Posted on 3 Comments

6 inches from disaster

After picking up some groceries, I readied myself to head home in the Jeep with the top down. Let’s say the isle I was parked in is isle K. The exit from the parking lot is on isle L half way down. Naturally, you can drive all the way around or cut through. I was driving down isle K and remembered that the exit wasn’t at the end of the isle. In the seconds that it took for me to look to my right to see the exit in isle L a car materialized in front of me. I slammed on the brakes, swerved, and said something akin to a prayer (I’m sure St. Pete and I will debate that later). I’m a lane driver. He was a cut through driver.

Here I sit with my bumper a mere 6 inches from his fender. We make eye contact. Critical choices are made. The outcome? I smile, give a wave, verbalize "you ok?", he waves back, I drive around him completing isle K and loop around for isle L, he cuts through to isle L but waits for me to complete my loop allowing me to exit first. No one hurt. No one angry.

I still contend that the lines are painted in the parking lot both to give order to maximizing the number of parked cars AND give direction to prevent chaotic accidents. If you are going to cut across a parking lot at least recognize that you are doing something unpredictable and keep a sharp eye.

3 thoughts on “6 inches from disaster

  1. Glad you weren’t hurt, and I hope none of the kids were in the car for you – but I almost hope they were so they could see their dad do a Great Thing and not fly off in a road rage against a stranger who made a mistake. You each realized someone screwed up, made sure everyone was ok (everyone’s first priority) and continued on with your business.

    We have a lesson at my kids school that helps them to “Let Go and Move On” which is great advice to tell a kid – but it means so much more when they can see the parent exemplifying it.

  2. I was alone. I’m working harder at practicing what I preach. Asking, "What would Alan Shore do?" certainly has helped.

  3. I understand the urge to cut through, but this should be reserved to the deserted regions of the parking lot and should always be done with care. Remind me to tell you the story about Dad and the Wal-Mart parking lot some day.

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