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September 14, 2004

politic

technically my old street ended at court street. court allowed only one way traffic to the south and therefore only a right turn was possible. across the street, a half a block to the north and next to a starbucks, dean street began or ended, depending on your perspective on the world and fair trade coffee.

A sign at the end of my street said "All traffic" and an arrow pointed to the right. The sign was put there to supplement the one way directional sign underneath it which clearly wasn't doing its job. A few times a week a car will turn left and make for dean street against traffic. This pissed me off immensely as it does others in the neighborhood. I saw a bicyclist stop a car once, the thirty odd pound frame against a multi-ton hulk. He didn't budge, stern faced, pointing the car back down court.

The memory of this incident came back to me as I was crossing the street a few months back. A dark blue Chrysler sedan made a left and inched in on me, waiting for me to pass. I stopped, already trembling with anger.

"Its a one way street" - I shook my head no as i said it, noticing the pitch of my voice had already risen. He was an ugly man, large pasty face and broad frowning lips. He rolled down his window.

"Thank you very much, thank you". He turned his wheel and passed in front of me. "Thank you very much." He didn't mean it. He meant "F*** you, you little shit" He was smiling.

"A child got hit on this corner last week, because of an asshole like you." I shouted.

this wasn't true, but i couldn't help invoking what seemed to be a universal subject of pity. Had I seen a dog lover bumper sticker, it would have been a beautiful collie that had been struck down, raising its head from the pavement to lick its owners face before it gasped its last breath.

I stood watching his car hoping that he would circle back to get the details of last week's tragedy. perhaps if i told him the boy's name: "Christopher Johnston" maybe, tears would well up in the indentations where his fat face allowed light to his eyeballs. I pretended to write down the license plate as the car slowed and approached the next stop sign - no complete stop.

I haven't been in a fight in years. The potential is still there, but manifests itself only in small incidents. Being skipped blatantly on the pool table at a local bar, being cut in line at the train station...some bastard making a left at a light. at least here, against these local transgressions, I can make an impact.


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Comments (7)

Ohhhh... I recognize that feeling - the righteous anger, the feeling of helplessness and the reluctance to acknowledge it followed by the headlong dive into the only form of confrontation possible (in my case, following rude drivers through parking lots to give them a piece of my mind when they parked... it never occurred to me until later that, instead of the driver being grateful that it was only little me giving him or her a tongue-lashing instead of a huge, bald and burly man smashing them to a pulp, that I might be setting myself up for an untimely death).
I've gotten myself out of the habit. After these confrontations, I found myself weak and shaken, and never satisfactorily successful. :( Lately I just say to myself, "Life is too short..." Although I do allow myself to yell "Slow down!!" to people who are driving too fast on residential streets... then I hightail it outta there. ;)

Posted by: Lala at September 14, 2004 5:16 PM

this is why you need to keep a squirt bottle close by.

it pisses them off just enough. they don't like to have their fur wrankled, but it doesn't hurt them.

Posted by: safire at September 15, 2004 1:39 AM

I appreciate your blogging that...

I know near my home in brooklyn, there is a four way stop sign on our corner. There is also a school situated on one of the corners and it extendes down parallel to my block. Every morning walking to the train some idiot in a car runs the stop sign every morning. I have almost been hit a few times.... One time I wanted to jump onto the guys hood and point out the stop sign...The drivers either don't care or they are so engrossed in their coffee and donut and illegal car cell phone conversation that they would rather kill a small child going to school then call back their friend or eat breakfast at their destination.

Posted by: Chris at September 18, 2004 12:49 PM

Hey Ze.
Love your website(the famous one, not this blog.)
For the sake of one of your fans, could you just check out my site on blogger.com and maybe post a comment? It's The Obsever: by Demosthenes. I just want to be able to say "Hey, geuss who the first visitor to my blog was? Yeah, the cool dude who created "Meine Kleine Drawtoy"! I'm serious, look!"
-TY, Demosthenes

Posted by: Demosthenes at November 6, 2004 7:07 PM

I agree with you

Posted by: Paul at April 3, 2005 9:40 PM

I agree with you

Posted by: Paul at April 3, 2005 9:40 PM

We live outside of Princeton, NJ, on a road that is now a major traffic artery. Our house was built centuries earlier, and even though we are within earshot of Route 1 and a shopping center, we are completely hidden by the long lane of trees, and the maze of windbreaks and fields. My kids pick up the bus at the end of our driveway, and almost every day some jackass hurrying to work decides to gun it and pass the bus, sometimes even swerving to avoid the bus' extended stop arm. I am pretty mellow (read "tired") in the morning, and just remind my kids to be extra careful. My husband, on the other hand, keeps rocks in his pocket and gleefully and forcefully wings them at every car that passes the bus. If the offender is unfortunate enough to get trapped by the red light, he runs down the road and bangs on their car. The bus drivers and the cops think it's hilarious, and the drivers never react in any way other than slinking away.

Posted by: Pam at June 4, 2007 6:19 PM

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