Pointing the finger

As I was walking home earlier this evening, two cars collided almost head on about 20 meters in front of me.

From the angle of the cars, it appeared that an elderly lady had tried to pull out of her drive without taking the time to check for incoming vehicles. Another car had collided with it, taking out the right side of the bonnet and also dealing some impressive damage to the woman’s car.

Before I had managed to get close enough to see what was really going on, another elderly, though impressively energetic woman had emerged from a nearby house and was threatening the male driver through the window. A huge scene was made as the woman loudly commanded the man to stay in his car, stay right there, not to dare get out, not to move, and what was probably translatable as a threat of violence should the man refuse to turn off his engine. Before long, the street was alive with activity – perhaps half due to the commotion caused by Mackworth’s new self-appointed absolutist.

I later learned that the male driver had apparently tried to ‘make a break for it’, and this woman was trying to keep him in his car in case he was uninsured and trying to avoid a fine, or perhaps even acquittal for dangerous driving. Equally, as far as I saw, he could have being trying to escape a potential explosion hazard.

I learned this extra information from my Dad, who had talked to a dog-walker who claimed to have seen everything. Funny how he had mentioned that the male driver had been gunning his engine in an attempt to escape, and how he had courageously attempted to prevent the driver’s escape by screaming for him to stay put, when I noticed neither.

The episode reminded me of an unrelated encounter with another old zealot. On a packed-out bus a year or two ago, there was a woman carrying a baby standing perhaps 7 rows of seats in front of me. The bus was 4 people over its legal standing quota, and I was being squashed by a very fat man into the window and being given evil stares by some old-world do-gooder who I imagine hadn’t quite met her bitching-at-sales-assistants quotient for that particular day.

Apparently, as the youngest passenger, society required me to offer my nuance of arse-perch to this woman, 7 spaces, 5 people and a fat bloke away on the horizon. I decided to wait for a more opportune moment, but unfortunately, the woman got off before I had a chance. I was therefore treated to a very loud rant, half a staged attempted at conversation with a very embarrassed looking man, and half directed at me. Apparently I’m insolent, inconsiderate, and the definition of today’s youth.

The pathetic bint rounded off the spectacle by turning to face the remaining passengers and treating us all to her opinion of the ‘youth of today’. The reaction of the passengers was interesting – the ones who had noticed both the woman and my position either flashed my empathic smiles or avoided the womans eyes – but the ones who had no idea of the actual situation shot me looks of utter disgust.

In a school environment, it’s no secret that people who are consistently noisy, insolent and challenging are both able to get away with a stern look for things that other students would be expelled for, and receive praise for behaving normally.

From this I conclude that he or she who is most vocal is in the right and writes the law.

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