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Feud in the Parking Lot

Notes & Transcripts

I COULD HARDLY BELIEVE WHAT I WAS WITNESSING. IF YOU WOULD HAVE TOLD ME THIS STORY, I WOULD HAVE PROBABLY NEVER HAVE BELIEVED IT. BUT I WAS THERE. I SAW IT HAPPEN.

I WAS MAKING MY WAS THROUGH THE K-MART PARKING LOT AS A TEENAGER IN SOUTH FLORIDA. IT WAS VERY CROWDED AND YOU HAD TO TAKE YOUR TIME IN ORDER TO FIND A SPOT. ALL OF A SUDDEN I CAME TO A COMPLETE STANDSTILL. TWO CARS WERE BACKING OUT OF SPOTS IN THE SAME TIME FROM OPPOSITE DIRECTIONS. AT FIRST I THOUGHT, “OH NO, THERE’S GOING TO BE AN ACCIDENT.”

BUT AT THE LAST POSSIBLE MINUTE THE TWO DRIVERS SAW EACH OTHER AND STOPPED. I THOUGHT, “WHEW, THAT WAS CLOSE.” I EXPECTED ONE TO PULL UP AND LET THE OTHER BACK OUT FIRST, BUT THE TWO CARS JUST SAT THERE, THEIR DRIVERS GLARING AT EACH OTHER, MAKING GESTURES FOR THE OTHER TO MOVE.

I THOUGHT TO MYSELF, “THESE LADIES HAVE LOST THEIR MINDS,” AND FOUND A WAY TO BACK OUT AND GO TO ANOTHER AISLE TO LOOK FOR A SPOT. AFTER A FEW SECONDS IT BECAME QUITE APPARENT THAT THIS WAR OF THE WILLS COULD GO ON INDEFINITELY. FINALLY ONE DRIVER GOT OUT OF THEIR CAR AND STARTED WALKING TOWARDS THE OTHER CAR. NOT TO BE OUTDONE THE OTHER DRIVER GOT OUT AS WELL. WHAT FOLLOWED WAS A HEATED ARGUMENT OVER WHO HAD THE RIGHT OF WAY. WHEN I FINALLY PARKED AND MADE MY WAY INTO THE STORE, THEY WERE STILL ARGUING THEY PROBABLY WASTED TEN MINUTES ON A PROBLEM THAT COULD HAVE BEEN SOLVED IN FIVE SECONDS IT SOMEONE WOULD HAVE BEEN WILLING TO GIVE INTO THE OTHER.

THE ABSOLUTE RIDICULOUSNESS OF THIS SITUATION IS REAL EASY TO CRITICIZE WHEN SOMEONE ELSE IS IN INVOLVED, BUT WHEN WE ARE ARGUING FOR OUR RIGHT OF WAY WE OFTEN DEVELOP AN ACUTE NEARSIGHTEDNESS. WHEN SOMEONE ELSE ARGUES A POINT THEY’RE JUST BEING STUBBORN; WHEN WE ARGUE A POINT, WE ARE STANDING FOR A PRINCIPLE.

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