Over the years, I have become slightly frightened of little old ladies – especially in store settings. When they are behind me in the checkout line, I find a way to stand that protects my Achilles’ tendons from being bashed by their shopping carts. If I find myself choosing produce near one of them, it invariably ends with me stepping aside and saying “Please. After you.” And, you know how they say you should never get between a hippopotamus and its water source? I think the same applies to little old ladies and their favorite clerk in the pharmacy.
Today I drove to the little village grocer and parked my car in the middle spot (out of seven total) in front of the store – so there were three empty spots on either side of me. When I was done shopping, they were still empty. Just as I was ready to back out of my spot, a car pulled up and stopped behind me – like this:
The little old lady in the car was looking around her and seemed sort of confused. I gave my horn a tiny friendly little toot so that she would notice me. Which she did. Then she got out of her car and started walking toward the store entrance. She looked at me as she trudged past. Our eyes met. I saw the grumpy and disdainful look on her face. In an already scary subset of our species, she struck me as a particularly nasty specimen. I realized I would have to get out and ask her to move her car. I tried to formulate the sentence in my head, to anticipate her response. She was just about to enter the store . . .
In the end, this is how I got out of the parking space: