I Get Confrontational

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!

No answer.

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.

She did.

Probably, I saved some poor child from certain death or significant injury yesterday.


43 responses to “I Get Confrontational

  1. More balls that brains you have!

    Good on you for daring to do it. She probably thought you were calling the cops or something.

  2. Man, the stupidity of people and cars right now, I swear! Can you believe one idiot parked his black car on the Queensway after the sun went down, with no flashers on and left it there for other cars to collide into? Dumbass.

    Maybe he was ‘unibrows’ husband? LOL.

  3. *wild applause* Well done, you. I hope I’d have done the same, given the situation. I doubt I’d have handled it so smoothly, though confrontational it certainly would have been.

  4. Nat – I’ve actually been accused more than once of having balls. Although I’m never sure what anything that represents a bit of determination should be associated with testicles. I know plenty of people who have actual testicles and no “balls” at all. And vice versa.

    Jazz- Yes, I’m an unsung hero. I may go knocking on her door every time I see that vehicle parked there from now on. Next time I’ll bring my camera.

    Hannah- I didn’t hear about that. It drives me crazy when car owners are totally oblivious to the fact that there are pedestrians and cyclists in the world, too – stopping in the cross-walk, parking on sidewalks or in front of bus stops.

    Susan – Why thank you. I almost didn’t do it. I’d already walked a block or so away just being pissed off thinking about all the poor kids struggling through the slush in their cumbersome snow suits, weighed down by backpacks full of books and then having to figure out how to get around this stupid-assed bitch’s big honkin’ SUV without getting killed in traffic. It just didn’t seem right.

    Skygirl – Not really, but thanks. (see comment to Susan).

    Dr. Monkey – Stupid and rude and selfish and oblivious to the danger and inconvenience they were putting everyone else to. I couldn’t bring myself to not say anything.

  5. I’m impressed. Really, really impressed.

    Remind me not to make you made. 😉

    We don’t have those problems down here. Not only don’t we have the snow, we also don’t have very many sidewalks in town. Of course, the town near us is pretty small, but there is little traffic except on the highways that go through and out of the town, and they DO have sidewalks.

  6. oops…, made = mad (Remind me not to make you mad — darned spell checker doesn’t do too well when the misspelled word is a real word. 😉 )

  7. Good for you!!! That kind of stuff really bugs me too!!

    Funny thing, totally thought you were going to pull out something else! Been living down here way too long! NEED OOT!!!

  8. Can you come to the JCC and confront the broad who thinks she owns the pool every morning? I’d do it, but I’m half afraid that I’d punch her. Or she’d punch me. Either way…

  9. This? Is hot!! XUP: Making the world a safer place for children everywhere. Or, at least, where she happens to be. I’ve used the cell phone maneuver before in the car. People see a phone and automatically assume you’re calling the police.

    (Cell phones at the OK corral: Awesome.)

  10. Oh sure all you lefty pot smoking save the earth types never stopped to think of the environmental damage from making her get out an start up her mega-vehicle to move it a few feet.
    Besides kids shouldn’t be walking anywhere don’t you all realize how dangerous the world is. All people everywhere should be in cars or inside at all times. Any luddites who drag their heels on this are just waiting for tragedy to strike.

  11. XUP! You are a menace! You should have been president of my old condo association. I bet the neighbors would have stuck to the charter rules if you’d been in charge.

  12. Kitty – Thank you Master In-Your-Face

    Mike – Ah, go ahead and make me mad. I might tell you off, but I never hold a grudge.

    Helen – Er –“something else”??? Do you think I go strolling with a weapon? You HAVE been away too long.

    Meagan – You know… punching someone looks easy in the movies, but it’s very difficult in real life. Mostly because you hurt yourself more than you hurt the other person usually and then there’s all that decision making about where exactly to hit and fear of them hitting back, law suits, looking like a cheap Jerry Springer ho…

    Lesley – I’m practically a super-hero. With you saving the animals and me saving the kids, we just need someone who can fly and we’ll be like the magnificent 3 or something.

    Bandobras – Ah, shaddup or you’re next. I have a cell phone and I’m not afraid to whip it out, if necessary. (I’m even braver behind the relative anonymity of a computer)

    Laura – Ya, I do have an unnatural obsession with rules. I firmly believe that rules that make sense need to be enforced and abided by strictly. Rules that don’t make sense need to be broken constantly. Condo rules usually could go either way.

  13. You realize being “the one” to say something is an AWESOME responsibility. And, once you open that can of whoop-ass you cannot close it.

    Welcome to the club. Long may you rant and vent and put those deserving in their place.

    But remember… ONLY use your powers for good.

  14. I’m curious, are there actually parking bylaws regarding blocking sidewalks? Or are you just enforcing common sense?

  15. These are the same people who block the aisles in the supermarket with their carts; and the same ones who have chats with friends while blocking doorways; and the ones who park in front of a driveway because they just have to run into some place for a ‘minute’. For them it’s all about ME, ME, ME! I believe there should be a vigilante committee handing out instant justice for disrespecters. 😉

  16. I do the same ‘rip out the cell’ when I pass a handicapped space and an ordinary car is parked there with a driver inside. You know the excuse, “well I am only going to be a minute”. Actually near me at the grocery store the same 3 cars just see me coming and move out before I get close enough!

  17. Kitty – Yes, I bear the heavy cloak of responsiblity gladly and solemnly. I understand I can now never turn my back on injustice again. Is this true?

