The Christmas crowds are finally gone from the grocery stores, and the roads. A brief yet smaller wave of people who are not usually in the way will appear this weekend, disappear, and then we’ll be fine until Memorial Day, when the summer crowds begin. But for now, things are almost normal on the roads.

The parking lot of the store is free of the frantic frenzy of the holidays, and I scan the area, looking for free roaming humans. I try to get from the truck to the door without having to come in contact with people, and it’s strange no one else I know does this. I can’t control what happens at the door, but getting there, yes. I can avoid people to a large degree. Where I always park is key to this. I can go in three different directions, three paths, depending on where people are.

The panhandlers like to set up just south of the entrance. I make sure none are around because approaching from the south is the shortest way to go. Otherwise, I head north and cut back in, or go in at an angle sort of north by northeast. Once inside, there’s little to do but adjust quickly but not too quickly, or it turns into a game of pinball.

The aisles of the grocery store cause choke points, and shoppers who are blissfully unaware of their surroundings make it worse. I can go all the way around someone causing a jam in the middle of the soup aisle before they can figure out there’s a problem and move. Children are the worst, for they are the product of people who lack situational awareness, so they have no idea it exists, much like the kids who have never seen a blacksmith or a miller.

If human beings were magically turned into zebras on the Serengeti, the first lion to charge the herd could simply stop and wait. All of the zebras would run into one another, fight over who was going to be first, deliberately interfere with others, and some would just stand and stare off into space. In the wild, human beings would be extinct in about three days.

Take Care,

Mike

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