It’s been possibly two years since I last did a guest post for my dear husband. I think it was a drunken rant. You’ll just have to pretend this one is drunken too as I forgot to drink.
After running some errands for work today, my boss and I decided to take a quick detour through the local Tim Horton’s drive-thru for coffee. This particular drive-thru has recently been upgraded to have two lanes for ordering which merge into one lane to approach the pick-up window. As we are nearing the ordering pillar and I roll down my window I am vaguely aware of some yelling coming from somewhere behind us but my brain isn’t really focused on it as I’m currently engaged in the long standing coffee ritual of “Don’t worry I’ve got it.” “Really? You don’t have to, I have some money.” “Really, no worries, it’s my treat.” “Look I’ve got change right here!” “No, really, it’s ok I have my card, don’t worry about it.” “Oh, ok, well thanks! Medium double-double then!”(c’mon, you’ve all done it). My boss on the other hand, free to look around at the new set up while I order listens to a large amount of ruckus coming from the other lane.
As I finish confirming my order I hear some of the yelling and it seems to be something involving traffic. I also hear my boss say “Get a load of this guy!” So I hesitate before pulling through to the merging lane because I suspect this guy is going to fly right through without looking. My suspicions are confirmed and he pulls through with his large, beat up looking, old, red SUV of some sort and stops extremely close to the car in front of him. As I cautiously approach behind him I can see him leaning out of his window, smoking and yelling incoherently at the car in front.
At this point the scene has my attention but mostly in the ‘uh … wow ok” kind of way as I’m uncertain if the two cars are full of some rowdy kids yelling back and forth or what (that happens a lot here). I become slightly alarmed however when he repeatedly revs his vehicle up to within an inch of the car in front, looking like he seriously wants to run it over. The merge lane rounds a corner of the building and it is then that I can see that the car in front has a single occupant, a small, young woman who is looking purposefully ahead and making no attempts at all to respond to this guy behind her. Unless you count slouching slightly a response.
My attention is now fully on the man as he is continuing to yell and curse at her while coming within inches of rear-ending her car. He stops on the last small movement forward of the line and I think to myself “Ok, this jerk has had his fill of road rage for the day, that was uncomfortable and ridiculous but no real harm done I guess, it’s over.” I am really not a confrontational person and am somewhat ashamed that I have walked by my share of people yelling at each other on the street, trying to pretend I didn’t see it. Lack of courage, self-preservation, societal pressures, call it what you will but I lack the certain something that lets heroes be heroes. I certainly don’t agree with the things I see and this was a perfect example of such, and so I grumbled and agreed whole heartedly when my boss said “People like him are dangerous, drivers with road rage like that.”
I was not expecting what happened next however. Jerk guy gets out of his car and immediately I sit up a little straighter. Every sense in my body fires into overdrive and I experience a pretty severe case of tunnel vision as I watch the guy walk up to the woman’s car. I can’t hear what he’s saying as he bends down into her window but I can clearly see that she is continuing to make no motions to acknowledge him and is still just staring straight ahead both hands on the wheel.
And then he spits in her face.
Read it again. He SPIT IN HER FACE.
At this point, I know, I KNOW, you’re right, it could have been much worse but FUCK THAT! And that is basically what my brain did. I think I actually heard something snap in my head. As the guy smugly walked back to his car I leaned out my window and yelled “Oi! To get his attention and then told him to “Piss off!” In hindsight yelling “Leave her alone” would have been much better but I was enraged. He of course responded with “Mind your own fucking business” and as he did so started to lean towards walking past his car and coming over to my truck but visibly checked the passenger seat first, saw my boss, hesitated and went back to his car. I yelled back to him “How about you not be a fucking asshole!” To which he simply repeated, “Mind your fucking business.”
I really should have said “Dude you’re in PUBLIC, how about you stop fucking harassing that woman and we’ll go back to minding our own fucking business you fucking disgrace of a human being.” But again, I was on autopilot and it seems my rage brain doesn’t articulate well.
He drove away and the adrenalin hit me. I don’t confront people! I was simultaneously proud of myself for saying something and disgusted that so many people are expected to (and like me gladly do) mind their own business in that situation. We did manage to get his license plate number but I’m not really sure what to do with it. I couldn’t see hers and unfortunately when I turned to collect my order I missed seeing where she drove off to as I had every intention of following her (sounds creepy) just to check if she was all right.
This is not okay. This is NOT OKAY PEOPLE! No, I did not know the details of what ever happened to provoke this jerk, but I don’t care. You don’t do that. And people like him need to know that it’s NOT OKAY to do that!
I know that it is hard to stand up, I really really really know. That was my first time ever, it was hard, I felt sick, I didn’t know what was going to happen, but I did it because I knew with 100% certainty that I was doing the right thing because people have a right not to be assaulted.
Maybe she did something really terrible. Maybe she pulled the guys dog from his vehicle and ran it over. Terrible! Terrible person! Deserves trial and jail and punishment! Still a fucking PERSON and deserves the bare minimum of fucking HUMAN DECENCY.
Now for that drink.