Thursday, January 7, 2010

Old people: The disgruntled majority

The day after christmas I was riding to work from the lady bear's house. It was a pleasant and sunny day, and I relished the taste of powdered road salt in my mouth. As I neared Greensburg the traffic thickened, and by the time I passed the mall there were hundreds of cars honking and jockeying for position. I rolled through the parking lot of Best Place to Buy Your Soon to be Obsolete Electronic Garbage (I wonder if a more truthful name would drive down sales) and came to a stop at a threating scarlet octagon.

Smiling, I let a car go by, then rolled out and started to pedal away. But before I could travel farther than a gnome could toss a muffin, I was stopped dead by the kind of horse shout that only an extremely cranky old man could muster.  

"Hey! Git the FUCK off the road!"

I got off my bike and swung around to see a portly old fellow sitting next to his smallish wife in a blue hatchback. They were about to exit the Eat'n'Park parking lot.

"Excuse me?" I shouted back

"I said git the fuck off the road! You almos pulled right in front of that car you stupid shit."

"What the hell are you talking about?" I inquired, as I had clearly been stopped at the sign.

He waved in exasperated disgust and put the pedal to the floor of his cute little vehicle to make a quick get away. Incidents like that one happen all the time when riding on the road. Hell, drivers scream like that at other drivers. It is an accepted part of using the roadway.

But lets imagine that chubby man acting the same way in Eat'n'Park, (where someone presumably had pissed in his breakfast.) We'll call him Clevis.

Clevis and his wife are sitting at a booth amid a sea of other elderly couples. It's brunch buffet day, and the tacky chain dinner is hopping (or creaking. because the majority of people inside are old. and creak when they hop) There's a fit young man with unkempt hair headed to the buffet in pursuit of some watery eggs. He stops to let a busboy with full cart of dishes pass, then continues on his way.

Clevis slowly rises from his seat, untucks the napkin from the top of his button down, and throwing it to the table, shakes his fist at the young man and roars.

"Hey! Git the FUCK outa that brunch line!"

Everyone freezes. The usual click clack of silverware on plates and the chit chat of conversation is stopped. The Eat'n'Park is silent.

"Excuse me?" says the perplexed younger man.

Clevis' embarrassed wife tugs at his sleeve imploring him to sit down. "common now clevis. no need to make a scene" she whispers. A roomful of baffled dinners stare, mouths agape. But Clevis is unshaken.

"I said git the FUCK outa that brunch line. You almos walked right in front of that cart of dishes you stupid shit."

Clevis' wife hides her face. The other man is visibly pissed off now, and starts for Clevis, ready to punch him in his fat wrinkly mouth. The manager rushes from the kitchen and asks Clevis to leave the restaurant, or he will call the police. Infuriated, Clevis empties the all the sugar packets from his pockets, and unloads the toilet paper his wife been planning on stealing, weakly throwing it to the ground. He grabs his cane and rushes shakily for the door.

Everyone remaining in the restaurant is in shock. Why would someone scream at a total stranger like that? The gossiping begins. As they approach the edge of the parking lot in their little blue hatch back, Clevis and his wife quickly realize that they will not be welcome back at the Eat'n'Park.

Obviously its not socially acceptable to scream fuck at a stranger. But for some reason, people seem to have no problem doing it when they are in a car.

So my question is, why do people think that being in a car gives them a free pass to be an asshole?

And more importantly, why did an old man have his window open at the end of December? It was damn cold outside.      


Jason said...

People in cars suck. I love when they just scream "fag!!" I mean WTF? Just because I ride a bike that makes gay? Now if I was riding the bike shirtless with assless chaps on MAYBE...

I have learned over time to TRY to be calm with these f*ckers. Too many freaks out there to risk confrontation in the middle of nowhere.

Orrrrr you can do what a friend of mine once told me to do... "that's why you always carry a U-Lock and when the get out of the car you just smash them right in the face."

Dude had some anger issues.

Montana said...

Well I'm a good fsm fearing pastafarian, so I could never do any U-lock face smashing. Although at times it does sound like it would be positively delightful.

But I did just see an on-star commercial where the operator remotely shuts down a car. I would very much like to get my hands on one of those remotes. And a messenger bag sized monkey named Grigalador that could u-lock smash faces in my stead.