Thursday, December 01, 2005

Meijer and the lord of the flies parking lot

to be honest, I've never read lord of the flies. I just know that it is syonymous with abuse of ill-gotten power, anarchy and general mayhem. yeah, that pretty much sums up the Meijer parking lot. I personally have been in the Meijer parking lot when a guy (about this time of year) decided to buy an axe and start hacking at any blankety-blank car that came into view. I have watched the "house detective," (are they still called that, or is there a new, non-1940's term for them now?) on 3 separate occassions take down shoplifters and I have witnessed a retrieval of a child kidnapping. yeah, all in the blacktop jungle we off-handedly call the Meijer parking lot.

in the spirit of fairness, I have witnessed these human nature meltdowns over the span of nine years, which actually, is a pretty good Meijer crazy crime rate. and the above experiences are not the reason for my entry. the above events are shocking and sensational but not as pervasive and insidious as a continual pattern I have been cataloguing in my head.

you see, I'm pretty sure I didn't have a "normal" home-life growing up. my mother was a registered nurse and my father was a defense lawyer. my mother would teach us how to be physically safe and healthy while my father would back that wisdom up with how to avoid being sued out the wazoo. my children can blame their grandparents for their lack of trampolines and backyard swimming pools--both are potentially physically harmful (drownings and paralysis) and from my father's viewpoint lawfully harmful (being sued by a neighbor for drowning and paralysis). I can recall reviewing with my mom how to do the heimlich maneuver only to hear my father mutter, "just be careful, you could break someone's ribs and get sued out the wazoo!" so you get the idea, mom's coaching with dad's wazoo.

fast forward to the Meijer parking lot. because Meijer is a superstore it logically follows that it must supply a super-parking lot. now, I have been taught, that the parking lot is a completely lawless, dangerous place filled with people who blatanly disregard the rules of war. dare I ask if that's how you were raised? frankly, I don't have to ask because I witness and on occassion, am forced to confront the bitter, bitter truth.

only on holidays have I seen every stall filled in the super-lot, usually all the cars fight to be a part of the cluster nearest an exit. so on any given typical day there are a couple of acres of free, open blacktop range. again, I was taught that in a parking lot, it is illegal to cut across the rows and rows of painted white lines. you must follow the rules of the road and drive up (or down) the parking lot's thoroughfares at a speed equal to or less than 25 mph. in 2004 there were over 6 million car accidents in the US. I'm willing to bet at least 25% were in Meijer parking lots and involved Meijer crazies.

here we go... I'm driving on the perimeter road on the west side of Meijer (the west is always the open range isn't it?) and have just chosen the parking lot "road" to turn down. I'm getting nearer and nearer the "cluster" when out of the corner of my eye is see a bonneville careening through the parking lot, drive between parked cars and blast right in front of me! as the crazy passes, I see a middle-finger flash in the passenger side window. it's only my braking system that prevents a pontiac/honda t-bone event and he's giving me the bird?! the (w)reckless driver isn't done, he drives through the next cluster of parked cars and parks in a handicapped spot! I'm livid! not only did this crackpot teenager (isn't it always a teenager?) endanger my life and property, he now has the gall to park in a handicapped place in order to get the closest spot?

oh no he ditn't !!!

this can't go unpunished, I quickly (but safely) begin pulling up next to this idiot and roll down my passenger window. I'm gonna let it fly and hit the fan. the bonneville door opens as I get closer and out comes an old man with a cane and from around the passenger side comes a mother theresa look alike! they both see me and start swearing like french sailors!

I'm completely disarmed, how in the world am I supposed to chastise geriatric bonnie and clyde? aren't they supposed to know better?!

amid the cane waving and four-letter salutations, I hoarsely shout, "you should know better!" and drive off. yeah, pathetic, but I lived to fight another day. my mother would be proud that I was not physically harmed in the exchange of words and my father would be relieved that I didn't set myself up for a doosy of a slander lawsuit. my scoreboard intact and nerves calmed down I let a fellow veteran of the Meijer parking lot war into a stall that was rightfully mine.

Meijer crazies= 2 traci=3.5

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