04 February 2009


A funny thing happened on the way home from work one day this week.

Both funny ha-ha and funny-interesting.

I was waiting for the light to change, and there's a gas station on the corner. With a right turn lane next to it.

It's a real, true, profound pain to get out of that gas station at the best of times, if you don't want to make that right turn.

Somebody wanted to get out of the gas station, and pull into the second lane over - the one next to the right turn lane - just behind me.

I scooched up to try to help them out, but the person in the Jeep in front of me, who had two full carlengths ahead of him, didn't move.

I scooched up a tiny bit more, and the person seeking to escape the gas station tried to scooch into my lane so they wouldn't block the turn lane...

... and the oblivious soul in the Jeep remained oblivious ...

I flashed my brights, quickly, twice, and waved out my window to try to get his attention, and pointed behind me at the person trying to scooch in [who was now keeping someone from making that right turn]

I got his attention, all right. He gave me 'the finger'.

What happened next was interesting, to say the least.

The person scooching in behind me saw me receive the Unidigital Salute, and at the same time, he realized that the lane next to me, on the other side, still had room for his car. So he scooched over into it, and ended up next to me. I waved, held up both hands in the universal gesture of sympathetic helplessness, shook my head. He held up both hands and shook his head in the universal gesture of understanding helplessness. Pointed Jeepward, and thumbed his nose.

I nodded and laughed.

The light turned green. All the cars in my lane started to move. Except for our mutual friend in the Jeep, who remained perfectly still. Perhaps he didn't notice the light had changed; perhaps he was continuing to be an obstructionist.

It really doesn't matter.

For Lo, my foxhole buddy from the gas station

went - zoom - nipped neatly over in front of him, and was gone.

Whereupon Jeep Person realized that. if he'd been sitting there intentionally, all he'd done was give a break to precisely the person he'd been trying to, umm, jerk around in the first place.

And off he went - looking more than a little - Jeepish.

Now, what's interesting about all this is that

I was never even slightly angry during any point in this process.

I would not have acted out, previously, but I would certainly have been vexed. I would have found Jeep Person very affronting, and probably would have practiced my scatological vocabulary, in several different languages, on the drive home.

What's more, I might have christened him "Jeep Jerk" here, in recounting the tale, and it would have taken me several days to retrieve the humor in the situation.

Rest assured, I do most definitely consider him a jerk. He was, most definitely, abusive in his response. But - he was a transient, minor annoyance at worst. And it was so funny to watch the other car nip over into his lane, right in front of him, and take off like a pocket rocket, while he was sitting there trying [perhaps] to make my life just that little bit more unpleasant. [Maybe.]

It was funny, it was perfect poetic justice, and I made it through the light myself with plenty of time to spare.

And the funny perfect justice is the part that I will greatly note and long remember.

This is progress, people.

And yes, I realize that this is not so very different from my recent experience at Mr. Singh's place of business.

That is greatly encouraging.

So... we press on.


A comment on comments:

I've decided not to post comments for awhile.

I need to focus on this process. Once I'm through, and out the other side, I'll reopen posts to comments.

Thanks, everyone, for your understanding.

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