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March 11, 2013 / kdubandbeks

No Rough Housing | Part 2: The Parking Lot

The Parking Lot
This incident, as the title suggests, should have never happened in the first place, as one of the first all-important lessons you learn in childhood is TO NEVER PLAY IN PARKING LOTS. EVER. FOR ANY REASON. But when you’re a kid and you don’t think everything through (or like me, DO think everything through and then still do otherwise), you end up doing really stupid things. Like playing a game of tag in a parking lot…

This bout of rough-housing occurred when I was in the 5th grade and I was attending my first ever academic challenge. I can’t even remember what I was competing in – probably a math or a reading comprehension test – but my portion of the academic challenge took place at the very beginning of the day and I had nothing to do for the remaining 6 hours of being at the meet. Thankfully one of my schoolmates was also in the same predicament, and we were able to keep each other company for the most part. I don’t remember too many details about our interactions, but at some point in the afternoon she asked her mom if she could grab something from her mom’s van. Her mom said it was fine, but that she needed to take someone with her because she didn’t want her going by herself. Since I was right next to her she asked if I would go with her and I said of course. Now, it’s important to note that the only connection this girl and I had is that we both went to Texas Christian School and that we were both bored. She and I didn’t hang out that much at school because she and I were in different classes, but we knew each other and were bonding pretty well this day. I had high hopes of becoming good friends with her down the road (because that’s how Bekah Brown rolls man.. that’s how I roll).

As we walked out of the building and onto the walkway by the parking lot, this girl looks at me and says, “Tag. You’re it.” After she hit my arm she took off running, and I was left pondering what I should do. 0.02 seconds later I was chasing after her as fast as my short legs would carry me. And I’m talking about complete abandon here. There was no fear of vehicles in the parking lot, there was no concern, no regard for safety. The only thing present was my burning desire to catch her and tag her back. My shortness manages to complicate nearly every situation in my life, and this story is just another example. There was no option to cut her from the pack because she was the only one outside with me, and there was no catching her in a straight-forward manner because she had the athletic advantage.

The only option I had left was stealth, so I started sneak-running in between vehicles and remaining hidden so she couldn’t see me. I managed to lose track of her about 4 rows into the parking lot, so I decided to wait and make my move closer to her mom’s car because that was a guaranteed location. As it turns out, there are actually A LOT of silvery-grey minivans out there in the world, especially in the late 90s, and at a school function. When I finally managed to to find the right minivan, my friend had already gotten what she needed out of the car and was waiting for me to show up. I could see her through the windows at the back of the van, and I guess she thought I had lost interest in playing tag because she was just leaning on it looking at the sky, not at all concerned with getting caught and having to be it for a few seconds.

Fool..

As I rounded the back of the van, I announced my presence to her so that she would start running again. Catching prey that isn’t moving isn’t any fun – the thrill of the victory lies in the physical action of running your target down, not just anticlimactically popping out from behind a minivan and tagging them. As soon as she heard me utter the words, “I’m right behind you!” She started running toward the front of her mom’s car to try to get away, but I was too close and I was already jumping forward to tag her. The elation that I felt from tagging her with both hands right in the square of her back was immediately followed by complete horror as she immediately tagged her mom’s side mirror… with the bridge of her nose.

My friend fell to her knees, moaning a little and grabbing her face. I stood there for a few seconds trying to figure out the best way to handle what just happened and finally took a couple steps toward her to try to help her up. She saw my motion from the corner of her eye and pushed my extended hand away and slowly got off the asphalt. I instantly began a steady stream of I’m-so-sorries and I-really-didn’t-me-tos, but nothing was going to undo the fact that I just gave her the push that rammed her straight into a hard plastic side mirror. Thankfully there was not a broken or bloody nose, but she was definitely in pain. I did my best to comfort her on the way back inside, and as soon as we entered into the lobby of the building we parted ways. I’m not sure if she ever told her mom what happened, but neither of us got in trouble for playing in the parking lot, and I never got in trouble with her mom or any of our teachers, so I assume she didn’t rat me out.

What I find beautifully ironic about this entire situation is that I now make a living creating training and safety videos for a health and safety department, and my first two assignments after I got hired were to discuss parking lot etiquette for both drivers and pedestrians. Karma’s a bit of a jokester, it seems.

2 Comments

Leave a Comment
  1. Lisa / Mar 18 2013 10:14 pm

    Some say “jokester” others use other terms…

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