Guest editorial: Getting out of the Whole Foods parking lot is a hellish experience
To the person/project manager/demon/hobgoblin(s) who designed the new Whole Foods parking lot:
When Dante’s Inferno gets re-imagined for current times, it shall include an extra circle of hell.
In the depths of this circle you will sit in the driver’s seat of a car parked in a Whole Foods parking lot ready to exit with all your Amazon Prime-dealt goods. You thought getting through the tourist crowds and finding the only reasonable/maybe/barely-to-never-gonna-ripen-bananas and loading up your car was the hard part.
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Exiting this spot isn’t an option. You sit, gear in reverse, but a car squats directly behind you on its way out. It’s stuck there in a line of cars, all stuck themselves waiting to exit this row of the lot — a kind of vehicular constipation. You are stuck because they are stuck. You shall remain in this purgatory unable to even exit your parking space, contemplating how long the groceries you packed can keep you alive, wondering how long you’d last before hypothermia if you turned off the engine, until you find no reason to live anymore and risk it all to butt yourself out of this spot.
You thought this was the hard part.
You now join the stuck line of cars trying to head out (an overstatement as no one moves) of this Whole Foods parking lot — but really just to the next paved roadway inside this lot. You all wait to turn left onto this non-moving strip leading out but not out at all. You remain in this purgatory until you wonder who designed this lot from which no one can leave, a lot that makes trying to park at the ski mountain on a holiday weekend look like heaven — until it dawns:
When your torment and shame heats to self-immolation, you finally turn left to join a conga line of cars still inside the lot all waiting to turn left onto a Google-mappable street to join the actual flow of traffic.
You thought you were done. You’re not.
It’s getting real in the Whole Foods parking lot. Actually, it’s getting phantasmagorical and frightening. It’s that left turn onto Kilby Road or freedom, and we do mean left — as in the Latin “sinestra,” as in EVIL AND SIN. It’s a left turn represented by the numbers 666. Even the dark lord’s right hand men marvel at this intersection and this left. Directly opposite you, a car waits to exit a hotel/Italian restaurant lot. To your left a parade of vehicles passes without stop — some of the cars, but not all, turning into the lot — but all without turn signals. To your right, a car wants to turn right. Good luck with that. Traffic moves in a non-moving way in both directions and NO ONE HAS A STOP SIGN and remember that car opposite you? Now there’s a car waiting to turn left into the lot too. You’re trapped in another purgatory. Or the same? What day is it? How old are you? Is Trump still president (in this lot, he always is). You realize once again that your only chance out is to risk death in the form of a Hail-Mary-can’t-even-help-you-out-here-left-turn, one that begs for a minimum five-car crash. It’s a risk that makes you think maybe you could ski the double black Chutes at Deer Valley. Is there another left this bad — say, onto Bonanza Drive from Iron Horse at 4:30 p.m. on a holiday week ski day?
It’s worse. Once again you wonder what exorcism-in-waiting designed this lot and …
Oh. You did.
Under duress you turn right, opposite your route home, to risk a mere two-car crash and whiplash to drive down into construction/roundabouts and detour signs that cause your Google Maps to have an aneurysm. Now you shall drive from roundabout to roundabout for eternity.
You have arrived.
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