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Sunday, April 3, 2011

Pffft. I Know You Saw Me.

You know what seemed like a really good idea last night? Going to Kathy's for some beers.

You know what really would've been a good idea last night? Writing today's post before I left for Kathy's.

In that spirit, please enjoy this re-worked re-post and think kindly (and quiet) thoughts of me today...


While I have a couple different bus stops I can go to in the morning, I have one I prefer. Sure it’s not as “fancy” as the other bus stops, with their high-falutin’ “enclosures” and their extravagant “posted bus schedules”, but I like it.

All but one little aspect of it, anyway.

You see, this particular bus stop is at a four-way stop.

And already, I’m slightly off the point because “four-way stop” is a misnomer. There may have been a time when the “stop” bit of it was accurate. Or it’s possible that the phrase “four-way pause” was already taken.

Maybe “four-way hesitation” was too flip.

As a walking person, as a citizen of the sidewalks, I take offense at the rolling-stop, particularly in a neighborhood with foot traffic, with sidewalks and strollers and children and dogs. On my two feet, I stop, I look, I cross streets quickly as both a safety measure for myself (I am soft, cars are crunchy) and as a courtesy to those safely encased against the elements by glass and metal.

Now if we could get the cars to do it.

Do I sound bitter? I do? Why, it was just the other day that I had a small “Midnight Cowboy” moment.

Raining, the air heavy with pollution particles encased in humidity, I was well into the intersection next to the bus stop when a car pulled up and proceeded to roll through its legal obligation.

Maybe she didn’t see me, me with the blue skirt and the orange umbrella.

“Hey!” I shouted, using the umbrella to soundly whap the front end of her car. “I’m walkin’ here!”

I don’t look like Dustin Hoffman, but I play him in the streets.


I pulled the hip-side of my skirt around, now smudged with the salt that had, just moments before, been on her car. I looked accusingly at her.

She didn’t get out of her car to see if I was all right – perhaps the crazed look in my eye as I contemplated how much psi it would take to break a headlight with a collapsible umbrella made her think twice.

I watched as she pretended to brush her hair from her temple, all the while casually locking the door with her elbow and staring fixedly ahead.

Frankly, I’d have locked it, too.

Of course, for the next five minutes or so, as I waited for the bus, I stewed in my little raincoat. How dare she not see me! Twit! Nincompoop! Treader of other people’s toes! And she calls herself a driver?! Driving is a privilege, not a right! I should make a citizen’s arrest! Why I oughta…

And then the bus pulled up. The warm, dry bus.

And I mounted the steps, collapsing my umbrella-cum-car-beater.

And I relaxed.

Until next time, my metal-encapsulated adversary.

33 comments:

Yandie, Goddess of Pickles. said...

I love that you hit her car with your umbrella. Sometimes, depending on my mood I'm really careful about making sure cars come to a complete stop.. other times, being a pedestrian with right-of-way I will determinedly step right into the cross-walk and stare-down the oncoming driver, saying 'come on, I dare you to run the stop.. I will sue you into litigational oblivion...'

Pearl said...

Yandie, I made the decision to slap the hood of any car that got that close to me quite a while back and have yet to regret it. It freaks me out how few drivers are thinking, esp. first thing in the morning, of what or who else might be on the road. I am pretty darn careful, however, to watch for them, because I am definitely going to lose in any car/walker battle...

Leenie said...

You are so right about people living in another world when they're behind the wheel. Dreaming. stewing, yelling at...WHATEVER. Of course the worst ones are the phonies thinking they can't even go through the school zone without telling someone about it.

Almost got taken out in a cross walk by an airhead in a bigwheel making a left hand turn. She kept her cell to her ear and gave me a wide-eyed OMG. I shot eye daggers. Wish I'd had an umbrella.

Bossy Betty said...

You should drink beer more often because I like reading re-posts. Is it wrong of me to wish I had seen this interaction in person?

Dawn @Lighten Up! said...

Methinks the umbrella would make a fine anal probe for her, your metal nemesis.
Also? Going out for beers seemed like a really good idea to me last night, also. Today - not as much. Eeee.

mrwriteon said...

You fight back. You're feisty. I like that about you along with a lot of other things. Now, be gentle with yourself today.

Douglas said...

Haven't I told you before? Alka-Seltzer on the morning after or Aspirin before bed the night before. Or both. My long history of binge drinking at the drop of a suggestion has taught me that much.


