• Richard Scrimger

residential street rage


Weird moment this afternoon. I'd say it was instructive but it wasn't. I didn't learn that much. Except that people are odd, but I already knew that.


Mir and I crossed a neighborhood street ahead of a little Toyota which turned off the larger street onto ours, and accelerated past us. The driver was a kid - -22, 23 -- with dark unruly hair and a street-wise face. He was moving fast and Mir gave him the wave that says, Hey, slow down. The kid honked. Mir gave him another gesture. I had to smile at her tough Winnipeg attitude. I figured that was it, and began to walk on.  But now the Toyota backed down the street towards us, stopped, and the passenger-side window came down. And we had a real confrontation.

The following section of dialogue is inaccurate. But it gives you the intent


KID -- Why did you gesture at me?

MIR -- I thought that you were travelling too quickly down a residential street.

KID -- What on earth can you be referring to? The posted speed limit is 40 kms/hr, and I had not yet reached that speed.

MIR -- I do not believe you.

KID -- Well, that is too bad.

MIR -- No, it is too bad for you.

KID -- I think you should do something unlikely.

MIR -- I think you should do something even more unlikely, over and over again.

KID (staring) -- What did you just say to me?

MIR -- You heard me. Why are you getting out of the car? Do you wish to wreak vengeance on me? You are an impossible combination of attributes.

ME (stepping forward) -- Listen, listen. Do we have to do this?  Can't we find a way to settle our differences amicably?

KID -- Person with the glasses, you should do something --

MIR -- Richard, please desist.


There was more, but it was all along these lines. There were a few gestures, and repeated suggestions as to what we could all do. Then the kid geared up and drove off and we continued our walk.


To me, there were two surprising aspects to the incident.    First,  that the kid  would  bother to back up half a block to get into an extended argument with a middle-aged couple.  And, second, that throughout the entire -- I don't know -- three minutes -- even the bit where the kid was thinking about getting out of his car -- everyone was smiling. There was no denying the emotion involved, but at the same time we were all aware that we were behaving in a ridiculous manner.

Like I said at the top, I don't know how instructive it was.  Will Mir continue to yell at overly aggressive drivers?   Probably. Will confrontations ensue?  Possibly.  Are people odd?  Oh, yes.  But then, I knew that.

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Richard Scrimger | scrimgerr@gmail.com | Toronto, ON, Canada