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Parking Pandemonium

Can we all just take a breath?

By Mark GagnonPublished 23 days ago 3 min read
Parking Pandemonium
Photo by Jubbar J. on Unsplash

Not much left to look at now—caution tape connects a couple of shopping carts to a handicapped parking sign and a tree—relatively innocuous considering what took place in this supermarket parking lot just hours before.

The day began like most for the workers of the Acme Restoration Company; report to work, drive to the job site in a company truck, and cordon off the area to be repaired. Today’s restoration involved resurfacing and painting a damaged corner of the supermarket. Ordinarily, this is a one-day job, barring unforeseen complications.

The workers arrived on site, commandeered two shopping carts, and with yellow caution tape, secured the work area. Unfortunately, the construction zone included two of the four handicapped parking spaces the store had allocated for its customers.

Normally, two missing handicap spaces wouldn’t be noticed, but today was disability check day and time for customers to restock their pantries. The two unobstructed spaces remained continually occupied. As one car left, another took its place. Cars with HP placards orbited the lot, awaiting their turn. Les-patient patrons parked their vehicles across two regular spaces, guaranteeing enough room to deploy ramps and chairs. None of the inconvenienced customers had a kind word for the workers.

All proceeded like a well-choreographed dance until a driver in a dilapidated SUV jumped the queue and pulled into a recently vacated handicapped space. The minivan driver, who had been cut off, unrolled her window and chastised the interloper. The SUV operator responded with a rude hand gesture and went to work deploying her electric scooter. The aggrieved driver parked her minivan directly behind the interloper’s SUV and deployed her scooter.

“You can’t park there. You’re blocking me in,” shouted the interloper. “I have things to do and don’t have time to wait for you to finish shopping.”

“You should have thought of that before you took my space,” replied the wronged woman. Now you can sit until I get done—and I plan on taking my time.”

The interloper, sitting astride her scooter, drove to the bottom of the access ramp, blocking any entry. “You’re not getting up this ramp until you move your van,” she said defiantly.

“We’ll just see about that,” screamed the other woman as she maneuvered her scooter for a faceoff. She reached behind her and produced an umbrella with a pointy tip. The interloper brandished a similar umbrella, and the two women glared at each other like “Ye Knights of Olde” preparing to engage in a joust.

The amused workers put down their tools to observe the shenanigans. When violence seemed imminent, one laborer went into the store and fetched a security guard. The guard arrived on site and positioned himself between the two women to diffuse the situation. Both combatants released blood-curdling cries and charged umbrellas at the ready. The startled guard yelped in pain as both his legs were skewered. The women were so caught up in their blind rage they never gave a thought to the unfortunate guard.

The police arrived to take charge of the scene, along with an ambulance for the injured guard, who was writhing in pain from his wounds. Statements were taken, vehicles were towed, and the women were transported to the precinct house for booking.

Both women refused to take any responsibility for the incident, putting the blame entirely on the construction crew. After all, if they hadn’t blocked the handicapped parking spots, none of this would have happened. The construction crew finished work and headed for a local bar to share the story of the supermarket joust with the other patrons. The security guard, an unsung hero in this dual, was released from the hospital with stitches in both legs and torn pants. All four parking spots were available the next day.


About the Creator

Mark Gagnon

I have spent most of my life traveling around the US and the globe. Now it's time to draw on these experiences and create what I hope are interesting fictional stories. Only you, the reader, can tell me if I've achieved my goal.

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Excellent work. Looking forward to reading more!

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  3. Excellent storytelling

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Comments (2)

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  • Donna Fox23 days ago

    I love the unlikely place you set the scene of your story, very creative! The lady in the scooter having a face off with the other lady made me laugh a little at imagery you created. The jousting is just so comical to me! Where did you come up with this? Its so creative and original and probably my favourite story I’ve read on Vocal!

  • Tina D'Angelo23 days ago

    I'm laughing like a hyena and my husband is worried.

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