I went to Hannaford to pick up some peppers. Apparently, my girlfriend needed a whole rainbow of colors, so I grabbed red, yellow and green bell peppers. Do they really taste any different or is it just an aesthetic thing? That's my point. Let's get to it.

On my way out I noticed two people sitting in a vehicle, idling in the fire lane. You know the fire lane right? It's pretty much the entire curb up next to the building, with the exception of a small section for a bus stop, where no parking is allowed. Why no parking? Because fire.

Townsquare Media - Jeff Parsons
Townsquare Media - Jeff Parsons

If the unthinkable happened and Hannaford caught on fire, this is where all the emergency vehicles would park to set up their gear to fight a fire, rescue people and treat the injured. It's a pretty standard thing for buildings of this size. Your Walmarts, Targets, BJ's, Home Depots and some of those stores with Dollar in their name have them.

These two sitting in the car were each enjoying a smoke. Pal Malls? Lucky Strikes? I'm guessing they were a Marlboro man and woman. They sat there getting their nicotine fix while I assumed someone else with them was shopping inside, all while ignoring all the no parking signs in the fire lane. How righteous of them.

I know the excuse. I heard it all the time when I worked at Shop 'n Save as a bagger in high school. "We're only going to be a minute." Great. Then park yourself in one of those white stripped spaces and stop blocking where the fire trucks go! There were three empty spaces within 200 feet of their illegal parking job.

I know this is hard to police. You can't have someone of authority there all the time to tell these people that they're inconsiderate and in violation. I wanted to tell these people what they were doing, but that's just opening myself up to "Who the hell are you to tell me..." so instead I rant here.

If you or someone you love habitually parks in the fire lane because you are too lazy to park like the rest of us do so that emergency vehicles can get in and first responders can do their jobs, then congratulations! You just made the list!


Take the time to look at your actions and respect the rules. They're there for a reason. Enjoy your smoke.

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