Sunday, December 30, 2012

A Charming Chap

About a week ago, I was driving up through nearby Salzburg on a rainy evening to get some gas at the edge of town. I choose to get my gas at BP stations, since the last I heard, they still carried American-made gasoline. The rain was fairly heavy, but still being just before Christmas, drivers were hurried, harried and careless. As a result, I ended up doing 25mph through the residential area, instead of the posted 35mph allowed, since people kept pulling out in front of me.

I’d no more than eased down to that speed when I thought that I heard a horn behind me. Looking in the mirror, I noticed the fellow behind me blinking his lights every few seconds. I figured it was just some impatient kid and thought no more of it. A half-mile or so up the road, I came to the edge of town and pulled as close the center-line as I dared to wait on the oncoming traffic so I could make my turn. I expected the impatient driver to go whizzing around on my right side, but he seemed to have disappeared. A couple cars that had been behind him did take the chance to pass.

As I walked toward the back of the truck to the gas pump, a little silver car with a grey-haired driver about my own age pulled in not far behind me, though not exactly by the pump. He was turning the air blue with comments about my pedigree and my driving, and when I looked at the headlights, I recognized the pattern as being the car that had been behind me blinking his lights. At first, I tried responding logically to his comments, but he wanted none of that. Finally, I got so disgusted that I did something I hadn’t done in nearly 40 years. I called him out! Now he looked to be in better shape than I, and I never could fight worth a hoot, so had he accepted my challenge, I may well have gotten my clock cleaned. Interestingly enough, he chose to stay in his car and cuss.

As I turned and picked up the pump handle, my wife realized that something was up and stepped out of the truck, only to be verbally abused by the fellow. That really torqued me. As tempting as it was to walk over and punch the guy through his open car window, I realized that I’d probably go to jail for “defending my wife’s honor.” So, I told my wife that he was just trash and not to waste her time worrying about him. At that point, he flew her the bird. The other folks pumping gas were already watching the situation and laughing. They laughed even louder at what followed.

My wife got the stern look on her face of the sister who basically raised her six younger brothers and sisters and did the sliding of crossed forefingers that that meant “shame, shame” in the old school-yard of years ago. The guy got a funny look on his face and drove off without saying another word. The surrounding customers saw it all and laughed even harder.

As we discussed him later, we figured that he’d probably been drinking. We also figured that many years ago, he had a grandmother, mother or older sister who sometimes kept him in line by using the old reminder of his brattish behavior. Or maybe it was just the laughter that did it. © 2012


Isserfiq said...

Frightening the sort of freaks you find out there. There are more of them than you can believe. Be careful you never know if one of them nut jobs has got a gun. A little while back I had one like that with his hat cocked sideways and his pants below his but in the line behind me at the credit union making all sort of rude comments about me for no reason at all. I worked real hard to ignore him and not just clean his clock. But for the legal consequences I would have.

Chickenmom said...

He probably remembered the utter horror and embarassment you would feel when an adult would look you straight in the eye and whisper "Shame, shame on you!" You just KNEW you were going to get it when you got home...

Phyllis (N/W Jersey)

Gorges Smythe said...

There doesn't seem to be any allowance for righteous indignation these days, Isserfiq. At one time, those sort of guys would get tired of getting thrashed and start behaving themselves.

You're probably right, Phyllis.

Le Loup said...

Well done, though I am glad it did not come to blows. Ignoring them I guess is the right thing to do, but sometimes it is so bloody hard to do the right thing!
Regards, Keith.

Ralph Goff said...

That is just disgusting behaviour. When did people start to become so impatient and downright ignorant and intolerant of others? And I'm still trying to figure out what you did to make this guy think he was justified in criticizing your driving.

Kev Alviti said...

I hate confrontation like that. You did the right thing, the trouble is these days (and the same was true in the past I bet) he could be carrying a weapon or not stop if he knocked you down, causing you serious injury or worse.
This is one of the reasons I stopped going out in pubs and the like, some people just look for trouble

Phillip said...

Sounds like a very likeable person, and this the season of good will. Happy New Year to you Gorges.

Pumice said...

Why don't you Google "People blocking traffic with their old trucks" and see if he has a blog. You could then link it and get him hundreds of comments about his behavior.

There are times when we are probably better off letting our wives come to our defense before we do something stupid.

Grace and peace.

Rick Kratzke said...

Unfortunately there are ignorant people like that where ever we go these days and like you I would have had a few chosen words of my own and probably had called him out as well. I say why sink to his level when he is the one with the problem.

HermitJim said...

Just another example of why I became a hermit! Basically, I just try and stay away from other folks.

Way too many of this kind out walking about! Scary!

Brian said...

I reckon that you did the right thing by calling his bluff and yes he could of done this or that. But he did'nt he hid in his car because he knew he was safe. I give respect always, I don't get upset over silly things but when its required I would do the same . If you shout and swear for no apparent reason you deserve whats coming :)

Gorges Smythe said...

Thanks, Keith.

My driving may not always be the fastest, Ralph, but I always seem to get to where I'm going!

I'm with you on the pubs, Kev!

Maybe he was just into the Christmas "spirits," Phillip.

I tell you, Pumice, that five-foot woman stands TALL!

Agreed, Rick.

That's why I like dogs, Jim, they're more honorable!

Thanks, Brian.