Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Grocery Store Parking Lots: Where the Laws of Physics No Longer Apply

I went to Ingles the other day to buy groceries, and I lost all my faith in humanity.

All I needed was to point my car in the general direction of the exit.  The simplest way to do this seemed to be by making a right turn.  The lanes in this parking lot were two-way, yet the one I needed to turn onto contained a car straddling the yellow line like a wild beast guarding its territory.  As far as I know, Ingles did not paint its parking lot with an arrangement of bright yellow lines for aesthetic value.  If you delve back into your deep, dark memories of learning to drive, you may recall being told that those are lanes.  Cars should generally stay in their own lanes to avoid something called a head-on collision in which your car will be totaled and you will probably die. 

I hoped when I used my turn signal (an ingenious tool whose benefits I lauded in a previous post) the other driver would make her turn and get out of my way, but apparently she was really just using this Ingles stop sign to apply lipstick or balance her checkbook or maybe finish up an especially riveting chapter in the book she was reading.  So I made my turn anyway.

I had just rounded the corner when I realized that not only was this car slightly over the line, but an oversized truck was parked to the right.  Its giant truck bed was jutting out of the parking space, leaving about 0.0000000001 of an inch between it and the other car.

I had a split second to react.  It was like the moment in Titanic when the crew on deck realizes that despite efforts to turn their hulking behemoth of a ship, they are doomed to hit the iceberg.

There was no time to stop.  I had to keep going.  And then something amazing happened.

Somehow, at the very last minute, I managed to bend the space-time continuum with my mind.  It almost felt as though if I just imagined my car were smaller, it would actually be smaller.

And that's how I lost all my faith in humanity, but gained considerable faith in my own driving skills and psychic capabilities.  If you ever need to accomplish something that seems physically impossible, visit your local grocery store parking lot.  The laws of physics no longer apply there.

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