Have you ever lost your car in parking lot

sal 60 Hanzlik

Yesterday we went to Walmart and we couldn't find out car. Finally remembered we went in the other entrance but still no car. Finally pushed the horn and finally found it. I remember years ago around Christmas when I must have walked the big parking lot for about an hour before I found it. Ever happen to you?

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Elizabeth

Ummm...Often. I glance back at the aisle when I am walking into the store to remember the lane number. I also always park near a cart corral.

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Lala

Yes, and unfortunately, my key fob doesn't have a horn, it only flashes the lights.

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Marilyn_Sue

No

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Judy Good

Sure has

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daisychain01

Yes. i usually try to park in a similar spot/area so it's easier to remember. We also have a taller SUV with roof rack, so that helps locating it. I'd be worried about losing my memory, except that I've always been lousy at remembering things like this.

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Lala

So I just did a Google search and found out if I press the lock button twice, the horn goes off. That's a win!

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cooper8828

I have and it is really frustrating, especially when the thought crosses your mind that maybe it was stolen.

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Lars

When I was studying design at UT Austin, I would sometimes drive and park in the stadium parking lot, which was not that convenient, or I would take a free shuttle bus or ride my bike. One day I decided to drive (which was rare) because I wanted to drop off a large portfolio at the design studio. After design class, I went to my Italian class, and then I forgot that I had driven and took the shuttle bus home. Two or three days later, I wanted to drive to a movie, but when I opened the garage, my car was not there. I knew it couldn't have been stolen because the garage was locked. It took me quite a while to remember where I had left my car.

I have frequent dreams about losing my car. In these dreams, I always buy another car, usually a sports car like a Jaguar or Corvette, and then I lose that car also. It is very disturbing.

When I go to a large parking garage, the first thing I do when I get out of the car is to write down which level I am on and the number and letter of the nearest column that is marked. My brother sometimes takes a picture with his phone.

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rockypointdog

I was just going to suggest taking a picture, too. If I don’t take a picture, I count how many rows I am away from the entrance, or find some other unique way to mark my spot, if the rows are not numbered. But I definitely must find a way to remember where I parked. Otherwise I too will wander until I find my car.

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Rose Pekelnicky

Sometimes I forget to check what row I am parking in but I usually find it quickly. For many years I drove a big old Chevy Suburban and it was easy to spot amongst the compact cars. Now I have a Ford escape.

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gardengal48 (PNW Z8/9)

Can't say I've ever lost - or misplaced - my car. Did have one stolen once.....right out of my driveway!

But I can routinely misplace my keys, specially since the electronic fob broke its attachment and is now separate from the actual key.

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Elizabeth

I have always been forgetful of where I parked my car even in my 20's. I remember strolling around the parking lot trying to look very casual about the whole thing like I knew exactly where I was going. Later on I developed a system.

I knew a woman who used to report her car as possibly stolen from the mall lot because she did not want to walk a great deal to find it. She said it was lovely. Just lovely. A nice man in a cart would drive you around until you spotted it and you could just say thank you and hop right out.

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bpath

I usually park in the same area. I try to park by a tree or a light. And I have a cling on the rear windshield that helps me my vehicle from all the similar vehicles lol.

But I did, in fact, lose my car at work. Well, kind of at work. I worked at a theme park, so we had an employee lot. But one day some friends and I went to "play" in the park and had to park in the main lot. When we left, none of us could remember where we'd parked since we'd never parked out there before, and it was huge and packed with cars. A security guard in his park vehicle recognized us, and drove us around till we found my car. He says it's happens all the time, and they would, in fact, drive people around the lot to find their cars!

Lars, I like your story!

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Yayagal

I take a picture of the spot and level plus number and I find it just fine.

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blfenton

Rather than saying I lost my car, I prefer to think of it as "temporarily misplaced".

I do try to remember where I've parked it so that I don't have to casually (as Elizabeth mentioned) walk around the parking lot looking for it. It is amazing how many red CRV's with ski racks there are in our area.

