Last week after dropping my darlings off at elementary school on a damp and frosty morning, I was stopped at a stop sign waiting to turn right onto a busy street. Because it was hovering around 32 degrees I decided not to pull out into traffic and wait for a larger break in the oncoming traffic in case my wheels spun out on the pavement. When a blaring horn came from behind me, it literally made me jump in my driver's seat because I didn't know anyone was behind me and I was not expecting to be honked at for being cautious.
Well this man kept his hand firmly planted on the horn for a good 8 seconds. Count with me in your head if you will, one Mississippi, two Mississippi, three Mississippi...you get the idea. It was a long time to be laying on the horn. I actually turned around in my seat to see if he had passed out against his steering wheel. But upon seeing him fully upright behind the wheel and using a gesture that signified that his heart and respiratory rate were slightly elevated, I decided I should just turn right and get out of his way.
When I turned right onto the wet street, he yielded instead of stopped at the sign and whipped out behind me. I thought to myself, uh oh. After getting right up to my tailgate he merged over to the left lane and got right up nice and cozy next to me and drove for a bit just outside my driver's side window. I could tell he wanted my attention, so I decided I would grant him his wish and I looked over to see him giving me the exact same gesture as before that alerted me that not only was his pulse and respiratory rate elevated, but his blood pressure was surely up there too!
Satisfied that his message had been received, he then sped up and I am sure he thought that our little conversation was over. I am sure that is what he thought because he seemed very surprised when I pulled into the exact same parking lot he did just a few minutes later and waited for him to exit his vehicle. But nothing could prepare him for what came next.
After watching him walk into a diner and take a seat facing the counter where you check out, I quickly decided on a plan. A plan that would not only make me feel better, but would get my point across. A plan that would serve an ace, if you will.
I grabbed a twenty dollar bill from my wallet and walked into the diner. There were about 7 patrons in the diner and the offensive man was sitting alone at the booth closest to the counter, and facing the counter looking at his menu. When I approached the counter, I was not only in his line of sight, but well within earshot. I walked up to the woman at the counter and said,
"I would like to buy that man breakfast and a cup of coffee. He must really need to eat because he just honked at me and flipped me off twice because I delayed him getting here by 8 or 10 seconds. So let me see if I can turn his day around by buying him breakfast. I would like to put the other $10 on a tip for his waitress. I can't imagine that he is a good tipper on a good day but I know for a fact that today is not a good day, so let's go ahead and tip his waitress now so that we don't have to worry about that and let's get this man some food!"
The woman at the counter was looking from me to him and back to me, as if she were being punked. He never once made eye contact with me. His waitress was approaching from the back with a pot of coffee as I triumphantly walked past his table. As I passed her I said, "Good luck sister!"
That was the best damn twenty dollars I have ever spent.
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