Parking Lot Protocol

I haven’t found it necessary or profitable to be paranoid. Instead I wonder about things. What if X happens, or if I’m here and Y happens, what should I do? Then I go ask people who know, make a plan based on what they told me, and adopt it as part of my lifestyle, and then not think about it any more. I wondered, how can I keep ninjas from attacking me in parking lots. This is the answer I came up with.

Here I am leaving the karate school after a hard day of beating people up. Before I ever reach the door I am scanning the parking lot beyond. Not just the part right outside the door, but as far as I can see. That Hummer is blocking the view, so I have to step to the right and left as I am walking toward the door to see as much as I can. What am I looking for? Of course, I’m looking first for ninjas. But ninjas are hard to see and they tend to blend in. To detect them you have to look for people who don’t quite fit in with the environment. So ask yourself, what should non-ninjas be doing in a parking lot?  This is what I came up with:

  • Walking toward the building entrance; or
  • Walking from the entrance to their car; or
  • Putting items in their car, or get them out; or
  • Sitting in their car waiting for someone to come out or go in.

Anyone walking to or from their car is probably legit. People sitting in their cars might be ninjas. If they are right outside the door I’m going to stop and evaluate them a little more. If possible ninjas are sitting in cars between me and my car, I’ll give them a wide birth.

I’m at the door, but I open it only a bit. I keep my hand firmly on the handle and I take a look to the right side. Ninjas like to attack from behind and a perfect place to hide is next to the door. You can’t see them until you’ve already walked through. If someone were waiting there for me, I would immediately close the door and step back. If they are ninja they might come through the door to attack me with their pointy knives. So I make a little distance and see what happens while indexing my primary weapon.

Ok, so if there isn’t a ninja to the right then I can open the door a little more and look to the left. Same rules apply, if a ninja is there I can close the door if needed and wait to see if he needs a few extra holes. No ninjas here, so we can go ahead and walk outside. But there is no need to hurry here. Pause and take a look around to see if there is anything you missed.

I am entering a fringe area here. A fringe area is a place on the edges of population and safety. At any given time at the karate school there are about 100 people there. Plenty of witnesses and ninjas don’t generally like witnesses. But a ninja can’t stand in the middle of an open field waiting for the unluckiest victim in the world to just wander by. Ninjas have to hang out near people but where they can still be hidden. Those are fringe areas and they are the most dangerous places for you to be. You still feel like you are in the company of your friends and other friendly people, but in fact you have left them behind and are really on your own.

The silver SUV is mine. Check out any cars near mine, like that Jeep to see if anyone is sitting in them. People sitting in cars in parking lots are potential ninjas and deserve lots of extra scrutiny. If someone gets out of their car while I am walking past, I start thinking about where I am going to put the extra holes in them and with which tool. But in the car is only part of the problem. Each car I walk by could have a ninja hiding behind it. So instead of just walking down the line by the backs of the cars, I walk several steps away from the cars. This makes a buffer zone the ninja will have to cross to get to me. By that time he will need serious medical management and possibly a priest.

So here I am at my car, but I can’t just walk up to the door. The problem here is that once I do I have almost nowhere to go. If a ninja comes up behind me the only place I can go is forward between the vehicles. That would be Ok, but ninjas know that and will often bring a black-hearted friend with them to block that direction off. So before I go down there I take one last look around to make sure no one is behind me, in front of me, or in the cars near me. This is very important, because I’m getting ready to do a really stupid thing. I only have two directions I can go and I’m getting ready to cut one of those off. Yes, I am about to open the driver’s side door.

Now I have nowhere to go. If a ninja pops up behind me now I will have no choice but to fight. I am a highly trained martial artist and my regular carry kit involves a Glock and several knives. However, I hate filling out paperwork (approximately 20 forms for every dead ninja) so I would run from a ninja if given a choice. Here there will be no choices. I can’t get in the car and lock the door fast enough to get away from someone who comes up behind me now. I probably won’t see them before they are already between my car and the one next to it. That is why it was so important for me to make sure no ninjas were about before I got to this point. Now, someone has to die. Poor ninja.

The last thing I need to do is not mess around once I am in the car. The problem here is that I am blocked in. My car is just an extension of me and where it is parked it can only go backwards. The only real value a car has is its ability to move. Give him a brick and a ninja can break my window, possibly stunning me, and be in the car with his pointy knives and there wouldn’t be a lot I can do about it. The car is too restrictive for me to fight back effectively. So the first thing I do in the car is start it and back out of the space. If possible, I just sit there with the transmission in Drive and put things away, plug in my phone, and put on my seat belt. If sitting there isn’t an option then I just drive to an empty part of the lot and take care of things there; keeping a look out for ninjas of course.

The threat of ninja attack is greatly exaggerated by the press. But there are bad guys who prey on people in parking lots. In fact, in a recent class presented by Tom Givens, in almost every example of assault or robbery he gave, the victims were in one kind of parking lot or another. So keep on the look out for people who don’t belong in parking lots and give them extra scrutiny. Oh, also zombies, definitely keep a watch out for zombies.

Both comments and trackbacks are currently closed.


  • sherri  On November 2, 2010 at 9:16 am

    I love the way you wrote this. I try to be careful in parking lots by looking around as I walk and carrying my keys to be used as weapons, but realize now I’m not nearly as vigilant as I thought.

    Question: Our dog (a red heeler, female) goes everywhere with us, so I often wait in the car with her while my husband runs into various stores. I believe she would attack anyone who attempted to attack me (luckily that’s never been tested), but do you have any safety (or pro-active) recommendations for that situation?

  • trackerk  On November 2, 2010 at 9:56 am

    I have often thought the same thing about my dog. However, there is a show on Discovery called “It Takes a Thief” where each week they get permission from homeowners to break into their houses to show how unsecured they are. When dogs are present the homeowner always says the dog will go nuts and attack them. The dog never does. Sometimes the dog will bark, but not all the time.

    Once when I was a security guard I did a neighborhood watch gig in a particularly bad area. I took my mom’s Giant Schnauzer with me. This dog was a huge brute of a dog and while responding to a group disturbance, with angry teenagers all around, she cowered in the back of my SUV.

    Your dog could be different though. I have a dog to warn me when there is something I need to take care of.

    The real problem is that a car provides only the illusion of protection. The sheet metal won’t stop anything but maybe a .22lr round, the glass is easily broken. The only real value a car has in an assault is its ability to move and leave the area.

    So I would suggest when running errands with your husband that you drive. That way you are in the drivers seat and can move the car if necessary. When you park try to make sure that you can put the car in drive and just go. That sometimes means pulling all the way through the parking space so that you are “backwards” to the other cars.

    Your dog may scare the bad guys off, if she doesn’t, then put it in D and leave the area.

  • Scott  On November 2, 2010 at 8:35 pm

    You are forgetting one very important area for BGs and possible egress. You never mention that you could get down and would be able to roll under your truck.

    Always keep an eye out for the less obvious.


    • trackerk  On November 2, 2010 at 8:52 pm

      Fair enough. You better be able to stop, drop, and roll pretty darn quick though :-).

%d bloggers like this: