So I was walking home the other day, as I’m inclined to do after work, when I came upon a street. Now, as it happens, North York is full of streets this time of year, having emerged from their snowy cocoons several months ago and basking in the summer sun. Also abundant this time of year are SUVs, on their fresh new tires they prowl the roads looking for small furry mammals to run over.
On this occasion, as I came to the street, I decided that I would like very much to get to the other side (so I could get home, you know). Using the city-installed SUV-placating lights strung over the street (amber — “I hate amber with passion!” — ok, yellow lights strung over crosswalks on the roads which somehow signal to the SUVs that a person and not a small furry mammal is about to cross the road and that maybe slowing down a little would be in order) I attempted to cross. I was lucky this time, and the leader of an SUV pack was mesmerized by the overhead lights and allowed me to cross.
However, one of the much smaller SUVs (a beta male, or “car” if you will) decided that while the leader was stalled he should make a dash for the front of the pack. Swerving around the stopping leader, he pulled into the on-coming lane of traffic to pass on the left, through the crosswalk. Well, at just about the time the “car” made it to top speed, I was making it to that side of the crosswalk. Again, I was lucky, and the car decided to favour me and stopped before there was a confrontation and I had to get froggy.
In fact, so quickly did the car decelerate that it made a very high-pitched, effeminate squeal as it came to a stop. The driver of the car seemed highly upset that her car should have decided then of all times to pass the lead SUV, when the way wasn’t clear at all. But rather than yelling at the car, she decided to start yelling at me for being in the crosswalk. First she yelled at me in English, then she started swearing which made her subconsciously switch to Norf York Creole, which I still don’t have a very firm grasp of, despite living there for so many years. Staying calm, I simply pointed out the “no passing from here to crosswalk sign” helpfully posted 3/4 of a block before the crosswalk (half a block before the point where she pulled onto the wrong side of the road).
The fact that the sign was so helpful didn’t placate her at all, in fact it just seemed to make her more angry. Well, I had had quite enough of her yelling, so I pointed out that the light two blocks away had just changed to green, and that she was welcome to sit there on the wrong side of the road and argue until the cows came home, but the next pack of SUVs would be arriving in just a few seconds to run her little car over.
She beat that little runt so hard its tires squealed getting away.
Sometimes I wonder, if that light hadn’t changed, would she have ever gotten around to yelling at the lead SUV for being so big and blocking her view of an illegal passing opportunity?