Parking lots among the menacing places of world

According to, the three most dangerous places in the world are streets in, respectively, Brazil, Mexico, and Michigan. Those places have specific threats, just as there are risks to swimming in the Everglades or getting lost in a desert.

In my opinion, the most dangerous place in the world is the parking lot at the local grocery store. Just today, for example, I pulled into one of the lanes of cars and noted that the car in front of me had stopped. I could see that the driver was waiting for a man to finish loading his groceries into the back of his car, and then this driver would get a spot just three from the door.

I typically leave my car further away. This has lots of benefits — I don’t worry about finding a close space; I get a lot of extra steps; and most importantly, I don’t have to remember where it’s parked. That way, I don’t aimlessly wander up and down those driving lanes, pressing the lock button on the remote and straining to hear the quiet beeping of my car.

Today I was not in a hurry, so I was waiting patiently. It’s not unusual for someone to stop and wait for a car to leave a prime spot. What was unusual is that the driver began to back up, without looking in her rear or sideview mirrors. As there was a car behind me, I honked my horn to alert her.

I figured she’d stop, perhaps even lean out her window and yell at me. Instead, she jammed on the accelerator and sped down the driving lane and around the row of cars at an alarming speed.

Thank goodness there were no small children, folks using canes, or people searching for their cars. They wouldn’t have survived.

This unnerved me a little. As I cautiously walked to the store, I was already stressed. I had forgotten my carefully prepared list and coupons, so after I parked, I had called my husband and asked him to read me the list.

I normally carry a notebook in my purse, so this would have been no problem, but the notebook was missing. So I rummaged around the car and found an ATM receipt — you know those little 3-inch-by-2-inch papers. I used the back to record what I could remember and had him fill in the rest.

My handwriting is not very good. It never has been very good, and it’s only getting worse as I age. So when Matt was reading “mustard, mayo, manly,” I stopped him and said, “manly?” He paused and said, “well, it’s the same ‘m’ as in mustard and mayo, so yes.” We continued the rest of the items.

I trudged into the store and shopped, looking for anything that started with an “m.” Mangoes? Macrons? Mackerel? I never did think of it.

I finished my list and walked back to the car, watching carefully for hostile and/or speedy drivers. I’m also recommending to that they add parking lots to their list of menacing places.