Usually my Saturday AM walks are pretty lame: I walk up to Giant at Van Ness, or over to Target in Columbia Heights, buy some stuff, walk home. So, since it’s a holiday weekend (and since I’ve actually got most of it off, excepting several hours tomorrow evening where I’ll help clean out a back room at the Bookstore that hasn’t been touched since like the mid-90s), I decided to take full advantage. This morning I set off and walked six miles.
My path took me directly south to the National Mall, via Pennsylvania Avenue and the White House. I camped out at 14th & Constitution and finished the last few chapters of my book, then walked north to Franklin Square, hopped on the Circulator to Columbia Heights, bought some stuff at Target, then walked the two miles home.
I was run over nearly twice.
The first time wasn’t a big deal. I was waiting to cross K Street when a bunch of motorcyclists (Rolling Thunder is in town for Memorial Day) began passing through the intersection. The light changed, but the last few cyclists went ahead and ran it. And then as I and the lady I was waiting with stepped into the intersection, some complete fucking moron in a black SUV tore past (thankfully, in the next lane over). I was pretty calm and collected about it (even though I’d ignored my cardinal rule of being a pedestrian, which is “always assume the people behind the wheel of the car are complete and total fucking morons who also happen to be on a personal mission to run you over”), the lady next to me? Not so much.
I have never heard so much swearing in my life. I mean, that’s a lie, but this lady was pretty dammed impressive, and loud.
The second time happened much later, as my walk was nearly at an end.
So, there I am, crossing Woodley Road on my way home. One block left until I reached my apartment. Two bags of groceries over my shoulder. Glad, because, no matter how much I enjoy walking (and I enjoy it a lot) I also enjoy getting home after a long walk (and at six miles this was one of those) and being able to collapse onto my sofa and spend the rest of my day nuzzling the cats, playing the Xbox, and mindlessly watching movies (on my list for today: The Last Samurai, Sunshine, and maybe the first disc of Rome, which I’ve Netflixed).
And waiting to make a left hand turn onto Woodley from the southbound lanes on Connecticut is a big old blue car. And when I say “big old”, think Oldsmobile circa the mid 1980s: it was big, it was blue, and there was no way the super new and super flashy and expensive sports car behind it could have dented it. Yet, no sooner does the light turn green, than the super new, super flashy and expensive sports car’s driver starts honking his horn. And the blue car’s driver, instead of doing what he should’ve done — which is to say, wait until there was no oncoming traffic and no pedestrians in the crosswalk (I’m the pedestrian, by the way), makes his left hand turn.
Now, I’m aware out of the corner of my eye that this big blue car has accelerated like mad to get across northbound traffic (because, y’know: oncoming traffic!) and is now rushing my way, and so I do a classic freeze like a deer in headlights, because WHAT THE FUCK ASSHOLE.
That’s actually what I yelled, as he cut in front of me (good thing there were no cars waiting to continue across Connecticut on Woodley, because the driver of Big Blue would’ve hit them head on), at the top of my lungs: “WHAT THE FUCK ASSHOLE!” I was tempted to yell it again, even though by cutting in front of me, I saw the car’s windows were down and it was packed with women and children because, honestly: WHAT THE FUCK, ASSHOLE?
So you’re waiting at a light, and some douchebag with a tiny penis in his uber expensive car (I’m not much of a car person, but I think it was a Maserati) starts honking his horn (because he can’t wait thirty seconds for you to make a safe left hand turn), and you decide to almost collide with oncoming traffic and risk mowing over a pedestrian rather than risk his continued honking?
Okay, first of all, that guy’s car’s horn sounded like an asthmatic duck.
Second of all: what the fuck was he going to do? Bump your gigantic Oldsmobile with his “I-have-a-small-penis-mobile”? Let’s examine what would happen if he actually did this: I predict there would be a smudge and perhaps a dent on the bumper of your twenty-plus year old car, and I predict the front end of his would look roughly like, I dunno, this.
Meanwhile, if you had run me over? Granted, I’m just a pedestrian, but I’m a pedestrian who weighs 234* pounds. Something tells me I’m still going to put a fucking dent in your car. Plus, “I was afraid of the asthmatic duck” isn’t, I think, a valid excuse for nearly running someone down.
*I stripped naked in the middle of writing this post so that I could jump on my scale and get an accurate reading on my weight. I do this for you, Dear Reader. (Apologies for the mental image).