She jumped from her Mercedes SUV after hurriedly disconnecting her cell call with a friend. Stocker, the golden lab in the back seat, smeared his nose up against the window.

“I was waiting for that parking space!” She shouted.

The other woman, oblivious to the black Mercedes SUV, had glided into the space with her metallic green Lexus SUV. She considered herself fortunate in getting the space between the Suburban and little BMW 6 series car. She had not noticed the other woman waiting because she was on the phone with her 16 year old daughter who was, at that moment taking a stand against picking up her 11 year old sister from the dentist. The shouting from outside caught her attention and she looked in her sideview mirror to see a woman jumping down from the SUV.

“I’ll call you back in a few minutes. I want you to get your sister, I won’t have time.” She flipped the phone shut.

The Mercedes woman approached the Lexus.
“Didn’t you see me waiting there?” It wasn’t really a question, it was more of an order to get out of the space, “I was here first.”
“I’m sorry, I didn’t see you,” offered the Lexus woman who then countered with “I’ll only be a minute.”
“Look, I was here first,” demanded Mercedes “I’ve been circling this lot for the past 20 minutes. This space belongs to me. You just cut in front of me and took the space. Why do you think I was waiting there?”
“I promise, I’ll only be a few minutes and then you can have the space. I just have to drop this package off,” Lexus lied. She really wanted to get to the store that had a wonderful sale and she knew that if she waited too long, the good stuff would be gone. She was gambling that by time she returned to the car, this woman would have found another space.

“If you get out of that car,” Mercedes warned, “you’ll have flat tires by time you get back,” She lied. She really had no intention of flattening Lexus’ tires. She knew, however, that sometimes a threat can be as good as the deed. She learned that from her husband.

Neither woman noticed the police cruiser pull up behind the Mercedes until the officer was out of the car and walking toward them. After a brief explanation of what was going on, the police officer told Mercedes to find another space. Mercedes protested but it didn’t sway the officer. Reluctantly, she walked back to her car and whipped out her cell phone. Meanwhile, Lexus had headed toward the store and was back on the phone with her 16 year old who agreed to pick up her sister on the condition that her mother would allow her to go to a party the coming weekend.

The woman in the Mercedes watched as the Lexus owner walked around the corner. She looked in her rearview mirror for cars, people, anything, then glided out of her chair and moved quickly toward the Lexus. She moved toward the parking meter glancing over her shoulder and looking around. She bent down and unscrewed the tire valve cover and using her car key, pressed it against the valve letting the air out of the tire. Bent down as she was, she was able to completely deflate the tire without being noticed. As she started back toward her car, she scraped her car key along the side to the Lexus. She climbed back into the Mercedes turned around and said to the dog, “Okay, Stocker. No spaces today. We’ll go to the vet tomorrow.”

the bulk

I’m not sure when it began. The earliest recollection I have is standing in the aisle at CVS and looking at the selection of toilet papers. I’m not even sure what I was thinking at the time, though I imagine it was probably along the lines of, “Why is this 4 pack so much cheaper than that four pack?… Oh I see,… this one is single ply.”

Yeah, I’m pretty sure that’s when it started because, as I looked down the aisle, I saw a very large package that appeared to contain 12(!) rolls of toilet paper and the price was less than the price of the 4 rolls, doubled. “Ah,” I thought, “I bet it’s single ply.” But it wasn’t, … it was double ply. A clerk walked by and murmurred, “That’s a great sale!” I grabbed the 12 pack, and rushed toward the cashier.

After that, I refused to purchase the 4 pack. And I didn’t even look at single rolls. I had graduated to bulk. From there, it was only a short step to the 12 packs of soda at the supermarket, and it will come as no surprise to many of you that I ended up in one of those big discount warehouses where I could purchase everyday items for a fraction of their cost,… all I have to do, is buy thirty of them.