It’s Wednesday evening, and I’m on my way home. I wander down Great North Road, pondering the format of excel pivot charts and SQL joins. I proceed to cross Ruru Street, as I have done 100s of times before.
I look to my right for any turning traffic, the road is clear, and I proceed to cross.
As I am half way across a shiny black SUV comes tearing round the corner. I barely have time to consciously register it, but my brain has already calculated there is no time to jump out of the way. My only option is to leap back, and hope the SUV manages to stop before hitting me.
It does, with less than 1/2 metre to spare.
Like a possum staring into the lights of an oncoming truck, I stare, startled at the driver directly in front of me.
I see a very angry man passively hiding behind the tinted glass of his air conditioned SUV. He is violently gesturing and shouting at me, fortunately his closed windows protect me from hearing the assumed foulness spewing from his mouth.
I stand there a moment longer waiting for my heart to regain its beat, before mouthing back a *$&# you, and supplementing this with a rather confident and solid 1 finger salute extended directly in front of his face.
A second later, as my heart returns to a regular rhythm, I turn and proceed to cross the street. I am too dazed to even take note of the number plate.
In the corner of my eye, I see he has driven 10 metres down the side street before pulling over.
I momentarily contemplate turning back and pointing out his erroneous behaviour. I reconsider, and wander on home, occasionally glancing back to see whether he has decided to U-turn and attempt to successfully run me down.
I don’t see him.
This individual, whoever he is, epitomises arsehole.
He nearly ran down a pedestrian. He was blatantly in the wrong. But, his first reaction was to transfer blame to me. And not only that but be excessively angry about it. He was the victim here. He has a classic sense of self-entitlement. He is the most glorious person in the world, and needs to broadcast this to everyone by driving a ridiculously over-priced vehicle which he can barely afford, but it’s worth it, as everyone is now able to appreciate his supreme manliness. How dare someone get in his way.
Actually it seems this has been happening a lot recently. Other people have been getting in his way too. He is no longer able to meet the repayments on his car, after being made redundant. He is finding it difficult to find another job. His trophy girlfriend seems to be becoming increasingly blasé about returning his calls.
I snap out of my train of thought as I safely make it home and walk in the door. As I greet Beau, and enjoy some home-brewed cider, my thoughts turn to more serious matters of designing a defence and revenge mechanism for my fellow pedestrians negotiating the the often hazardous streets of Auckland.