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caflowerluver

Not since I bought my red-orange Jeep many years ago. OTOH, I am always walking up to the wrong car when out with DH who drives a silver Honda.

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Ninapearl

the only time it's happened to me was when i was driving a loaner car while mine was in the shop. it was a gray 4-door. there were a bazillion of them in the parking lot!

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Raye Smith

I had one experience with losing my truck and it wasn't my fault. I parked in the economy lot at the airport and took a quick pic of the aisle sign on the light tower just down from where I parked. The signs were faded but still legible. So a week or so later I returned and got on the shuttle and asked for the letter number lot. Upon getting off I noticed that the "letter" on the poles is different than the letter I requested. Walk into the lot and the signs are brand new with different letters and numbers. Took me a bit of walking up and down to find my vehicle. Comparing the signs with the pics they were definitely changed while I was gone.

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Jasdip

Regularly. Both hubby and I have no sense of direction and we'd both wander, asking each other where it was. We'd often laugh while doing it.

One winter I stuffed a red mitt and tied it to the grill, hoping it to make it look like Rudolph's nose. It was so easy finding my car that I now keep one on the grill all the time. I usually back into my spots and seeing a red nose on my car stands out from all the other black cars.

I used to park beside cart corrals till I saw people just push the empty cart from the middle of the parking lot instead of taking it.

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bpath

Back when cars had antennas, you saw all kinds of things attached to them, to help people identify their cars.


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Kathsgrdn

Yes. Unfortunately my car looks like hundreds of others, gray Nissan Altima. Next car with be purple. lol

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Bookwoman



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sealavender

I lost a rental car in downtown Portland once. I didn't realize that there were two parking businesses in the structure; they were not connected. An attendant drove me around, and finally asked if I was sure was in the right part. I was one level off from where I thought I left it. With a plane to catch, it wasn't funny.

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sjerin

Lars, that's an hilarious story! Sealavender, which street was the garage on?

Isn't it funny that I feel I should 'look casual' as I'm searching for my car, so no one will think I've lost it? Somehow, I feel like such a ding dong when I'm surreptitiously searching the parking lot with my fob. I have had momentary feelings of panic when we've rented a car because I don't usually remember what it looks like after we've gone into a a business and parked in a large lot.

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Elmer J Fudd

There are smartphone apps that you instruct to mark your spot by GPS when you leave your parked car. They will guide you back to the car when you want to return, tracking your movement and showing you which way to go. They're as useful in a store's parking lot as in a downtown area when you've wandered far away. I've used them in European cities too, to find my way back to a subway/train station or my hotel or other spot I plan to return to.

The Android app I have supplied by the car maker for one of my car has the same function built in.

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Elizabeth

I remember the ornaments for the top of car antennas. I thought they were for seeing vehicles on the other side of a cross-street when the snowbanks were very high. they kind of were...here.

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morz8

I can get a little muddled in the multistory parking garages whether above or underground. Often concentrating on the timing of an appointment and happy to have only found a place to park, not quite noting which level I'm on. I can't be the only one - an underground garage I've used has the levels very clearly marked and cartoonish. Large format. You are on A, for Alligator with a picture of a Disney alligator. This is Level B, for Baboon with a depiction of that etc.

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Bookwoman

In Philadelphia there's a parking garage near the main concert hall that has the levels marked with musical instruments. "Remember, we're bassoons this time."

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fredda501880

I have a hardball size piece of hard foam with a hole in it glued onto my antenna. So many times I have been able to spot it and found my van in a large lot. What a time and step saver.

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sealavender

sjerin, I don't remember, but it was near a concert hall and on a hill with entrances for the two separate businesses on different streets/levels. It seemed to be filled with white, late model Japanese cars. I'm having a flashback just thinking about it, LOL!

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Elmer J Fudd

"I have a hardball size piece of hard foam with a hole in it glued onto my antenna."

Very few cars have antennas these day.

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chloebud

"I have frequent dreams about losing my car."

