People are funny. But I don’t mean the type of funny that makes you laugh or even smile for that matter. This kind of funny seems to do the exact opposite. This kind of funny makes you frown and often shake your head in regret or disgust… ’cause people act funny.
I was reminded how funny people are yesterday around lunch time. I was leaving a business lunch at Applebee’s. It wasn’t my choice and I guess eating dry and overcooked chicken is better than getting sick from it being undercooked… but I digress…
The parking lot to the mega outdoor mall and shopping centers was jammed with people, mostly retired people. The mall is just west of Sun City, the famous old Del Webb senior retirement city northwest of Phoenix.
As I pulled up to the main parkway road that leads to the traffic light on Grand Ave I saw a red Ford F-150 short bed pick-up on the aisle west of me. The truck was slowing to a stop as I checked east again and gunned it into the main parkway.
I pulled up to the last four way stop sign and stopped to wait for a car to the south to pull out. That’s when I heard the red Ford’s horn blow. I glanced into my rearview to see the guy with the baseball cap holding his arms out to the side, his left one out the rolled down driver’s window. So I mimicked him and did the same thing.
The main parkway road east of the four way intersection opened up to four lanes, each lane a turn lane to left or right on Grand Ave. I saw the red Ford trying to catch up with me before he had to stop short in the left hand turn lane due to the amount of cars in front of him. My lane only had a few cars at the light waiting to turn right.
I have a history and habit of obliging people in traffic that want to talk… or fight. Some habits are hard to break. I stopped short of the cars ahead of me so Mr. red Ford pick-up driver could tell me what was on his mind. His wife talked first.
“You almost ran over us back there,” she said.
“How is it that I almost ran over you when we were pulling out at the same time and I was in front of you? If anything you would have hit me.”
“No. If we wouldn’t have stopped you would have ran us over!” she exclaimed.
People are funny. No one in their right mind could have construed that situation to be life threatening or dangerous or reckless. These folks were emotional. And I learned a long time ago that arguing with emotional people is a big waste of time.
I looked the driver in the eyes and waited for him to say something.
“That Hummer don’t mean a _od damn thing to me!” He had fury in his eyes.
Ahhh. Bingo. He had vehicle hate for me for what I was driving.
I get that a lot. Not as much as I did when it was new, but my truck brings out the worst in a lot of people… ’cause people are funny.
Here I am driving a twelve year old truck with close to a hundred and fifty thousand miles on it and people are still hating it. Or the people that represent what they believe the type of people are that drive them.
They don’t know I used to drive new F-350 lifted crew cab four wheel drive trucks with diesel engines all my life that you could hang meat in, the air conditioners worked so well. The last one was stolen, used and destroyed by Coyote’s hauling illegals across the border. I never drove those trucks more than three or four years anyway. In good times and bad I managed to drive what I know is a truck that is light years better than that Hummer.
They don’t know that the air conditioner in my Hummer is close to useless in the summertime, not a good thing in the Arizona summers. They don’t know that I don’t particularly care for my Hummer. They don’t know that the recession has left scars and changed the way I buy work trucks forever.
I could tell the guy that was around my age, maybe a little older, wasn’t about to call me out so I called him a loser. His wife defended him and told me that he was not a loser.
“Yeah, he is a loser to say something like that,” I said and rolled up my window and pulled up to the cars in front of me waiting at the light.
I had immediate regret for having stopped to let them talk… but people are funny… and I’m part of the group… unfortunately.
There was a beggar standing on the center concrete island leaning up against the light signal pole holding a sign. There’s beggars on every other corner nowadays and I usually ignore them. Most of the beggars are young and fit people that would rather beg than work. And I know in this town if someone wants to work there is a job to be had for them.
But this was a girl. And I don’t know if it was me feeling guilty or if God used the circumstance for His benefit. But I called her over across traffic to give her some cash. In the process the light turned green.
“God bless you,” she said with a sincere voice and eyes. I nodded.
That lane trying to turn left, along with the red Ford with the Hummer haters, got stuck as the girl made her way back across to the center island. That made me smile a little inside… people are funny…