***Disclaimer: I am in a Snark Locker at present. It is not that time of the month. Nor have I been scorned by a lover. My dog did not eat my steak dinner. Sometimes the moon and planets align in just the right way that the slappin’ hand cocks like a shotgun and all hell flies. Enjoy…or kiss my ass. Either works.***
You. In the burgundy Prius. Yeah. At the stoplight. Move your fucking car. Apparently you made it to the age of consent (or so the tits spilling out of your halter top would indicate, otherwise mom and dad were especially kind to get you a matching set for your 16th birthday) without being eaten by your parents or incarcerated. You also apparently made it to the DMV to get your drivers license. Between now and then, did you forget to move the hell out of the way for emergency vehicles? Let me run it down for you.
It’s Mother’s Day. We’re sitting at a stoplight in Boulder, Colorado. It’s in the low 80s – quite beautiful. While at a dead stop, sirens peal from…well, we don’t quite know, do we? So when the goddamned light turns green, that is not license for you to bolt out into the intersection, especially if an ambulance is coming through from the left.
Your job isn’t to beat the ambulance through the intersection. It’s not to win the race through the stoplight. It’s to get the fuck out of the way.
I really hope you never need help one day, because that could have been your mother in that ambulance. Worse, it could have been you. And wouldn’t it be all sorts of karmic goodness if some oblivious dipshit pulled their Prius out into the middle of the intersection and blocked your ambulance from reaching the nearest hospital in a timely fashion?
This goes for police cars, fire trucks, school buses and funeral processions as well. While I admit that I single-handedly support the photo speeding enforcement program in the greater Denver/Boulder area, there is something I never, EVER do: block an emergency vehicle. Yes, I know how frustrating it is to sit through two cycles of a light because a fire truck had to come through. I know how annoying it is to wait five minutes for a funeral procession to come through a metro Denver intersection because someone can’t keep all the cars together. I know (full well) how painful it is to get stuck behind a school bus unloading when you’re running late to hop on a conference call back at the office.
But you know what? There is nothing in life that cannot wait for people helping other people.
And yeah, if you’re the dick who honks at me as I’m handing the guy on the corner a few bucks or half a sandwich when the light turns green, I hope you never need help, either. I would rather put my car in park, get out, stand outside the driver’s door and flip you the double bird until the light turns red again than become a self-centered asshole who forgets what it’s like to need help and give it freely. And I don’t give a shit what they’re going to spend the money on. Those people with the cardboard signs are people, just like you and me. Who are we to judge who they are and where their lives have led? I will roll down my window and have a light-long conversation with anyone with a sign. They will get $1 from me so long as I have it. They can have every box or bag of leftovers in my car on my way home from lunch or dinner. And you, dickhead, will wait behind me while I give them this one small thing.
So sit down and think about why you’re rushing from place to place. Why your schedule and needs and whatever are so goddamned important that you can’t take a minute and remember that everyone, no matter how rich, poor, fat or thin, beautiful or otherwise, will need help one day. If you can’t take a minute to help someone when they ask, why should anyone ever help you? Karma is a complete bitch and I’m not one who deigns to understand why this universe works the way it does, but I do what I can to help.
I pull over to let ambulances and fire trucks through intersections.
I change lanes to give police cars in the median and on the shoulder more room.
I remember the last time I sat as a member of a funeral procession and how much it hurt.
I share my change, food and bottled water with anyone who humbles themselves to ask.
So move your fucking car. Roll down your window. Stop pretending like you’re talking on the phone. Pay attention. Lend a helping hand. What’s annoying in one circumstance is life-changing in another, and if we focused more on changing lives and being involved, yeah. We’re gonna hurt more, but do you really need to get through the intersection right then? Do you need that leftover Thai food?
If you can’t do that (and do it more often), I really hope you’ve found some magic potion that ensures that you or someone you love will never, ever need help. Karma is a senseless crack whore, and one thing I’ll never sign up for is a beating from a crack whore.
You’ve been slapped.