Same with me. I keep searching and searching and almost never find it. Usually someone in the dream will either drive me around or walk with me to help look. In reality, I actually have lost it and always think, "Oh no, my dream!" Panic sets in and my heart starts pounding until I find the car and calm myself down. If a lot doesn't have things like aisles and/or levels marked, I tend to make a mental note of location by looking around spotting something to remember.


The dream is likely symbolic of losing the ability to "drive" yourself forward to accomplish something.


"Isn't it funny that I feel I should 'look casual' as I'm searching for my car, so no one will think I've lost it?"

I can totally relate!

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graywings123

I have a short piece of bright yellow pool noodle strapped onto the roof rack of my van. I pass it off as padding for something I was carrying, but it is really so I can find my van in the sea of light gray vans in the parking lot.

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marilyn_c

All too many times. I lost it at the airport once...thought it had been stolen, but I went out the wrong door and was in a totally different parking lot. I have also lost it at Walmart....that is really embarrassing, pushing a cart all over the parking lot.

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yeonassky

Yes! I get so turned around at IKEA that it is truly a miracle that I ever find my car. DH could barely find it last time. The only reason we pieced it together was there were some noticeable landmark differences. They were doing construction in an area close to where we parked.

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OutsidePlaying

Not my own vehicle, but when I used to travel a lot, I often would go to a shopping center or if in an interesting city and had an opportunity, I would visit a museum or gallery if open. Sometimes I couldn't recall the type of car or there would be a similar one nearby. Once I tried to open a Ford Taurus that was exactly like the rental I had. This was when all still opened with keys. It was a row over from where I had parked. I quickly realized my mistake and looked over and saw 'my' car.

We also take a photo of the row or section if we're in a strange parking garage or lot.

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stacey_mb

I had a similar experience to the one that Lars describes. I drove to a department store when I normally walked there, parked and walked home after my purchase. Later when he arrived home, DH wanted to know where the car was and I was surprised that it wasn't in the driveway like always!

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bpath

At O’Hare Airport, the parking garage levels are identified to the sports teams, with the colors, emblems, and the theme songs playing through the lobby speakers. It helps. A little.

Our minivan is one of very few without a roof rack, and it’s one way we identify it in a parking area. It doesn’t always work, though. I have walked up to an identical car, put my key in the lock and at the same moment the key doesn’t turn, I think “gee, the center console is awfully clean, what happened to my stuff?” and THEN realize my mistake.

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chloebud

I've also put my key in the lock of an identical car. Once at the grocery store the owner walked up while I was trying to turn the key. I heard a loud "EXCUSE ME, THIS IS MY CAR!" I was beyond embarrassed, especially since she didn't seem to believe my explanation. I tried to spot my car to show her, but couldn't find it. Made it worse. 😖

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Michele

It happens all the time. They all look the same.

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joann_fl

All the time. I usually think someone stole it. My son bought me a "Car finder " for Christmas one year, It didn't really find your car unless you were pretty close to it. Now I use my alarm button on the key fob. You still have to be close but better yet I have a bright green color car so it's easy to find!

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maifleur03

I have only sort of lost my car when I drove something that was black or white. One time in Hawaii I tried to open another rental that was not ours. The other time I noticed that the car had tires so worn that the wires were exposed. I was so horrified that I had not noticed how bad they were getting that until the key did not work it did not dawn on me that it was not mine. My mind was only on do I drive to my friends or was there a shop near by that I could purchase tires.

When I went looking for a new car this last time I decided any color other than black or white.

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dedtired

Bookwoman, I was going to mention the musical instrument garage. I would park there for work if I didn’t take the train.

I have lost my car several times. It’s a silver Honda and there must be a zillion of them.

Once at the airport I carefully noticed I was parked on the orange level. Coming back, I found out all the levels were orange! Had to walk around beeping my fob to find it.

Another time I drove to work and stupidly took the train home. I couldn’t find my car in the train lot anywhere! Then I remembered it was still in town. Had to ride another train back in and retrieve it.

