One Person

Unfortunately, I had an experience yesterday that reminded me of how angry and impatient people in our society have become, how quickly they are to lash out at strangers, and for no good reason, often for no reason at all.

An older man yesterday decided it was my day to get shit on. I happened to drive into a laneway so that I could drop off something. This man had just pulled into this same laneway ahead of me, and then had pulled back out and parked on the street. I got out of my car, and this man, who looked like a cross between Eddie Albert (god rest his acreage) and, strangely enough, Mr. Ed. This man had pure white hair like Santa Claus, and a face as red as Satan. And what came out of his mouth was stuff I hope my son never hears again. There were also tiny balls of saliva that flew out of his open, angry maw as he shouted at me, and steam I swear coming out of his sizeable, flap-worthy ears.

Anyway, this older man, who should have definitely known better, was screaming at me because -- get this -- I parked in the laneway where he was planning on shovelling. Yes. That's what I did so woefully wrong, obviously intentionally to harm this man, to make life that much harder for him. Apparently, parking in the driveway to drop something off created a huge -- and I mean HUGE -- problem for him. Not only was I now in his way, but I had also seemingly packed down the snow in the driveway with my behemoth of a Honda Accord, and now it was going to be pretty much impossible to clear the drive of all the snow, according to Mr. Satan's Spawn.

Not only did he shout this at me once, not even twice...he bellowed and barked and yammered and yawped about it probably well over twenty times, all the while trying to stab me with his dartlike eyes of ice.

What was so satisfying was my reaction to this barrage of verbal abuse. I was calm, cool, and quiet. I asked him why he was so angry, whether he was actually yelling at me, and then I suggested he calm down lest he have a heart attack. And as I left the driveway, I called out, "Have a great day, sir!"

Now, what I was so extremely proud of was the fact that my normal reaction to such a person's wigged out screaming would be to flail at him with my abnormally long arms, and to scream unmentionable swear words that I can't stand to even think about in my usual, calmer moments. I become a maniac when anyone insults me or someone I care for. I go berserk, distraught with emotion, uncontrollable rage seething through every pore of my sad little body. I am not proud of this fact, but it is indeed the truth, and that's what I'm all about here, so there you go. Now you know. I have even let loose in front of my father and in front of my children, and I still cringe when I think about those times, those moments when I was so insensed, so unzipped that it didn't matter if the Pope had been standing in front of me, ready to baptize me (does he even do that?).

And what I thought of after leaving that driveway and the devil spawn that stood there with his beloved shovel and gleaming snowblower, snearing at me, was thank god these unhappy, nasty people are few and far between in this great world of ours. I thought of the man I met a couple of months ago, who had backed into my car when we were at a stop light. This man made the experience almost enjoyable, if an accident can be described like that at all. He backed into me accidentally (hence, the aforementioned ACCIDENT), and was so gracious and kind and gentle about the whole thing, I still can hardly believe it. You can read more about it here, if you really and truly want to and need to.

All this to say that it only takes one person to remind you that the world is a good place and that everything is not an uphill battle. And those few-and-far-between people who have broom handles stuck up their proverbial asses and think the world revolves around them and their snowblowing issues could learn a very good lesson from my friend Mike.


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