This week's lesson: DO NOT HONK AT ANYONE!
This morning, going to doctor's office, I honked at someone who waited until the last second to merge on an off ramp on the highway that was backed up (as usual – it always happens there every day).
When he merged on to the next highway, he was aggressive trying to merge in front of me and as I went by, I tapped my horn and waved in a manner of “hope you relax someday pal, it isn't that urgent to get to wherever you're goin” figuring he wouldn't even notice because he was so intent on merging quickly with rush hour traffic.
Boy was I wrong.
In a few seconds, he was behind me honking and flashing his lights and waving at me! (I was now exiting the highway at the next street which was less than 1/2 mile so he had to have ‘un-merged thru 2 lanes to exit behind me).
I didn't flip him off, I didn't yell at him, I didn't do anything other than honk and wave.
Maybe he thought something else, but he proceeded to chase me now on streets!
He pulled up on my passenger side, rolled his window down and was shouting at me. I didn't look at him other than to see what he'd done and I did not engage with him… and he was mad I guess because he continued to follow me and I could see him yelling at me in my rear view.
When I went to the far left lane, he followed right behind. When I quickly switched 2 lanes to try to get away, he followed right behind.
At this point, I was now afraid to stop anywhere… I mean what would this guy do if I stopped?
I did an abrupt U-turn trying to break free.
He followed immediately.
He sped thru a light trying to catch up to me.
It was a 4 lane street so 2 lanes on my side, and he pulled up on my driver's side… and suddenly…
There was the sound of something hard hitting my driver's window (which was still up – no way I'm rolling it down to interact with this guy!)
He either threw a rock or shot some kind of pellet gun at me!
Something small and hard hit my driver's window hard and scared the crap out of me.
He proceeded to speed away thankfully, but I pulled off immediately on another road just to try to be far away.
I turned into what I thought was a parking lot of a small company and worried if he was going to try to come find me and what would I do if he did…
And then I noticed…
There were police cars in the parking lot! I'd pulled into the back lot of a police station and didn't even know it!
Wow. A policeman was about to drive off (maybe to start his shift) and he stopped since I was sitting in the car trying to calm down (and I wasn't in a parking space, I was in the drive area sitting with the car running).
Told him the story and that I only got 1/2 of his license plate number… and if I had to, I probably couldn't identify the person in a line up since I'd only had a brief glimpse of his face (there was no way I was going to make eye contact with him in mid-chase).
I was shaking.
It scared the hell out of me this man could be so upset with me for honking a couple of times.
That he would be so upset he thought he should chase me and try to intimidate me for something I thought was a pretty minor incident. I mean I've done a lot more nasty things in the car when I was commuting to work back in the old days.
The policeman told me it would be very hard to track this guy down, but that it would be in the record that I stopped and reported it.
But it also angers me that he would get away with this crap again maybe.
But what if I did report it and made this guy even madder? I don't want him somehow finding me and taking it out on my family.
The policeman was so kind to offer to follow me the few remaining blocks to my doctor's appointment because he wondered if this guy was maybe wacko (my words) enough to be sitting out waiting for me to come back on the main road.
I was still shaking when I got to the doctor's office too. I was late but I didn't care.
Unfortunately the receptionist said… “did you know you were supposed to be here 1/2 hour ago?” in a bit of a ‘tone' voice.
I said I was sorry but someone just chased me on the roads and maybe shot a pellet gun at me.
She of course quickly calmed and said she'd get me in to see the doctor as quickly as possible.
So two lessons really.
1) Don't honk at anyone for any reason 🙂
2) Like the receptionist, you don't know what someone else's going thru and it is better to have a bit of patience, even when someone's a little late.
P.S. I also (as a man) now understand a tiny bit more about what women feel all the time when going to their car in a parking lot. After the appointment was over, I scanned the parking lot to see if I saw a car resembling the car that chased me. I immediately locked the door when I got in. My key was in my hand when I walked out the door.
As a white man, I am sorry to all the women for fearing the stupid sicko men that might cause you harm and that you ever have to feel fear that some man might do you harm.