But you have to realize something. It’s not my fault. I’m one of the good guys.
I’m a firm believer, as I have likely stated on this space many times before (or at least to my wife on a regular basis) that common courtesy is no longer a given in our world anymore. Doors are not held open as often as they should. Smiles and ‘hello’ have become a rarity. The art of the apology has given way to stares, ignoring, and just plain ol’ assholedom.
What the F?
Case in point: Recently, while running some errands for my job, I was taken out to the surrounding areas of our wonderful community to pick up some sections of scaffold that someone was kind enough to loan to me. Nice enough, right? Well, unfortunately, the incident I am about to describe had nothing to do with that other than it took me to the scene of the incident itself.
You see, I pulled into a grocery store parking lot to grab a few additional things for later that evening’s dinner. I was following another gentleman in a, what I truly felt, was a beautiful Ford truck. Deep burgundy color, black wheels, and obviously well cared for. As we both pulled into our respective diagonal parking spaces, I, in my Toyota truck, was just behind the Ford. I shut off the ignition, removed the keys from the car, and opened my door to head into the store.
All of a sudden, WHAM, something hit my car. As I looked up, I noticed that the fine gentleman in the Ford had opened his door directly into my passenger fender so hard I actually felt the vehicle (now, remember, this is a full sized pickup here) move side to side, almost in a gentle cradling motion were it not for the fact that this cradle was leading to a shaken baby syndrome effect.
The asshol– I mean fine upstanding gentleman, who I had assumed did not see my vehicle pull up next to him, turned my direction just as I was looking over to find the source of the earth shaking jolt. We made eye contact.
“Are we OK over there?” Said I…
Nothing. Just a glare, and then he stepped from his car and proceeded into the store.
Wow. Really? Did this just happen??
This is a moment. What are my choices? Do I yell at the man, assuming he is hard of hearing? Do I ignore the behavior, perpetuating it for future victims? Do I take out my roughest key and, in a fury induced state of revenge, scribe the entire opening sonnet of Romeo and Juliet into his side panel?
I’ll leave him a note. Simple enough.
I wrote on a small piece of paper a straightforward message, one that I felt, would not anger him, but perhaps bring attention to the fact that we are all here together in this great experience of life.
Here is what it said: “Thank you! Have a nice day!”
I placed this simple message of attempted empathetic understanding upon his massive windshield, and proceeded to take a quick photo of his license plate, should his first response to the note be something similar in nature to the Shakespearean response above, but more likely the starting lineup for the next NASCAR event.
That’s when things got a bit sketchy.
“WE GONNA HAVE A PROBLEM HERE?!?!” Was what I heard over my shoulder.
I turned around to notice a nice enough looking gentleman, likely in his late 50s, staring me down with a hint of red in his eyes. Perhaps it was bouncing off of his truck’s paint job, but I didn’t exactly want to inquire.
“No problem, I was just hoping for an apology for hitting my car.” Said I in a shaky voiced return.
“I ain’t apologizing for shit, expecially (I know, I misspelled it on purpose) not for that piece of shit Toyota!” Retorted the Lord of Wit.
It was then that the entire de evolution of our species began.
I, after the altercation came to and end, decided it went down like this: Jackhole of the year didn’t see me pull in behind him. He opened his door in the blind excitement that only can come from Keystone Light being on sale, and struck my door, blowing his buzz.
Because real men don’t admit to nothin, he first went with the option of straight denial. The “I didn’t do shit” defense, if you will. When that didn’t work, due to the fact that the white paint from my car was clearly on his door edge, he went with plan B – Get all up in the liberal wuss’ face.
Because all I was actually looking for here was an apology along the lines of “Oh, crap, I didn’t see you there… I am sorry!,” but noticed that the chances of that happening were about as great as a Palin Presidency, decided to smile, shrug my shoulders, and kill him with kindness.
“OH, you’re right, sir. I must have somehow encouraged my paint to rub off on your door. Never mind, have a nice day.”
What is so difficult about being nice? Why can’t someone admit, every so often, that they are in the wrong?
If the kind gentleman (or as I recently heard a collision of a water truck and vinegar truck – DOUCHE) would have looked me in the eye, said ‘sorry’ under his breath, or heck, even given me the universal nod of the head that men express when attempting to display emotion, I would have left it alone. Parking lots are the demolition derby of the traffic world, and being the owner of a full sized pickup truck, I figure to get an occasional ding here and there.
But no. Screw you hippy.
Sad, isn’t it? Guess I’ll pay it forward by taking my frustration out on the next thing down the food chain from me.
Wait, isn’t that him?
Sorry, I’ll shut up now.