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