Somewhere in Southern California, there is a full size Mercury with a size 11 heelprint in its hood. Though that hood might be in a junkyard now since that was 42 years ago.

Sioux said...

Perhaps you SHOULD use the pointy end of your umbrella to poke into ONE of their orifices...You choose.

Daisy said...

I heard that tomato juice helps! Otherwise, pull the shades, lock the door, unplug the phone, put some ice on your head and remember how much fun last night was!

This post reminded me of a video
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MEixnAEwjM8

aim for the area of the car that explodes the airbag!

Belle said...

I remember reading an article in the paper when I lived in Vancouver, a very busy city, about people hitting pedestrians that stand on the corner. He said many people in town had died because they stand too close to the street. I quit doing it after reading that.

You are right, drivers don't always pay attention so we pedestrians have to take care of ourselves. I'm glad you weren't hurt.

jenny_o said...

Reminds me of my grandpa and a little verse he liked to recite about bad drivers:

"He was right - dead right - as he sped along,
But he was just as dead as if he was wrong."

It works for walkers, too. Bottom line, as Pearl says: in a collision, the walker will lose. Walkers of the world, be careful out there!

jenny_o said...

Actually, my grandpa's verse was not for the truly bad drivers, it was for drivers who were technically in the right but put themselves and others in danger by not yielding to bad drivers.

Gotta start editing myself better :)

Green Girl in Wisconsin said...

Ack! The nerve!

Rene/ Not The Rockefellers said...

"Hey Lady!... I'm fallin' apart here!"

The image of you stewing in your little raincoat...heh...Oh my goodness, Pearl.

Eva Gallant said...

Glad you weren't hurt and glad you gave her a piece of your umbrella!

Simply Suthern said...

Ya might want to get a raincoat from somewhere else than Target.

Pat said...

Love the MC moment. Can you do the walk?

Holly said...

It's hard to be soft in a crunchy world.

On My Soapbox said...

I've thumped a few hoods in my time. Saved my ass from being run over!

Gigi said...

Well darn it! Had you told me that everyone was going to Kathy's for beer - I would have BEEN there. Despite the trek to get there from here. I'm sure by now you are feeling at least half-way human....I hope.

Amanda said...

Binge drinking is on my diet plan. There's no eating the next day! J/K

Cake Betch said...

I've been on both ends of the spectrum. I've almost been run over by someone backing their car out of a parking spot but I didn't think to hit the car.

I've also almost accidentally hit someone because they were walking and I wasn't anticipating them being there.

I really get pissed off though when pedestrians just walk in the road even if they don't have a light because they know that even if they're jaywalking and I hit them I'm at fault so they take it as a free license to walk into the middle of the road when I'm doing 35 miles an hour.

Amrita said...

A minor thing in our chaotic Indian traffic

Jhon Baker said...

Good for you - I can think of a lot of things I would like to do to the cars that roll the stops or worse - my limp, after all, comes from one of these blighters.

lisleman said...

Sounds like it was just four signs stuck in the ground. They could signs for anything. Maybe zombie warnings. You need to get your own signs to stick on their car windshield next time.

Rawknrobyn.blogspot.com said...

You're an excellent pedestrian, Pearl Hoffman. You had every right to work your umbrella. Good thing you weren't hurt.
Even your pieces about near death experiences (or egotistical drivers who ignore people carrying orange umbrellas) are so much fun to read. I admire you for that.
xoRobyn

Deborah said...

I love the way you write, it just delights me! LOL

Roses said...

Good for you! Whack that car.

the walking man said...

We don't have any problem like that here. Some groups stole all of the street signs to sell for scrap metal. No one has to stop. I just thank god traffic lights are very heavy.

Gaston Studio said...

I would have been furious and probably would have smashed her window with my umbrella... while the adrenalin was rushing thru my body nd my heart was pounding at the near miss some stupid, uncaring so-called "driver" avoided, through no responsibility of their own. Can you tell I'd be pissed??

Glen said...

I think I'm being a bit thick - why did the car hit you at a bus stop? I'm not sure what's going on with Rolling stops

Boom Boom Larew said...

Hey! I'm walkin' here! Smack that headlight, Pearl!

jules said...

Heh, heh, care ARE crunchy. Too funny that you saw her slyly lock her door with her elbow. Maybe you should have broke her light. What was she going to do? No, really, WHAT was she going to do about it? Nothing, because she was wrong!