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wildchild2x2

Lost a generic rental car on the streets of Solvang once. I remembered it was near a bakery. Anyone who has been to Solvang knows a bakery without noting the name is NOT something to use as a landmark.

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socks

Yes, I have had that happen in a massive parking structure. It was upsetting, and I felt stupid. I found it by pushing the panic button. (Really didn't want to do that as I wasn't sure how to shut it off.)

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georgysmom2

My DH truly lost his car in a parking lot. It was at the airport and he new exactly where it was parked because he commented to a friend that his parking aisle was the same # as his flight #. Airport security drove him all around just the same. No car. The car had been stolen.

There have been several times when I had difficulty but I was busy looking for a red SUV (my car) , when I had taken DH's car that day and his car is not red. :-))))

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lindaohnowga

My little car is bright yellow. You can spot it anywhere. I love my Tweety Bird.

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eld6161

This thread reminds me of visiting Florida many moons ago. People attached Bright colored pom poms to their antennas.

Getting back to the question, yes I have. Sometimes it with DH. He thinks I am noting the spot and I think he is.

I have used the lock button so that my car will beep.

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kathyg_in_mi

Yep!

But at Walmart here the aisles in the lot are numbered and I always park in #6. And at Meijer's I always park out from the J, for Jill my DD. Don't lose them there!

I remember that as a teenager I took the car, Rambler, and had my little brother with me. I had to run into a store and since I could not turn off the car or it would not restart, he was supposed to stay in the car. Of course, he did not and the car was stolen! Felt so bad when I had to call my step Dad and tell him.

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bleusblue2

My story is worse and I'll just give the outline. We seldom needed to drive in the city. After making a few trips around town, we parked the car on a side street and went to a restaurant that happened to be near our home. It was so close to home we forgot we'd driven and walked home. Some time later went to the garage and were stunned to see the garage empty. Reported it stolen. Went through the ordeal of insurance contact, etc. One day a couple of months later, right before the insurance payment was settled, I was sitting in that same restaurant and looking out the window noticed a familiar car parked on the side street. "Has that car been there long?" I asked the owner. Nobody had noticed it. I went out. The windshield wipers held more than a dozen parking tickets! Our car. I called the police. The officer said he had the same model car because it was hard to break into that car. We appeared in court and got a break on the parking tickets too.

ETA -- a more serious variation on Lars' adventure!

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Fun2BHere

Once when I was traveling, I had to make an emergency trip from the city I was visiting. So I parked my rental car in the unfamiliar airport long term lot. When I returned, I couldn't even remember what the rental car looked like. Luckily, most rentals back then had the description and license plate number on the key ring. The nice parking lot shuttle driver drove up and down each aisle in the huge parking lot until we found the right car. This was before cell phones.


@bleusblue2, I would have been so embarrassed to have to confess that my car wasn't actually stolen. You're lucky you hadn't already bought a replacement vehicle.

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amylou321

Sometimes. Its really only an issue when I swap cars. I usually drive my Corolla. But for certain trips I drive my SUV. I do not drive it often and therefore when I come back out of wherever I am I start looking for my little Corolla ans will walk by my SUV more than once before I remember that I am driving THAT car. But once I remember what car to look for im good.

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summersrhythm_z6a

Not in real life, but I have done that many times in dreams.

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aok27502

I took my friend to a medical procedure, driving her car. It was at Duke University medical center, which has a gigantic parking garage. I made careful note of where I had parked her small silver sedan.

Much later that day, I returned to the garage. I went to the right level, but the car wasn't where I expected it to be. I resorted to walking around, pushing the horn button on the remote. I finally found it, and realized that I somehow came up a different elevator, and was on the opposite side of the structure.

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Elizabeth

Years ago, I drove my husband's pick-up truck to the grocery store. I hardly ever drove it. Yep, when I came out I was looking for my SUV and was in a panic. It took me a couple minutes to recall that I had his truck. I then wondered if this is what Alzheimer's feels like.

