me to parallel park in the empty space. I wait. Unfortunately, the man in the space behind the empty one wants to leave, but I've been blocking him while observing this irritating but admittedly eco-friendly ballet. He doesn't realize she's about to reverse and edges forward to try to get around me on the right. La Prius stops in time, but she's now stuck, half in, half out of the space. He doesn't seem to want to back up and give her room.
But I now have space to get around the stalled Prius, so I bugger off and leave them to their Seinfeld re-enactment. I'm a man on a mission -- a forgotten trumpet must get to the elementary school before band period.
*It's called Purchase Street. At first, I was impressed by the unpretentious directness of the name of the city's shopping drag. (Although Rye is little more than a village in size, technically we're a city, the smallest in the county and the newest in the state.) Then I was disappointed to discover that the street got its name merely because it leads to the neighboring village of Purchase. I'm starting a petition to rename it Mammon Avenue.