People

I haven’t ceased to be baffled at some people’s self-centered nature and lack of courtesy, never mind lack common sense and basic driving ability. Today I was sitting on my couch grading a pile of literary analysis essays when I witnessed another instance of this. My living room has a ten foot wide picture window which allows me a great view of the outdoors…and passing traffic.

We have a new mail-woman, who I don’t know personally but simply adore for the basic fact that the mail now comes daily, and also before noon. Before, the mail came around six at night and only a few times a week.

On the street I live, our mailboxes are on our front porches, which requires the mail-person to stop the mail truck on the road, then get out and deliver the mail by foot. This is the case in plenty of Atlanta neighborhoods. Trucks stop in the right lane, and sometimes they pull a bit onto the sidewalk. Everyone knows mail trucks, just like UPS and FedEx trucks, must stop on the street to then make deliveries. Mail trucks even have fast flashing signal lights on the back to remind you of this fact. It is a pretty basic concept. So, today our mail-woman pulled over and delivered some mail; at least, I got my mail before I witnessed the confrontation.

The mail truck, stopped with flashing lights, is then rear-ended by a woman in a giant dark blue SUV. Now, this road is a long straight away and four lanes. This driver had plenty of time to see the stopped mail truck and change lanes. Instead, this woman, set to smash into it I guess, swerved and rear-ended the back left side of the truck. This road is also residential, has a 35 mph speed limit, and is littered with traffic lights and crosswalks. Suppose someone was driving too fast?–that would be the courteous excuse to give this woman. So:

Pink Shirt Woman does a u-turn after hitting the truck and stops her gargantuant boat in the right lane on the other side of the road and puts on her hazards. Pink Shirt Woman gets in  the mail-woman’s face, points her finger at her, and is obviously yelling. This is when I open my window. After screaming at the mail-woman about it being her fault and how she shouldn’t have her truck in the street, Pink Shirt Woman stomps back near her car to make a phone call. I hear every word of her end of the call.

Even though she is across four lanes of traffic, I can her because her voice is so shrill . She calls some man named Lance and informs him that she has had a wreck because a “Stupid Ass mail truck” was stopped in the street. She screams “Stupid Ass,” so loudly that I, and certainly the mail-woman can hear. Then, to my chagrin, she begins screaming at this Lance: “Why do you think it’s my fault? Why are you assuming it’s my fault? You’re not even here!” I think Lance is familiar with Pink Shirt Woman’s driving skills.

Before a cop is able to arrive, Pink Shirt Woman crosses the street twice more to come yell at the mail-woman. I consider going outside because it seems like such a ridiculous thing for the mail-woman to be putting up with, but the mail-woman appears young and un-rattled, so I just watch.

The cop pulls up and Pink Shirt Woman runs to him to tell him her sob story. Long story short, as this encounter goes on nearly forever, Pink Shirt Woman argues with the cop and the mail-woman. I couldn’t hear anything the cop said, but he looked at the back of the mail truck and wrote Pink Shirt Woman at least one ticket. I’m sure he looked at the truck and said, Well, you rear-ended it. You ran into a parked mail truck, lady.

I couldn’t help but note the irony of the fact that Pink Shirt Woman had her SUV parked in the right lane with its hazards on. I wanted to say to her, How about I come rear-end your car and then claim it is your fault because your car is stopped in the road? Although, she might not understand such a comparison, as her Me-Me-Me! blinders are squishing her brain.

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