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Chan Spot

He spent 15 minutes circling the parking lot for a “Chan Spot” — a space within 3 lines of a blue line.

Now it’s time to check out out and he distributes his three children across the open lanes — where they wait for judgement on the eternal question:

Which lane moves fastest?

It’s a complex formula. Age,
Payment method,
Cashier fluency,
Number of items,
Variation in items…
But with the kids — well — those factors dissolve.
Just stick one in and see how it rolls.

As “those kids,” my brothers and I prayed for the ideal outcome: wait in awkward silence as two sets of strangers decide if you’re lost. Get the all clear. Then run back to dad’s lane.

The other case was less pleasant. Dad drifts the corner with a full cart of groceries and shimmies between the strangers before and behind you. You unload as the mood falls from concern to outrage.

Don’t get me started on on air travel…

My dad wasn’t in a hurry. He’d say he was but wasn’t. If he had been, he’d have saved time on “Chan Spot” — parking an unfathomable 10 spaces from a blue line and getting into the store 12 minutes faster.

He just had to get ahead.

He loved creating a scenario where the outcome — however banal — made him feel like a champ.

I have more important battles to battle than those against unwitting strangers at the supermarket.

You do to.

This memory, inspired by The Art of the Good Life (AmazonAffiliate). Chapter 1: Mental Accounting — How to Turn a Loss Into a Win