Clash of the SUV drivers
By Joan McQueeney Mitric
It is good to know that a paralyzing snowfall brings out the best in us.
That was indeed the warm-fuzzy feeling of my rather affluent Montgomery County neighborhood as last Sunday’s afternoon sun was at its zenith. About six neighbors on our block were out shoveling (what else to do, alas, with no county plow in view?). Soon enough, all of them were helping me, a still agile but solo woman whose husband had left for foreign lands just in the nick of time. Lucky him.
This neighborly brigade — using a bright turquoise dust pan, brooms and various bent snow shovels, helped to liberate our long rows of deodar cedars. All were at the breaking point, some limbs already down and cracked from snow too heavy to bear. Others cleared a path for my red 1994 Volvo station wagon, so it could edge out in an emergency. All civil, friendly and good.
And then, on the next block up the hill, a fight broke out.
We heard F-bombs and other curses. Shovels became jousting lances, and not in jest. This violent altercation was witnessed by no fewer than 10 people:
“Move your [expletive] car. Move it!”
“I’m trying to move it, but I need a minute or two.”
“I gave you a minute. Now it’s two minutes, going on three. Move your car!”
Two men with huge SUVs. They jousted and swung and verbally lashed at each other: Was it Super Bowl Sunday violence syndrome?
Finally, the one in a hurry revved up his black chariot and gunned it down the hill.
I had fleeting thoughts: “Well, if your mother is in cardiac arrest, your kid has a fever seizure or your daughter hit a tree while sledding, perhaps this kind of aggressive, urgent unpleasantness is excusable. Otherwise, it’s a sorry sign for our society — especially during a week when even the president is calling for more civility.”
As our local testosterone-engorged driver roared by with his window open, I said to him: “Bad.” In return, I got a predictably expletive-filled response. Sad.
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