Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Friendly Greetings

We rolled up to a stop light since it had turned red. I could "feel" the presence of the looming vehicle off my left shoulder. I glanced down at my little rear view mirror. I could only see the right front wheel and it looked like it was pointed to the curb.

I turned around, looked up and in the window with a friendly smile on my face, gesturing inquisitively in an effort to solicit whether he was going to turn right despite he not having his blinker on. I always attempt to position myself at the stop light if I can so that turning traffic can still proceed on a red light without me blocking the way.

There he was, a hulk of a man staring sternly out the window of his Ford Exploitation. Cigarette between the fingers of his left hand wrapped around the steering wheel. Without so much of a crack of emotion, he simply extended the middle finger of his right hand.

I smiled in return and waved back hoping he felt better.

Today was the 4th day in a row I have said hello to the same person I see walking. I suspect that she works at the Minneapolis Public Schools Nutritional Center on Plymouth Ave. She has yet to acknowledge my greeting. Being the stubborn type, I am going to continue to say hello until I get a response. I've tried this tactic with other people and have found that it can take weeks.


mnultraguy said...

Come on now, that was nice of you. To expose his true unhappiness in having made the choice to live to drive. Oh well, maybe one day he will better understand. In the nod, remark, I know the feeling, sometimes people I say morning to, look at me like i am going to attack them or something.

Me said...

It's a tough one, Ken...

I've taken to chasing folks down and blocking them w/my bike, and telling them I said, "Hi".

They -eventually- say it back, or look scared and start walking quickly away.

The people of Minnesota are tough cookies to understand, at least in NYC you knew where you stood with someone immediately:

"Hi, Good Morning!!"

"Go fuck yourself, ok?"

See, that's clear, concise and to the point.

Minnesota could use a lil' of that. That's the promise I'm trying to deliver on.


Jim Thill said...

To those who spend hours each day doing battle on our freeways while listening to talk radio, other people all start to look like enemies.

bother yam said...

I had a run-in with a similar creature. I wonder if the realization that their current lifestyle is about to abruptly change is slowly beginning to dawn on them and it makes them unhappy.

Nah, just think of them as slowly-boiled frogs...

Reflector Collector said...

I think the best part of the whole interaction was my simple feeling of pure happiness. I'm glad the guy flipped me off. I truly hope he felt better.

Like Scott said, it was nice to have someone be so up front and honest. I chuckled the rest of the way to work.

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