    MG – Oah – you’re not even allowed to stop “on or partly on or over a sidewalk” (Bylaw 1-96) — like if you’re going to run in and deliver something. So I guess you could say I’m a crime fighter along with general run of the mill hero.

    Tlj – In my head, I AM a vigilante committee (don’t forget the people who stand on escalators and don’t let anyone by — my faves)

    Kathryn – Yay you! Want to join my cell-phone super hero team? It’s good to know that people care enough to get involved. (Do you have a blog link??)

    Quack – Aw shucks, thanks (she says modestly, shuffling feet)

  18. Aw XUP I am just a lurker! Keep on with the great writing as I pick up great ideas. Love your blog as well!

  19. BWAHAHAHA! i use broad all the time.

    good on you for going to her door.

    i had the same problem one day last week.. funny enough it was also a silver SUV. however this one was parked at Biggs. had i have not been already late for work because i was trudging thru sidewalks that were NOT plowed (city, that means you) on a main road, i would have gone in and bitched.

    this person (now i wonder if its the broad) decided to create the parking lot of the place to her own dimensions adn has the ass of her truck right on the sidewalk, to the edge i might add, which is St L@urent Blvd. how does ones brain not process that there is an end to a parking lot (where, btw, all the others parked properly) and the beginning of a side walk?

  20. Good job! (Note that 1-96 is now 2003-530 and can be viewed online on the City’s website)

    I finally confronted the smokers at the entrance of my building the other day, and told them how their smoke gets into the vestibule, triggering my asthma as I wait for the elevator and making my mornings really unpleasant as a result. It felt very good to finally confront them directly instead of just giving dirty looks and other overly-subtle signals.

    – RG>

  21. RIght??? Only I think your magnificence counts for as least four people all by yourself. So the three of us can be the Magnificent Six. So there.

  22. You go girl! (Personally, I love the word “broad” and use it all the time. Maybe in my past life I was a guy in the 30’s and 40’s?) I’m very proud of you and I bet that even if you didn’t save a kid’s life, you greatly reduced their stress and made their day better.

  23. Good for you! And for the kiddies walking home. My daughter might have the nerve to do that, but it’s doubtful I ever would. Wouldn’t it be nice if common sense were a little more common?

  24. Mo – Yes I am. Woooo-hoooo me!!

    Cedar – I only wish I’d been wearing black leather chaps and a Stetson – and maybe a poncho. Then I would have been unbearably hot.

    Kathyrn – I’m looking forward to the day you introduce your own blog, then!! Say howdy once in a while so I know you’re out there.

    Pinklea – Yay! Thanks.

    Robin – I’m coming out with my own comic book soon.

    Jobthingy – Total oblivion. It’s actually against Ottawa bylaw 2003-530 to even stop your car in such a way that it blocks any part of a sidewalk. You can use this against them from now on. Take away their car for a month and make them walk.

    RealGrouchy – Thanks for the update. The other day at the grocery store there was a gaggle of smokers turning the air blue right under the sign that said “no smoking within 30 feet”. I just stopped, coughed and pointed at the sign shaking my head”. I think they got the message. Next time I’ll speak to the manager because they were all employees of the grocery store.

    Raino – Well, crazy bitches like me and Jobthingy do serve a higher purpose then than just being ordinary crazy bitches. (Don’t forget to live vicariously through RealGrouchy, too. She’s also a CB)

    Lesley – True. True. And your magnificence counts for at least 3 so, now we’re the magnificent eight.

    Geewits – Aw, shucks. And for the record, I think you would have made a fine 1930s or 40s guy – some kind of gumshoe or shamus or something maybe.

    Charlene – Seriously! I don’t even know why they call it common sense, because it really is quite Uncommon. I guess that’s why they keep having to make stupid laws and bylaws that seem so obvious to some of us. Imagine having to make a law prohibiting people from parking on a sidewalk?

  25. Kudos to you. There must have been an evil glint in your eye as you reached for the cell phone.

    We have people who create parking spaces in the parking lot of my building. Unfortunately these are usually at the top of a steep ramp so that people driving UP the ramp from the underground garage can’t see that there is a vehicle directly in their path until they are almost on top of it. With this slush and ice there’s bound to be one heck of a crash one time as someone barrels up the ramp to make it all the way without sliding backwards and …

  26. Violetsky – It would be fun to buy some old piece of crap car and just go around scraping by, bumping into and generally dinging all the idiot cars parked in their own fantasy parking spots, wouldn’t it?

  27. I could so go for that – I have thought about it, but of course,didn’t want to damage my own car and be ‘at fault’, but a stock car – what fun.

  28. Violetsky – Sounds like a fun night out with the girls.

    Lost – Thanks. You can write a poem about me years from now when I’m an urban legend.

  29. Yup

    This is a ‘til death do you part’ sorta deal…

    If you even try and break the code you’ll likely open a rift in the time space continuum and before you know it Bedazzled, acid washed bell-bottom mom jeans will be the ONLY things that fit you.

  30. Good for you. I did the same thing the other night when I was walking my dog and noticed a crowd of people who had decided the local fenced in school yard was a dog park. Now, I am all for the dogs getting exercise but the school yard is not the place. Kids roll in the snow, eat it and build forts with it. It was actually not a confrontation at all. The young couple understood and seemed happy when I told them that there is a great do park up the street. Still I was proud of myself for saying something.