(Originally posted on the website Heron Flight)

I was quietly reading a book in my car in the grocery store parking lot this afternoon. I was waiting for my son. The sky was finally clear after a week of rain and the air was rather warm for a mid-October day.

I was startled by the voice of a woman as she walked by: “You moved the car?”

“Yep!” her husband replied.

“Why did you do that?”

With a tinge of pride on his voice the man said, “I had a chance for a pull through.”

“A what?” I thought. Then it clicked in my mind. The parking lot consisted of double rows of parking spaces. A “pull through” is when you can “pull” straight “through” both spots rather than needing to back out of a spot.

“How typically American!” I then thought. We are so addicted to convenience that we will drive our vehicles round and round a parking lot looking for the closest possible spot. A typical parking lot only stretches fifty yards or so from a store’s entrance. We will drive up and down the lanes of the lot until we find one of the first five spots open. The seventh spot could be free. But that is not convenient enough for us. So, round and round we go, cursing and spewing exhaust into the already polluted air. How much healthier it is to park in a farther spot, turn our cars off sooner and get a small dose of much needed exercise.

The pull through was a new one for me. Picture it. This guy must have been sitting in his car, waiting for his wife, when he saw two spots open. So, he started his car, pulled through the spots, and parked where he now only needed to pull out, thinking that he just saved himself so much trouble. But then he needed to leave his car and find his wife. She wouldn’t know where to find him in his newly found spot of convenience. I guess he then got the best of both worlds, exercise and convenience, plus a boost to his ego due to such a display of efficiency.

“Wow! You had a chance for a pull through?”

“Yep! So I moved it!”

They pulled out. I pulled through. Just another day in America.

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