2.18.2014

Maybe they should move the handicap space just a tad to the right...

If only I had decided to go to Starbucks after I went to purchase baby wipes. Then maybe I would've been able to see the Walgreens at the corner of Walnut and Court in Visalia instantly transform itself from a standard pharmacy into a drive-thru.

Instead, I arrived five minutes too late, and was greeted by this sight:

The entire front door of the shop had been broken inwards, leaving a pile of broken glass inside and a heap of forlorn Valentines Day daffodils crushed on the sidewalk outside.

It wasn't hard to figure out what had just happened. A car had clearly rammed into the front of the building only moments prior. The mystery was how, exactly, the car managed to ram itself directly into the door, which was fairly concealed behind a bike rack, a concrete barrier, two columns, and of course, the handicapped parking sign.

Somehow, an elderly driver had angled their vehicle perfectly to subside all of these obstructions and crash headfirst through the doorway, in a manner that I imagine looked just like something out of a "Die Hard" movie.

"Did anyone scream?" I asked the cashier as she scanned the baby wipes.

"No, we were all just in shock," she said. "But someone ended up crying. She was standing right by the door when it happened."

"Thank god no one was hurt," the customer behind me said. Her words were echoed by several other customers and employees across the the store.

After my purchase, I was instructed to walk backwards through the checkout isle to avoid stepping on the broken glass, which again, if this was "Die Hard," I would be doing in my bare feet. Thankfully, my laces were tied.

Meanwhile, the employee sweeping up the mess was interrupted by one of the passengers of the vehicled that claimed the entrance.

"Could we borrow that broom for a sec?" The woman asked. "The front of the car is covered in glass too..."

They must have cleaned up fast, because by the time I exited the building the car was long gone.

I did however get to see the manager on my way out as he was busy roaming back-and-forth checking on employees and customers.

"I could even feel it in the back of the store," He said.

As he looked at the shattered entrance he set his arms on his waist and huffed in disbelief, "Thank goodness we're open 24 hours..."

All I'm saying is, maybe the handicapped parking space should be moved a bit. I mean, just a tad further from the entrance. Sure, it's a slight inconvenience, but I can see it being a big help if it should, say, keep a new dad like me from getting flattened while picking up baby supplies.

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