This Brit Out Of Water almost became Brit Out Of Water (Deceased) at lunchtime, on an abortive trip to find a new washbag. It would hardly have been the most rock’n’roll way to go out, let’s face it. Some people die in a blazing gun battle, others perish saving the life of others – my family would have been forced to admit that I lost my life in the reckless pursuit of a new holder for my shampoo and shaving gel. Jimmy Dean, I ain’t.
Fortunately, I live to fight another day. That’s despite the efforts of one 4×4 driver as I crossed 8th Avenue. With the white pedestrian sign firmly lit, I marched purposefully across the road, confident in my right to do so. I could see a golden 4×4 approaching, but knew that it would slow down to give way to the striding man ahead of him. But no, instead the
arseholedriver put his foot to the metal and raced infront of me, forcing me to jump back rapidly to avoid becoming one of the three pedestrians who are killed on the streets of New York City every week.
It all happened so quickly, I almost didn’t have the chance to angrily mouth “you f**kwit” at him. Almost.
However, to be honest, it wasn’t so much the near-miss that annoyed me.
Whenever I do something wrong, I have the good grace to be a bit sheepish about it. When I didn’t replace the seal in the dishwasher, and the kitchen flooded as a result, I was red-faced and regretful. When I mistakenly pushed in the
queueline for a bagel last week, I bowed and scraped with the best of them. Remorse is an admirable quality, one demonstrated by rueful troublemakers the world over.
Not by this particular New York troublemaker, though.
You’d imagine the driver would offer a silent ‘sorry’ as he looked me square in the eye. Maybe a hand in the air to express regret? Perhaps even winding down the window to apologise in person?
But no. Instead all he managed was a steady gaze directly at me, an obnoxious wink, and a smile before speeding off into the distance.
It’s hard to imagine that somebody could be so self-involved to think that causing a pedestrian to jump out of the way is not only something he doesn’t need to have any regret about, but actually something to laugh about and maybe chat to his fratboy mates about over a beer a few hours later. But you learn something every day in New York, it would seem.
Perhaps I’ve misjudged the whole thing, and the wink was actually his attempt to indicate that he wanted more than just a passing lunatic-victim relationship. Who said chivalry was dead?