So, yesterday afternoon I was taking my own advice and going for a nice brisk walk after work. It was a beautiful mild day in the nation’s capital, but the walking was tough. The sidewalks were ankle deep in slush and the roads were clear, but very busy because there are 4 schools in my neighbourhood and it was getting close to 3:30 and the buses still aren’t running so there were a lot of parents picking up offspring.
Anyway, I’m slogging along, almost home, enjoying the sunshine when I hit an obstacle — a big, silver SUV parked right across the sidewalk. The driveway already has another SUV in it, so this one had no place to sit but right across the sidewalk butting out into the street.
It’s not the first time I’ve seen this particular set up at this particular house. It really pisses me off. Now, if getting anywhere on the slushy sidewalks isn’t difficult enough, I have the option of darting out into the street to get around this thing, hoping I don’t get hit by a car; walking around the cars in the driveway over the front porch; or, walking on and over the cars. I chose option #2 (this time) and stomped on grumbling to myself.
“Shit,” I thought after half a block. “Kids are going to be getting out of school in a few minutes and will have to dart out into the busy street to get around this bastard’s SUV. Inconsiderate so-and-so. Friggin’, frackin’, clock-stuckin’, blippity-blippin’, frick fracker,” I mumbled marching on.
And then, I stopped. It was suddenly perfectly clear to me that it was my duty here and now to save the children. There was no one else. Only me.
If not me, then who?
So, I turned around and went back to the house. I walked up the front steps to the front door and rang the bell….. Hard!
I rang again.
Still no answer.
I pounded on the door….. Hard! With 2 cars in the driveway, someone had to be home, right?
A big ugly broad opened the door. Her thick, black eyebrows were in a frowny position. (I know “broad” isn’t an nice word, but it’s really the only way to describe her. Sorry.)
“WHAT?” she said, rather rudely.
“Your car is parked right across the sidewalk,” I said in a no-nonsense voice, looking up into her evil, distorted features.
“So, kids are getting out of school in a few minutes and I don’t want them walking on the road.”
“Well,” she said, as if I were the one who was stupid, “As you can see there is another car in my driveway. There’s no other place to park it.”
“Oh, there are lots of other places to park it,” I said meaningfully, waggling my own much sparser eyebrows. “I don’t care where you put it, just get it off the sidewalk.”
“You wanna come in and talk about it?” She said, not in a friendly neighbourly let’s-have-tea-and-cookies kind of way.
“No,” I said. “Do you want to come out and move your car?”
And then… then… I pulled out my cell phone.
I don’t know why. It was an automatic reflex. It happened to be in the pocket of my coat and my hand happened to be in the pocket with my cell phone. I’m not sure if I intended to maybe take a photo of her and her car (even though I have no idea how to work the camera on my cell phone) or maybe call someone; or maybe I just thought I could shoot her with it if she tried anything physical. Anyway, it seemed to do the trick.
“Okay! Okay! Relax.” She said holding up her hands in the classic surrender formation. “I’ll move it, okay?”
“Boo-YAH!” I said to myself, a little disappointed that she gave in so easily. I was all psyched up for a good sparring match (verbal) with someone — anyone after weeks of being a helpless pawn in a game of how-do-I-get-to-work-today.
So now all that was left for me was to nod and give a little John Wayne hitch of the pants and saunter off.
I only went as far as the corner though, so I could watch and make sure she really moved the car off the sidewalk.
Probably, I saved some poor child from certain death or significant injury yesterday.