Me and my finger are on the lookout for this one

By Steve Estes

Strictly Drivel

I’m beginning to think it’s just me.

You know, they say that just because you’re paranoid doesn’t mean they’re not out to get you.

The other day I ran into (almost literally) a lady I don’t think I’ve ever met before, not one, but three times in the space of 30 minutes.

I had to go to the grocery store to grab a few things. I hate trips to the grocery store to start with, particularly in the afternoon, because that brings out all the clowns.

I pulled into the parking lot, and I generally don’t even look for that close space that time of day. I just head for the first open spot I can find. I don’t like cruising the parking lot looking for a parking space that will save a few steps. I’m not that old yet.

And in the afternoon, even if you do find a space closer to the door you usually put your life on the line trying to get to it without a vehicle dance that turns the rest of your hair gray.

So I opted to park next to a cart return. It seems most people don’t like that spot and if I need a cart going in I can usually find one there. The cart return was on my driver’s side just to orient you with what transpired, and the grocery store was on the same side.

I got out of the car and stepped into the travel lane. I rarely venture very far from the butt end of the cars in the parking spaces while walking in that parking lot. I’ve seen these people drive.

So I’m walking just inches from the back end of a truck when this lady in a luxury sedan decides to pass a car waiting for a space to gun her own car through the lane and get a spot in the next aisle that  might have been 10 feet closer as the crow flies to the front door.

In her haste to get around the offending stopped car and keep an eye on the vacant space for which she yearned, she paid no attention to me.

Luckily, although I’m older and fatter this year than last, my reflexes are still pretty good. I saw her whip out in the lane I was meandering through, with her head turned sideways honing in on that vacant spot, so I stepped behind the tow hitch of the pick up truck I was passing. Hey, I figured she’d have to beat through the solid steel of the tow hitch and move the truck sideways to get me at that point.

Still without looking in my direction, she whizzed on by still accelerating right across the spot where I had been walking just seconds ago.

I didn’t even have the heart to hand out a single-digit salute. I actually waved at her as she went by me (using all my fingers) and stepped back out from behind the truck to continue my trek to the store.

She missed out on the parking space she coveted in the next aisle, but I was up next to the store when she turned back into the row where I was parked and grabbed a newly vacated space about three in from me.

Yes, I kept a wary eye on her.

That was one.

I only needed a few things so I didn’t even bother with a shopping cart once I got into the store, I just worked my way through the three aisles I needed and headed to the checkout lines.

As I approached the service desk from the bakery side, this same lady came shooting out from the pharmacy counter, on foot this time luckily, and stepped right into my path.

This time my reflexes saved her, because my fat butt crashing into her backside unimpeded would surely have sent her sailing across the waxed tile.

She had nothing in her hands except this small purse which swung through the air like a non-lethal meat cleaver as she stomped her way toward the entrance. She must have gotten really bad news at the pharmacy counter.

Not my problem.

This time, I really wanted to give her a single-digit salute, or two, but my hands were full with the five items I had needed when I stopped at the store in the first place and unless I was willing to drop them on the floor (I wasn’t) and potentially make for a clean-up in aisle chaos (I still wasn’t) I had no free fingers to wave in the air at her.

That was two.

I went to the self checkout, whipped through my transaction, bagged my stuff and headed out the door.

She had been headed that way when she stomped out in front of me in the aisle, so naturally I assumed she wold be long gone by the time I made the parking lot.

We know what assume translates into.

I turned into the parking aisle where my car was located. I must have been distracted by the leggy brunette in the Daisy Dukes (Hey, I’m happily married but not blind.) and didn’t notice that my female nemesis for the afternoon was still sitting in her car, in the spot three in from me, with her engine running.

My bad.

I was directly behind her car when she chose that exact instant to pull her car into reverse and begin the quick-quick-quick job of backing out into the travel lane.

The back up lights on her car were of the newer high-in-the-line-of-sight variety, that I thoroughly hate by the way, which is probably the only reason I noticed them.

When the back-up lights kicked on, I kicked my fat butt into a higher gear and literally lunged forward to get out form behind her before she ran me down. The car was already moving as I cleared the back bumper with inches, did I say inches?, to spare. I felt the heat from the exhaust on the back of my foot.

To onlookers I must have seemed slightly inebriated (I wasn’t) because my lunge caused just the slightest stumble and they could have mistakenly believed I had tripped over my own feet.

Let me clue you in on a little something. I don’t have to be even slightly inebriated to trip over my own feet.

Even though I had a grocery bag in each hand, this time I was not to be left hanging.

I put both bags down on the ground, wound up in an over-the-top motion, bringing my hands around from behind my back and thrusting them skyward, to pitch this lady a double single-digit salute.

After all, that was three. In the space of less than 30 minutes.

But she never looked back. My theatrical double bird move was lost, except to the youngster who was just getting out of the car on the other side of the aisle.

I probably should have apologized to his mother, but that would have required more explanation than I was in the mood for.

So now, I’m looking for a white/blonde haired lady, driving a cream colored Lexus with out-of-state plates. I keep my head on a swivel behind the wheel. I want to find her. In her car. And I want to pull up next to her and whip her a double single-digit-salute right out my window.

I don’t even care that she probably won’t even know what it’s for.

No Comments »

Leave a Reply