A new phenomenon is disturbing my usual peace of mind. I refer to the habit that has recently caught on whereby visitors to our neighborhood, either from Maryland or Virginia, park on our block and sit there in the car, engrossed in their cellphones or computers, sometimes for an hour or more at a time. Two hours has been observed. Early for an appointment? A quiet period away from the wife and kids? I don’t know but the point is that they keep the car engine running throughout, ticking over for an hour or more. I don’t know whether this is bad for the car, but it is for me. Our block is already busy with traffic, and these parkers are fouling the air, sitting there with the engines running. The air quality in this large city is already famously bad, and here we are having to endure even more smelly fumes. I suppose it is an indication of the single-minded concentration of modern man on himself, and a total indifference to the health and well-being of the residents, fellow human beings, living close to his parking spot.
Am I getting over-fussy or is this plain thoughtless and selfish? Whatever your reaction, mine is a disturbance of what should be ataraxic retirement.