Scorn Race 2000

It happened again.

It was a pleasant morning, sunny, only slightly chilly with a light breeze. I was walking, because I live a couple miles from the nearest bus stop and I had to get to work.

Meanwhile, a man in an orange pickup plastic leaving a coffee shop’s drive-thru,  possibly on his way to work, when he saw a pedestrian passing by and decided to make him scurry. So he sped up on his way out of the parking lot.

He was pretty close to the parking lot’s exit when he hit the gas, and middle-aged fat guys like me don’t scurry very fast. He stopped about two feet away.

Then he tried waving me across in front of him, probably to try to deny he’d just done anything unsociable, with “genuine remorse” and “I regret stopping, ease make yourself easier to run over” as equally unlikely alternate explanations. I crossed behind him instead and went on my way.

– – –

The last rime was about a week ago. It was evening, after a medium-length shift, and I was walking that couple miles home from the bus stop when an ambulance drove by with its lights and siren on. A few other motorists pulled aside for it, as usual, but one of them had an idea.

“I have to pull over and let that ambulance by,” he thought, “but this road has a nice wide breakdown lane. That means I can give the ambulance the road and still get where I’m going at full speed. Win!”

And if there’s someone walking down the side of the road a quarter-mile down, then apparently that worthless fucking pedestrian needs to get off the road or else, because he showed no signs of slowing down and didn’t get back in the lane until afterward. Good thing there was a bit of grass between the road and the drainage ditch…

– – –

I used to have a bike, which I rode with the flow of traffic, so they couldn’t pull the same kind of stunt. Instead they threw things as they passed by. Drinks, usually.

I can remember the dull thunk of a half-full bottle of blue Gatorade as it hit the pavement. I don’t remember much else about that one, but I took notes — the perpetrator was in a gray pickup with a back rack, and my first response (after looking toward the thunk and seeing the bottle slide into the curb) was to mutter “you missed, dickhead” as he drove away.

They didn’t always miss. A blue pickup passed me one night, and the first thing I did when I got home was smell the back of my coat to check whether the soda-fountain cup that had opened itself on my back had, in fact, held only fountain soda.

– – –

It’s usually pickups, I’ve noticed. Not always, but dickheads in cars are normally content to yell and try to startle me, rather than threatening me or trying to force me off the road.

I don’t know why. I’m not a pickup owner myself, obviously, and I don’t currently have any confidants or informants in the pickup subculture who are willing to tell me where this bullshit is coming from. And I don’t want to guess.

Categories: Pieces

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