Scene from a world of $100/barrel oil:
Yesterday, I was standing outside a restaurant waiting for a lunch appointment.
As I enjoyed the sun (it was a beautiful day, and I had been bicycling between meetings since 8 a.m.), two huge SUVs pulled side-by-side into the two parking spots closest to the restaurant--about ten feet from their front bumpers to the restaurant door handle.
I want to stress this: These SUVs were enormous, even by SUV standards.
The drivers got out, both thirty-ish men, one on his cell phone and the other with a Bluetooth hanging on his ear like an African whistling cockroach. Both were dressed impeccably from the 2008 Nip/Tuck catalogue.
As they edged sideways to the sidewalk, Bluetooth said to the other, in a perfectly piqued Chandler Bing inflection, "Could these parking spaces be any smaller?"
Two spaces away sat a Toyota Prius with about 15 inches of clearance within the yellow lines on both sides.