By Annette Dashofy
We’ve all heard the tales of “road rage” on the news. Around my area, the problem seems to be “parking lot rage.”
Last week, I witnessed what I was sure was about to turn into an item on the six o’clock news. My mom and I were loading up our trunk with the fruits of our shopping labors in the Wal-Mart parking lot. Two slots away, a vehicle was leaving. A lady in an old beater car sat with her turn signal on, waiting directly behind me. As the exiting vehicle backed out, a huge, shiny white SUV whipped into the slot.
The lady in the beater car went apoplectic. She started screaming to a guy walking by: “DID YOU SEE THAT? I WAS WAITING HERE WITH MY TURN SIGNAL ON! HOW RUDE!”
I kept my head down. You always hear about innocent bystanders getting caught in the crossfire.
Then the driver of the SUV climbed out. She was dressed more for Nordstrom’s than for Wal-Mart and wore perfectly coiffed blonde hair.
The lady in the beater looked…well…like me. And she turned her verbal barrage on the source of her aggravation. Loudly. She informed the blonde in the SUV that she had been waiting for the spot with her turn signal on.
Now, I didn’t really expect the SUV woman to get back in her car and move. In a perfect world, maybe. But a little contrition might have gone far. Instead, she thrust out her chest, hoisted her chin into the air and proclaimed: “Well, that’s not my problem.”
The exasperated lady in the beater repeated her complaint, this time with arm gestures.
To which, the blonde responded: “I guess that’s just your tough luck then, isn’t it?” And she marched into Wal-Mart leaving the lady in the beater car stammering and sputtering.
By now, I felt the beater car lady’s frustration. I offered her my spot since we were leaving, but she drove off without hearing me over her own rage.
I didn’t hear any news stories about homicide at the Wal-Mart that night. Nor did I hear about slashed tires. Unlike during the grand opening of the nearby Tanger Outlet stores last year when people “stealing” parking spaces sparked a rash of parking lot rage that actually resulted in police involvement and arrests.
Personally, I’m thinking that white SUV was prime material for a good keying. Better yet, letting the air out of the tires. Two tires. Not one. Few people carry two spares. If the SUV blonde was in such a hurry, making her wait for a tow truck seems like an appropriate and karmic payback.
What might you have done in such a situation? Have you ever accidently taken a spot without realizing someone else was waiting for it? Or are you willing to confess to intentionally resorting to the blonde SUV woman’s tactics? Have you ever been the victim of a parking space snatching? And how did you respond?
And the big question to all murder mystery writers: How do you WISH you’d responded?