Saturday, December 19, 2009

Why are Connecticut men in cars so mean? Is Mike Luby the angriest man on the planet?

I just got back from visiting my son in Middletown, Connecticut. I was idly observing in my various trips back and forth to my hotel that the drivers around me were awfully rude. For instance, I noted that men driving in the right-hand lane made no attempt to help incoming drivers - they would drive exactly the same speed, not speeding up to make space behind them, not slowing down to make space in front of them, so the poor would-be-merger was forced all the way to the end of the vanishing merge lane.

I also noted a few of them aggressively rushing into the empty right-hand lane (construction ahead) and then bullying their way back into the left-hand lane after triumphantly passing ten cars obediently waiting their turn.

But worse than those anonymous nasty guys: Mike Luby. Ez and I were meeting someone for lunch in town. I parked in a diagonal parking space and we got out of the car. I walked to the parking meter and squinted at it trying to figure out how many quarters to drop. Suddenly there was loud horn blaring - I looked around for the source - it was a guy in the car next to mine. Had he just been sitting in there all this time?

He got out of his car and started yelling at me, didn't I realize I'd just hit his car? What? I didn't hit anybody's car. Yes I did, he shouted: my car door hit his car! He made an elaborate show of inspecting his car (which was very dirty). He got down on his knees to inspect it! He got his head closer and closer to the car and finally exclaimed angrily: Look what you've done!

So I go over and look. I know my eyes aren't that great, but he kept pointing and I kept not seeing. Finally I saw it: a spot, really not more than 1/16", on the very edge of his wheel well. I looked at him in astonishment: was he really going on and on about this tiny speck?

Well, yes he was, and he got angrier because I seemed so amazed, and he asked for my insurance card, and he called the police! And I'm afraid I called him a nutcase, which didn't help. I thought he was going to have a rage-induced heart attack.

He wanted me to stay and wait with him for the police, but I was afraid of him, so Ez and I left (I told him which restaurant we were going to in case he wanted to have the police come arrest me). They didn't come.

When we got back to the car after lunch, a shopkeeper came out of his store to tell me, with concern, that some strange guy had been taking lots of pictures of my car. I thanked him and we left. Now I'm waiting to hear from my insurance company.


At 8:38 AM, Blogger Jen said...

This happened to me once, and I contacted my insurance company right away and told them some nutcase was going to contact them and I disputed the charge. When the insurance company was contacted, they refused the claim and the other guy would have had to sue to collect...

At 12:08 PM, Blogger Carlos said...

Melinama, I was over at Caray Caray ans suddenly found myself reading your story. The traffic sounds just like that here in Texas. SeƱor Luby sounds like a guy who said I bumped into him in front of my office building. He was acting exactly the same way until he caught a glimpse of Bonnie Belle sitting on the passenger side of my truck. He mellowed out quickly. Get yourself a pitbull. They seem to make everyone around more polite.


At 6:00 PM, Blogger novelera said...

What an awful experience! There are some truly sick and weird people around. As I read your account, I was thinking your best option would be to thank your lucky stars you aren't that guy. Imagine how miserable his entire life must be if his big thrill of the day is torturing another motorist.


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