I was approaching an intersection on my way home a couple of days ago when I suddenly heard frantic honking. I was still half a block from the intersection, and I could see a guy in a pickup approaching from my left. He was also about half way down the block. I could see him looking at me as he tapped his horn. He then held up his arms in a shoulder shrug as he mouthed, “What’s the deal?” It must have taken a couple of seconds for things to register for me. I even looked around to see if there was another vehicle he might be gesturing to. But I was the only one. I eventually realized that he somehow assumed I was going to run the stop sign, and was angrily waving me off.
My knee jerk reaction was definitely negative. With my left hand committed to the clutch as I geared down and my right hand busy with the brake, I had no free manipulative organs with which to express my reaction. I did mouth back something, but I don’t really remember what. As I stopped at the intersection, I watched him roll through looking at me instead of at the road. He still had his hand up, not on the wheel, apparently completely absorbed in his feelings of injury.
Needless to say, I made my way home with less than respect for this individual. Motorcycles accelerate and decelerate more quickly than cars, so it’s possible I was approaching the intersection more quickly than he expected. But he began honking with more than half a block still ahead. It was way too early to have any idea I might run the sign without tarot cards or a ouija board. But the worst failing on his part was his complete disregard for his surroundings as he transited the intersection. He was so wrapped up in his self-righteous indignation he would have simply run over anyone, or anything, that moved into his path at the last minute. I’m sure that if he had taken out some kid on a tricycle from the nearby apartments, it would have been my fault for distracting him. Too bad he doesn’t appear to hold himself to the same standards he would hold other drivers.
Oh well, at least he saw me.
－ Guy Wheatley