We all need a hobby, and apparently my new hobby has become scaring the bejeebus out of old dudes while threatening to mow them down in my car. I was unaware of that this was my new passion, but apparently it is. Twice in the last couple of weeks I have been accused of such with a shake of a cane and a waggle of a finger as I merely tried to turn in or out of the driveway at work.
The first time I had no idea what this old fella was going on about. I clearly saw him. I stopped a yard or two in front of him. Yet as he made his way across the parking lot entrance, he felt obliged to mutter at me while shaking his cane in my general direction. I made sure I he had fully cleared the driveway before I continued to pull in. His anger at me was truly puzzling.
Not so puzzling was why the fellow today was pissed off. And under normal circumstances I would feel horrible about scaring someone like that, and would have been full of apologies. But, this was hardly a normal driver/pedestrian near miss.
This time I was pulling out of the driveway. The busy medical center where I work is located on a very busy thoroughfare. After I made my way up the ramp to the head of the driveway, which was free of pedestrians at that time, my attention was focused to my left as I waited for a clearing to turn right. Now, I’ve walked up this street many a time, and many a time I have had to wait as a car waits to make its turn. And I’ve had pedestrians have to wait for me, or perhaps pass behind my car. But never before have I encountered anyone who has attempted to walk in front of my car when my focus was clearly to the left.
When traffic cleared I made a break for it right as this elderly fellow decided to start walking in front of my car. I did not hit him, only startled him I guess. I was pretty damn startled too. Normally, my next instinct is to make apologetic gestures to show how deeply sorry I was about my mistake. I can do a mean mea culpa when I want to. But, this time was different. Rather than looking startled or frightened about the near miss, the old guy just stood there and glowered at me. I gestured to him that it was safe for him to pass. He continued to glower at me. I gestured again. More glowering. Seriously, the guy stood there for a good minute or two and glowered. Any sympathy I had for him was quickly dissolving.
Eventually when he did start to move he did this whole pantomime with his arms up in the air acting like he was afraid I was going to hit him. After he had cleared the front of my car, he continued his silent condemnation. And since the opening in traffic had passed, I was forced to continue to look in his direction waiting for the next clearing as he exaggeratedly shook his finger and then proceeded to make fun of my physical appearance. It was not a pleasant experience.
Perhaps I need to reconsider this new hobby. It’s not really all that much fun. Maybe I’ll take up knitting again instead.