Tuesday, May 7, 2013

I think I was mistaken for a homeless person looking for change. If that's true, I'm one classy looking bum

Last Thursday I was walking south on Bay Street, on my way to Union Station, when I noticed this sleek, black Mercedes with a flat, rear tire crawling along in traffic. The tire was flat to the rim. The driver was blaring music with both the driver and passenger windows down.

When the Mercedes came to a standstill at King Street, I stepped off the curb and leaned towards the passenger window frame. I didn't touch the car. I wasn't being threatening. I didn't even get a chance to speak before the male driver powered up his window, shouted something and practically stuck his middle finger against the glass. Then he accelerated through the red light, only to stop again. I turned to the people on the curb and said, "All I wanted to do was tell him he had a flat tire... "

Some guy said to me that the driver probably already knew he had a flat since most newer or high-end cars have warning sensors. This is true as our car has one and comes on when a tire's pressure is low. But I also have a friend who drives a Volvo with the dash lit up like a Christmas tree and ignores all of the warnings. She thought the tire pressure warning light meant she needed to add windshield washer fluid (click here for a pic for reference). True story.

As I got closer to Union, I was now on the opposite side of Bay Street, across from the driver's side of the car. His music was no longer blaring and his window was down again. We were both waiting for the light to change when he turned and looked right at me. There was no traffic in the northbound lane so I hollered over to him, "Your rear driver-side tire is flat, flat to the rimI"
He glanced in his rear view mirror like an idiot, as if he could see the tire. When the light turned green, he turned right onto Front Street and got out to inspect his car. Obviously he was clueless he'd been running on a flat.

I trotted over to him.

"That's what I wanted to tell you," I said. "I wouldn't keep driving on your rim. You'll damage it and it can be quite costly to fix."
He shrugged me off with a wave and muttered, "Thanks".
He climbed back into his car and began fiddling with his phone. I left and caught my train.

My husband said he was probably embarrassed. Maybe. Still a jerk, though.


Anonymous said...

Wow, you're far too kind. After giving me the finger and running a red light, I wouldn't have been so charitable towards him.

He's got a beemer, he can afford to replace a wheel.

Anonymous said...

If you staggered off the curb carrying feces in a mason jar then I can accept he thought you were a homeless person but c'mon ... I would have called him out on his assholiness.

C.H. said...

This story made me laugh out loud.
Because! Toronto!!!

Anonymous said...

you're nicer than I would have been! after receiving that kind of treatment I wouldnt have bothered trying a second time like you did.


Squiggles said...

Huh. Considering how I do almost that same walk every evening, it is pretty hard to be mistaken as a homeless person. The few that are there stick out like sore thumbs when the lemmings are walking.

And you are a much nicer person after his attack of rudeness. I would have left him to suffer the fiscal damage that his ass-hattery would have cost him. Maybe then he would learn to treat people better.

ExGOnowTTC said...

Merc drivers are up there in the arsehole attitude stakes with BMWanker drivers.

C.J. Smith said...

Was I too kind?
Absolutely. It was just the mood I was in and I wanted to drive home a point. I remained gracious just to make him feel even the more shameful about his behaviour towards me.
What does this say about us as a society? We can't even tell people they have a flat without being judged or having someone jumped to conclusions about why we're peeking into a car window.
Courtesy has become so rare that people are now blind to it.

Jenn said...

He turned right on to Front from Bay? There are no right/left turn signs all over that intersection due to the construction. Double idiot.

Anonymous said...

You're not allowed to turn right on front street! All those drivers trying to make a right on front street during rush hour annoy me so much.

Bees said...

Good on you for trying so bravely. I practice assertive courtesy, too. Pointless maybe, but hate to be resigned to a rude, oblivious world. Living in a very small town, it's easy to spot the new arrivals to Hooterville who've come from the Big Smoke. They look fearful and confused when you pass them on the sidewalk and wish them a "good evening".

C.J. Smith said...

He sure did as narrow as the intersection is... When he turned, there wasn't any westbound traffic. I didn't even think about it at the time how he shouldn't have done that. There was a cop there as well on the southwest corner.

calvinhc said...

Anonymous said, "He's got a beemer, he can afford to replace a wheel."

My first thoughts as well, though I know enough people who love to own the most expensive car they can possibly afford to buy, forgetting that affordability includes maintenance and operating costs.

CJ, others say you were nicer than they would have been by making the effort to let him know after his asshole-prize-winning performance, but I would have done the same as there is no better form of revenge against assholes than some act that highlights their assholiness to them!

C.J. Smith said...

Calvin nails it.

David said...

I once tapped on a driver's window to let her know that her gas flap was open, and she looked at me as if I were an axe wielding murderer. And I'm an office worker and don't dress anything like a hobo....