Two posts in one day? Oooh, what a treat. Lucky for you, I was verbally accosted today and feel the need to share...
Earlier, both arms laden with heavy grocery bags, I stood at a zebra crossing and waited. Cars don’t always stop just cos they’re supposed to. One finally did. Normally, I’d lift a hand up to say thank you. This time, my hands weren’t free. So I just walked across as quickly as I could. After I got to the other side, the driver shouted as he pulled away, “Say thank you, don’t you have manners?!” So I shouted back, “It’s a zebra crossing you wanker!”
Now if he’d said his piece while I was actually crossing in front of him, I could have stopped, put my grocery bags down, lifted a hand up / got my semaphore flags / I AM EVER SO GRATEFUL placard / megaphone out and said THANK YOU KIND MAN. But he didn’t. He waited until I was already on the other side of the road with my back to him before trying to teach me a lesson.
Funny thing is, a few months ago, I was waiting at the same zebra crossing when at least three cars sped by without stopping. Finally, one speeding car slowed down to stop, so I stepped onto the crossing. After I safely got to the other side, the driver shouted (as he was driving away), “Watch yourself, next time you could get yourself killed!” So I shouted back, “What do you think zebra crossings are for?!” In retrospect, I see where I went wrong. Such a question may have left a bit too much ambiguity for him to handle.
I don’t drive, so maybe there’s something I’m missing here. But – if you drive and you resent having to stop at zebra crossings so much it makes you shout at strangers, then don’t. Just give in to the impulse to drive on. Because most pedestrians can stand waiting a few minutes to being shouted at by ass-fungus.