I meddled in a tiny incident of road rage tonight in my leafy Connecticut suburb and was told by a creep in a black pick-up truck that I could “f– off too.”
I don’t ordinarily get involved. You never know who’s packing, but this guy was screaming at an old man in what bordered on elder verbal abuse. My only regret is I didn’t get his license plate or a video.
Here’s what happened:
The pickup truck driver was heading down a main road and wanted to make a left turn onto a side street leading to our beautiful New England green. He waved the driver out, but he didn’t move. So Pick-up Man made the turn and proceeded to shout “You’re in the middle of the road and I’m trying to let you out you douchebag. I hope you choke on your f—— ice cream.” He actually backed up so he could scream directly into the car window.
I looked at the guy like he was insane and that’s when he fired the F-bomb at me. I think you know what I said back. I’m sharing this because there are jerks everywhere and no community is immune. Our town suffered its latest incident of hatred today when a racial slur was spray-painted on a house.
I’m saddened by this incident, but not surprised. Over the past several months, I’ve seen increasing signs of disrespect around town, including littered streets, smashed mailboxes (including mine), damaged Realtor signs, drivers failing to give cyclists, walkers and runners a decent berth, honking horns and tailgating.
When I first moved to Guilford, CT., 14 years ago, I was charmed by its slower pace and general laid-back vibe. I lived here for eight years without hearing a car horn, even at a right turn on red. People waved you into parking spaces at the supermarket and nearly everyone returned their shopping carts.
I recently met a guy who decided to move here in part because of the supermarket parking lot. He said he and his wife surveyed the lot and were impressed by its blend of white and blue collar vehicles: pick-up trucks, old Saabs, General Motors’ and Ford sedans and sprinkled with some luxury cars. Today, not so much.
You never know where jerks will surface. The guy getting ice cream tonight never expected to get a verbal lashing with his cone. I guess all we can hope for is not becoming jerks too.