Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Why you stay so long behind me?

On Tuesday I was upstairs urinating when the doorbell rang, as did the phone. When I came downstairs to check voicemail, I saw a guy removing from our back yard a compressor left by the construction crew. I was leaving to drop off a prescription at the pharmacy, so I took my camera with me as I headed out the door, intending to take a picture of the guy stealing stuff. But he properly identified himself, and I put the camera in my pocket. I drove off to the pharmacy, thinking about the advice I had read to keep a camera in your car, so that you can take pictures of any accident you might be involved in. We have some old film cameras and it might be a good idea to use them for that purpose, I thought.

After dropping off the prescription at the pharmacy, I drove back through the parking lot. There is a place with a stop sign and a crosswalk, where I turn left to go towards home. Recently, I stopped at this sign and an elderly lady in the crosswalk stopped in front of me, turned, and shouted "Can't you see there's a crosswalk here?" I gave her the thumbs up.

This time I stopped at the sign and was there for less than one second when I heard a bump. Thinking a cart had hit me, I looked and saw a car edge back into its parking space. I got out of my car, bringing the serendipitous camera out of my pocket. A woman in her 60s with what seemed to me an Italian accent demanded: "What you doing behind me? Why you...?" I took a picture of her license plate. "Why you stay so long behind me?" she demanded.

"Why did you hit me m'am?" I responded. I looked at my car and there was no damage. Let us all praise plastic bumpers.

"What's your license plate?" she said.

"There's no damage," I slurred, "so it's OK. I won't call the insurance company."

She was still on the offensive. "But I want get your license, just in case," she said, getting some paper and a pen from her purse.

I got back in my car and waited.

"Got it?" I said.

"...But what year is your car?" she inquired.

"Goodbye," I replied, and drove off, giving the horn a good one-second blast, longer than the period of time I had blocked the blind old bat.

Left grip is 30 pounds (28, 26, 30), right grip is 75 pounds (75, 69, 71).

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