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Thursday, April 22nd, 2004

Time Event
6:01p
Two things you may know about me: 1 - I believe everyone should follow The Rules (Not the set of manipulative "relationship" tactics that was trendy a few years back, but the laws and generally-accepted protocols that allow for smooth functioning of society). I'm not obsessive about it, but things like not waking the neighbors by running the wood chipper at 1:00 am or "Returns accepted only with a receipt" make sense to me. As you may imagine, people who spit on the sidewalk, toss lit cigarette butts in the street, allow their dogs to run free outside of the off-leash areas, or exploit the power of public office annoy me.

Item 2 - I usually know what time it is. Not just in a "well, it's about lunch time," sense, but in an "Accurate to 0.5 seconds" sort of way. My computer automatically synchs itself to the US Naval Observatory (this country's keepers of Official Time, (not to be confused with the contemplative Navel Observatory, where not much gets done, if you know what I mean)), and I synch up my watch every week or so. So I tend to follow rules and know what time it is. With that said, let me tell you a story:

Today, about 3:16 pm, I went to Dragon's Head Books to visit with my friend J (um, the one from the consulting world, not the one with the photo studio), and parked at the curb on SE Glisan. I talked with her about forty minutes, and left. This is significant, because from 4:00 to 6:00 pm, there's no parking on that side of Glisan, and that area becomes a second lane to draw commuters away from downtown more rapidly. So at 3:57 I was walking up to my car, so I wouldn't impede traffic, and more importantly, wouldn't break the rules.

The light at the intersection of 60th and Glisan turned green, and I was waiting on the sidewalk for the cars to go by (I also dislike standing between a parked car and speeding traffic). A dark van with a handicapped tag zooms up to my rear bumper, and large woman driving it tries to help me by leaning on her horn. She makes a show of looking over her shoulder and waving her hands in frustration about how she can't merge into traffic. She points angrily at the sign and holds up four fingers at me, and thoughtfully leans on her horn again. It's a long, awkward fifteen seconds, but finally the lane clears, and she lurches over, horn blaring again, and I get into my car. It's 3:58.

Despite my fantasies of punishing scoop-law violators with high-velocity return of canine excrement, I'm usually too Oregonian to point out others' transgressions. If I did, however, I'd at least be sure that they were actually breaking the rules, and not just lawfully doing something that impeded me slightly.

Sigh. I have to admit that the encounter got me kinda cranked up on adrenaline, so I was kinda mean: I asked the Universe to give her What She Deserves. I know that's a horrible punishment, because it goes far beyond a minor erroneous accusation and car-horn rudeness. Welcome to your Karma, lady! It's probably too much to ask for you to realize you brought it on yourself!

Current Mood: cranky

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