It was Saturday morning and I was walking towards my bus stop a few feet away. As I always do I stopped at the curb of the sidewalk to look across to see if the lights were red for the cars and green for me. The lights were green for the cars and yet I advanced with confidence across the road, knowing that it would take me less time to cross as the car was slow in driving across the street. I am not an old geezer who walks with a cane but a spry 52 year old who can walk at a nice pace. I was not worried.
I was right in my assessment as I was able to cross the road in less than 6 or 7 seconds. In fact, I distinctly remember that as I set foot on the sidewalk on the other side the car had barely arrived behind me. And then it happened, the driver made an unpardonable sin; she honked at me!
I immediately turned around to see her pass behind me. I was so incensed that I shouted obscenities at her and shook my hand in righteous indignation and I might say, in a slightly juvenile way. But it felt so good. Now dear reader, I must say that I have been honked at in my life at various times not only by cars but by geese as well. Some were flying over me in a V formation while at other times I simply got too close to them and they honked at me as a warning to others that an intruder was approaching. But being honked at by cars is something that I can recall only once happening, and that was only a few weeks ago. I was fiddling with my mittens and was walking casually across the road not having seen that the lights were now green for the cars. A driver honked to warn me of what I was doing. I retreated of course and I silently thanked the driver.
I will be charitable and say that perhaps the driver was simply having a bad morning and seeing one lonely middle-age pedestrian getting away with breaking the law was too much for her. It was the proverbial drop that broke the driver’s back. But she could also be one of these self-styled busy bodies who make it their business to impersonate the police when the real police is not around.
Had I been in the middle of the road or on the verge of being hit I could have understood that she would have honked at me in alarm for my safety. But I was not in the middle of the road but safely on the other side. She was late, much too late and that offended me, attacking my abilities as a professional walker that I am. I have my pride too.
So, dear reader who might also be a driver, the next time you honk at a pedestrian make sure that it is warranted and not simply out of spite of having missed the walker. They will silently thank you I am sure.