Monday, September 28, 2009

Come Uppance

Sometimes life gives you a little pat on the back to make up for all the aggravation it puts you through on a day-to-day basis.

Case in point: A week last Saturday I was running errands and had joined a line of traffic waiting for a light so we could all turn left. As I pulled into line a large white panel truck1 a few cars ahead of me pulled out of line and onto the sidewalk. I drew level with a power pole and stopped. Suddenly, my attention was wrested from the gripping story I had been listening to on the radio by the even more gripping sight of the truck reversing at some speed towards me.

I looked around quickly and took what the military call a "sitrep". I was boxed by traffic. There was a narrow space between me and the power pole. The truck still had two wheels on the sidewalk and was approaching fast.

Mr Brain ran a couple of hi-speed simulations for my benefit. Three options seemed most likely:

a) the van would hit the power pole

2) the van would hit The Steviemobile a glancing blow all down the passenger side

♥) the van driver would see the pole, swerve at the last minute and drive the rear-end of his truck directly into me.

Since none of these options were good, the van was still on course for the pole and I was unable to maneuver The Steviemobile to avoid the whole business, I sounded my horn in a couple of short, polite beeps

The truck driver, hearing my warning, chose not to re-appraise his situation and actions, but to go with the standard New York Driver reaction to being informed he might not be cognisant of all the facts of his environment by cursing me loudly through his open window, while adjusting his speed and course by zero mph and zero degrees.

as he shot by my open passenger side window, his loud curses and pontifications of my parents sexual practises and marital status at the time of my birth were punctuated by the sweet sound of tearing metal and crushing glass as his passenger side door mirror was smashed to flinders on the power pole.

I waited, smiling sweetly until the light changed, and let him go before me so that I could luxuriate in the sight of all that twisted, mashed and above all expensive wreckage dangling from his door.

  1. For the UK reader, this is a ubiquitous animal on Long Island, used by any sort of mobile business that doesn't do landscaping, and is about the size and shape of the old long-wheelbase Ford Transit van

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