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Monday, June 20, 2005 

Souped up alphabet...

I think I am a fairly tolerant and laid back person and rarely irritated to the point that I become violent or abusive. I rant a lot, but that is my venting mechanism… one that helps me stay sane. I do not suffer in silence, yet harbour no ill-feelings towards others. I have learnt see the lighter side of many situations and would rather marvel at how situations arise then let them get the better of me. Yesterday, however, almost became the exception. I became involved in an incident that could easily have escalated into something really nasty. I am thankful that it didn’t and I hope that it will never happen again. It is Father’s Day and we go to the Mall in Rosebank for a Father’s Day lunch. The whole friggin happy family is there… mother, father, kids, grandkids… you name it. We are an invasion! It is a beautiful winter’s day…the sun is shining and the temperature somewhere in the mid to high teens… and we are quite a jovial bunch. We walk around the flea market (amazing place!) for an hour and then have lunch at one of the steak houses. Lunch is great… Dad's grinning from ear to ear, the kids (young and old) are stuffing their faces like its feeding time at the zoo. Two hours later… post loads of laughter, a few pints and a good meal… we pay the bill, say our good-byes and I head back to my car. Now the Mall has one of those automated pay-points for parking… you basically collect a ticket on your way in and at the end of your stay pay the fee at the automated pay point. Quite simple, really. I am parked underground and I decide to drive to the pay-point, which is on my way out (rather than walk back and forth). I would park my car on the side of the road (basically double-park) dart across and pay the fee. The road is suitably wide and there is enough space for another car to pass without obstructing on-coming traffic. When I reach the pay-point, there is a small sedan behind me… inside, a woman with two kids. One’s a teenager and the other a girl of around 10. I signal in advance that I am going to stop, move over on the side of the road and indicate that the road is clear and that she can safely pass. I get out and when I cross the road when she starts blowing her hooter at me… not just once... but a long, persistent blowing of the hooter. She shouts in my direction and by her hand gestures I can see she is pissed off. I feel bad so I walk back until I am directly opposite her car and explain to her why I had “parked” my car there. I still indicate to her that she can drive along as there are no cars approaching. The car coming up behind her does exactly that and he drives past without any problem. She barely lets me finish and unleashes a torrent of abuse in my direction. And when I say abuse, I mean all of it… the f’s and the b’s and the whole of the c’s. I think she is bloody hilarious! She ends off by calling me a “doos” (doos= idiot/c*nt). With that remark she crosses the line. I no longer feel friendly and I am ready to square off and give it to her. There are about 4 ppl at the pay-point and they are listening to our little tête-à-tête with interest. I am about to do my own tribute to four letter words when I see the faces of the two kids in the car. They are the saddest faces I have seen in the l-o-n-g-e-s-t time. They are obviously embarrassed, but sad nonetheless. And I realise that they are the real victims of the situation we had gotten ourselves into. It is Father’s Day and there is no man in the car… perhaps he is at home, or perhaps there is no dad around. Having seen the mom in action, I can’t say I would blame him. I look at the woman and decide it is not worth it. I say to her, ‘I think you have it wrong there madam, we have clearly established that you are the doos, both literally and figuratively’, and with that I walk away. As she drives past the pay point, she gives me the finger. Gotta hand it to her, she is tenacious! I actually smile back, wave and wish her a good day. I know that stopping my car opposite the pay point is not the courteous thing to do. It seemed practical at the time and so I took my chances. It did not sit well with the woman in the car behind me, but the situation that ensued should have been avoided or resolved calmly and with dialogue. I wonder though what would have happened had I been the aggressive type. Worse still, what if she had been an aggressive man… would I have woken up in hospital this morning?


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