Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Raise it to the sky

I am not a confrontational person. I don't like to stir up trouble. That's a polite way of saying that I'm a chickenshit and am usually too afraid of reprisals to take a stand against assholes. When I was working at the deli in high school my stomach would knot up to the point of nausea any time a customer was a jerk to me, even when the customer was completely in the wrong. I never sic the cops on borderline-dangerous drivers or loud neighbors because I don't want to make a stink or to run the risk that they'll know I was the one to make the call. When someone is rude to me, I'm far more likely to turn red and fume silently and then spend the rest of the day thinking of snappy comebacks.

The one place I'm most likely to stick up for myself is in the car, since in the city you have to be a little aggressive if you don't want to get run down and pushed around. To leave the building where I work, employees have to go through a stoplight at the top of a curve and a hill, meaning that oncoming cars don't see us until we're right at the light. Because there are only a few of us at any one time and lots and lots of cars turning left onto the bypass, if you're not at the light when it turns green, the whole line of left-turners tend to assume they're going to get to go first. I usually just roll on out into the intersection, because I've found that if I hesitate, the turning cars just keep pushing through even though I have the right of way. I did this today, and let me clarify - I did not come close to hitting the other car. The driver did not have to slam on his brakes or swerve to avoid me. If he'd kept on coming, I would have stopped. I wasn't going to play chicken with him. But it was my turn, so I rolled out.

And he slowed, then stopped, and then he starting yelling. Now, I occasionally get the palms-up what the hell? from people at that intersection. I've given it to other people at that intersection on more than one occasion. Every now and then, someone will decide they should've been allowed to break the rules and go first and they'll honk. But this guy lost. his. shit. He was screaming at me and of course I couldn't hear him, but there are certain words that are really, really easy to lip-read. And he was shouting them with such vigor that I'm sure he was spraying his dash with spit. All because I had the audacity to decline his attempt to cut me off in traffic, basically. For once, I didn't hesitate, didn't worry about whether or not it would piss him off. I would've loved a moment to hold up a neatly-lettered sign inviting him to eat a bowl of dicks with a side of entitlement sauce, but there just wasn't time. So I calmly and serenely raised my middle finger high as I drove past him. Maybe I should've been the bigger person, or refrained from baiting a guy who clearly has anger issues, but I say screw it. He deserved it and it felt good to give it to him.

1 comment:

  1. It does feel so good, doesn't it. Especially when you're right.

    On the route to my parents' house there is a series of 4way stops and an entire neighbourhood of people who are befuddled by them. I actually honked at someone a couple weeks ago, it was Awesome. The kids were all, "why did you use the horn?" and I was all, "because that guy was WRONG." I left off the "bitches" at the end that I wanted to add, because they are impressionable children.

    Anyway. Good for you!