Parking Lot Heroics

I went to the grocery store today for what seemed like the first time in about a year. I couldn’t even get mad at people who said, “There’s nothing to eat,” because, well, there was nothing to eat. Last week was rough around here. For me, anyway. It was full of painting and then some more painting. That’s pretty much all I did last week. Which is why there was no food in the house.

The most strenuous thing I did yesterday was going to church so I didn’t bother with a shower this morning. (Worship was on point, but I’m not Pentecostal so I didn’t work up a sweat.) I did wash my face and brush my teeth, but I didn’t put on any make-up. The hair was looking decent, though, if I do say so myself. That would be thanks to a much-needed haircut last week so I don’t look like Hey Arnold anymore.

Then there were the clothes. A while ago I lost the drawstring to the capris I threw on, but I keep forgetting. And I cinched up the straps of my sports bra before getting dressed. Turns out I cinched a little too much so I walked around the grocery store pulling up my pants and trying to covertly yank down the bra band. If one thing wasn’t sliding down, the other thing was creeping up. (Is this too much information? I don’t even know anymore.)

Shopping itself went pretty well. There were the usual rude people made bearable by the usual polite people. Shelves weren’t stocked as well as I’d have liked, but I found nearly everything I needed. All in all, it was a decent experience.

After paying for my goods I pushed my cart outside and stopped under the shady overhang to put my sunglasses on. And that’s when I saw The Van.

It was a Channel 6 news van. Camera people need groceries, too, so I didn’t think too much about it. Until She got out. She was a young and pretty brunette wearing a nice dress and perfect make-up. The exact opposite of me except for the brunette part, though my brunette is sprinkled with glittery, silver strands. (Everyone likes glitter, right?) She held a microphone while chasing down people and asking if she could talk to them for a minute. The van swung into a parking spot and a cameraman jumped out to follow, but nobody wanted to talk to her.

“OH NO!” I screamed in my head as I scanned the parking lot for the aisle my car was parked in. Thankfully it was two aisles over from the news crew and there were other people coming and going that were able to block for me. But still, no one wanted to stop and be on camera.

The correspondent (or whatever she is) and the cameraman made it over to the next aisle, just one over from me. I was surreptitiously keeping an eye on them while practically running to my car. The adrenaline kicked in and there was this whole special ops-like scenario playing through my head.

Surveying the lay of the land, I note my car is parked directly across from the cart return, which faces the aisle the crew is now in. I open the hatchback remotely as I run full speed for the car. I abruptly stop the cart ย and tip it so all the groceries land in the car at one time. Then I whip the cart around and send it careening to the return where it comes to a complete stop by nestling into the row of carts already there while shutting the hatchback at the same time. In a matter of seconds I am in my car and I drive away.

It’s a particularly cool scene in slow motion with a hard-driving, metal soundtrack.

There was a moment when I actually made eye contact with her. I quickly looked away and cursed my lack of remote-opening hatchback and general ninja skills. Thankfully, some poor shmoe agreed to talk to her. Still, I didn’t want to take any chances. I pretty much threw my groceries in the back – except for the bag with the eggs – and tossed the cart into the return.

I’m not going to say my tires squealed as I drove out of the lot, but I’m not going to say they didn’t, either.



  1. Diane Karchner on September 25, 2017 at 4:13 pm

    Ninja Warrior Cart Tosser! I want to see THAT video!!

    • JustJenster on September 25, 2017 at 5:06 pm

      I’m currently in negotiations for the movie rights.

  2. Sarah Robinson on September 25, 2017 at 5:52 pm

    Oh, the law that reads, “If ever thou decides to go out in public without proper attire, and with a face only a mother could love, thou wilt be accosted by long lost friends, and any number of familiar folks flagging you down. ‘Hey there! Haven’t seen you in a long while!’
    Glad you were able to make your escape. Close call!

    • JustJenster on September 25, 2017 at 9:57 pm

      That pesky law!!

  3. Cole// Cole Smith Writes on September 25, 2017 at 9:54 pm

    Why does the grocery always feel like a proving ground…?

    • JustJenster on September 25, 2017 at 9:58 pm


  4. Michele McMillan on September 26, 2017 at 4:40 pm

    My question is, what is so interesting about a grocery store parking lot that the news people are there talking to people?? Is life so “boring” in PA that there is nothing newsworthy to report? ๐Ÿ˜‰

    • JustJenster on September 26, 2017 at 5:36 pm

      I have no earthly idea, but I wasn’t going to ask. I tried to find the clip but no such luck. Maybe she didn’t get enough footage. ๐Ÿ™‚

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