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salonva

Yup. I find it used to happen more when it would be in crowded parking lots of places I frequented. ( kind of like the supermarket, or walmart). I would go so often and just park wherever I saw the first spot so there was no routine to that. Kind of mindless parking which made it harder to have any recollection of where I parked. I remember quite a few years ago running to do an errand while DD was at some activity, and I needed to pick her up promptly. I was really in a panic because time was running short and I took a few minutes to find the car. All ended well though, but yes, I have lost the car. Not for more than 5 minutes , but it seems like an eternity.

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Debby

How can anyone NOT lose their vehicle in a parking lot these days? Everyone drives either a black, white or grey Crossover and they all look the same. We've often forgotten where we've parked our vehicles and I always say, "We've turned into the old couple wandering the parking lot.... pretend we know where we are going." My Jimmy is an SUV but because it's not big, it's easy to lose. My husband drives a crew cab Ford F10. He put a roof rack on his truck which makes it easier to find.

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wantoretire_did

DH dropped me off at supermarket and parked our silver gray minivan. I came out of the market and went right to our van, opened the sliding door on the side and noticed a large gift wrapped package on the back sheet, thinking awww. Then looked up at the driver who WASNT DH!! Oops, wrong van. We both laughed and I found DH in our van and no gift on the back seat.

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bleusblue2

Fun2BHere

....< >......

@bleusblue2, I would have been so embarrassed to have to confess that my car wasn't actually stolen. You're lucky you hadn't already bought a replacement vehicle.

~~~~

It was embarrassing but it's made a good story over the years. I mean, nobody towed the car! It was covered in tickets and even autumn leaves as I remember it. The judge gave us a good break on the tickets and I think even he was amused. And we were days from getting the insuror's replacement offer.

Imagine what it was like that afternoon as I sat in that restaurant at a window that looked directly out at our own car parked on the street.

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aok27502

My husband recently bought one of the ubiquitous grayish brownish silverish crossovers. I don't even try to identify it, I just let him lead the way. Although he did add a kayak rack on top, which helps.

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murraysmom Zone 6a OH

I just got a new to me car and I am not used to seeing it yet. So I look for the temporary Kentucky plate on the back. It even has my name on it!!

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pegasus101

Shortly after moving to CA, I went to a shopping mall. Knew the aisle number but couldn't find my car when I came out. Had other people looking. I told them it's a silver gray Toyota Celica with louvers on back window. After about 45 minutes I remembered that I sold that car before moving! Found my "new" car which was black in the aisle where I parked it. I snuck out of there!

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artemis_ma

Not while shopping but I did lose mine at work, when I thought I'd put it in the usual area. But I'd gotten in late and my usual area was filled. So yes, when I left, I for a moment or more panicked thinking it had been stolen.

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artemis_ma

Oh, although I have had my current car since the summer of 2015, I still look for my beloved Subaru Forester. Not so bad that I misplace my own current car while shopping, but every time I see a silver Subaru Forester I definitely want it to be mine. (It lasted 11 years with a LOT of mileage, because I traveled a lot... Khonsu, the ancient Egyptian Moon God - the only car that I ever named.)


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jemdandy

A few years ago, a local fellow had a similar problem. He shopped at Walmart and when he came out, he could not find his truck although he did remember where he had parked it. He called the police to report it stolen. The police arrived to interview him and they suspected he was impaired, however, he gave an very good description of his truck . . . and then he saw his car and remembered that he had driven his car, not the pickup! By then, the Police was certain that he was impaired and proceeded with a field sobriety test - He failed. This gave them a legal reason to search his car. Thy found an open liquor bottle partly comsumed and drug paraphernalia plus additional drugs apparently for sale. He was taken straight to jail. Bummer. He got a pack of trouble for forgetting which vehicle he had driven.

And to think, he had driven on the roads with other people - Shudder.

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matthias_lang

When younger, I never had to make a point of remembering where I parked the car. I just remembered naturally. Once it became clear to me that I know longer was remembering effortlessly, I just had to start making a deliberate effort to set it into my memory where I was parking the car. So far, so good.

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