Originally intended to document my experience of DeLorean ownership, focus is often radical and strange, boring and obtuse.

Monday, May 25, 2009

401 Road Rage Rampage

When parking lot rage transfers to road rage, make sure you've got a fast car to escape!

Nova Scotia, if DET 332 is your ambassador, I suggest you find another. Perhaps someone with human decency. Someone less predisposed to fits of rage. Someone who isn't just plain stupid.

Suz and I, heading towards the Ottawa area for a wedding, were travelling east on the 401 when we decided to stop for fuel. Since the Insight gets, like, eighteen billion miles per gallon, the fuel was food - for us.

When we returned to our car we found the above scene; a minivan, with no handicap permit wedged between two handicap parking spaces. It was so close to the car next to it that the poor elderly woman was unable to enter her car to leave.

The female driver of the minivan, having a smoke right behind me, witnessed me photographing this and aggressively confronted me. "Excuse me! Do you mind telling me why you're taking a picture of my car?" is how the conversation started.

"You parked your van over top of TWO handicapped spaces. And you don't even have a handicap permit!" I replied.

She motioned into the distance, towards the half-empty parking lot, "I couldn't find any parking spaces back there."

"So that gives you the right to break the law?" I asked.

She ignored me and, with dozens of people walking past us, began yelling ridiculous things about the legality of taking photos in the public. She was furious. She scrambled into her purse for her camera, "threatening" to take my picture.

Not wanting the scene to escalate, I got into our car. But as we drove away, the angry woman was screaming that she did not give her permission to take pictures and silly things like, "how about I take YOUR picture?"

Almost laughing, I launched one final insult: "Go ahead. I'm not the one doing something illegal."

She jumped in her van and pursued us east on the 401, chasing us, tailgating us and trying to intimidate us by taking photos of us. She pulled in front of us and alarmingly slowed down, trying to force us to pass her.

There was nothing we could do. Her V6 heavily outweighed our 3-cylinder hybrid. We were no match for the lunatic. Our only option was to stay the course and hope she got bored.

Instead, the danger factor increased as she became fed up with our refusal to play her game. She pulled onto the shoulder allowing us to pass her, then immediately pulled in behind us to continue the harrassment. With every flash of her camera, I felt like a rock star being pursued by paparazzi. I posed provocatively.

We decided to end the chase before she hurt someone. We exited at the first O.P.P. (Ontario Provincial Police) sign and reported her to the O.P.P. Dispatch was concerned about her unacceptable driving behaviour and said they would stop her if they saw her. Another officer stated they would also have Nova Scotia police talk to her about her behaviour. We were satisfied that it was safe to continue travelling and said farewell to the officers.

Lying in bed later that night I thought about the insane driver. I wondered if I should forgive her. Because, after all, I don't know the hardships she has endured in her life which caused her to have no human decency and no regard for the law.

Perhaps it's not her fault at all that she refuses to take responsibility for her actions. Perhaps the Nova Scotia school system failed her, her community failed her, and her parents failed her. Do we blame them, or her? I'll tell you this: I blame her. And Batman. You know, for not throwing her in Arkham Asylum.

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Blogger Monogram Queen said...

Oh boy was this a doozy and honestly she and I would have probably engaged in fisticuffs because I would have lost.my.shit.on.her. Seriously.
You did the right thing taking the picture and I don't know if you have a 911 system but you really should have called 911 or the Police right at the beginning. What a crazy bitch and I don't care "what" her circumstances are.

P.S. I love love LOVE the idea of you posing provocatively as if she were paparazzi. You are my hero Martini!

12:41:00 PM

Blogger Martini said...

Wow, I wish you were there!! We do have 911 and if I owned a cell phone I most certainly would have called. Even the officer we gave our statement to was surprised we didn't have one.

12:53:00 PM

Blogger Techie Guy said...

You posed provocatively? So many thoughts, so little time.

12:58:00 PM

Blogger Ms. Creek said...

wow, that is one of the most insane fits of rage i've heard of! how did you keep your cool? she was obviously casting "doing something wrong" onto you rather than admit she was doing something VERY illegal. kudos for your cool, kudos for driving a hybrid and GET A CELL PHONE! lol

perhaps it was her on the road by us!

6:23:00 PM

Blogger Michael Manning said...

Hey, Martini: I'm glad this enraged woman didn't use a gun. Here in Phoenix, many people carry personal hand guns. I hope you filed a complaint. No forgiveness for her from and here's why. She's a danger to herself and society. The next kid or adult she confronts may have suffer lethal consequences. She needs help. But first she needs to be taken off the streets and from behind the wheel of any car. I cringe when I think of an innocent child who gets in her angry path. Glad you are safe, my friend.

11:35:00 PM

Blogger SJ said...

That's the advantage of driving big SUVs crazy women wouldn't chase you ... unless you are into that kind of thing.

2:01:00 AM

Blogger Becky said...

You did the right thing! I would've done exactly the same thing you did, just ignore her until it got too bad to ignore anymore. I really hate people who think they have the right to park like that in handicap spots.

3:34:00 PM

Blogger Akhor said...

Great.. So not only did this girl ruin your day but screwed up a few minutes of hypermilling time as well!

9:04:00 AM

Blogger The T-Dude said...

And Prime Minister Fudge. I thought it was his job to take care of out of control witches.

7:40:00 AM

Blogger honkeie2 said...

you are a better man than me, I have no patience for assholes. She would have had more than a complaint at the police office!

2:40:00 PM


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