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Burnett's Urban Etiquette

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Good stuff

I saw an impressive display earlier when I was rolling down a rare open part of Biscayne Blvd. and stopped at a service station. I have a habit when I'm passenger in a car and it stops at a gas station I get out too. I don't feel right just sitting there while the driver pumps gas, etc. So I'll either offer to go pay or to pump while he or she goes to pay. Or I'll just stand in the elements and chat with 'em to keep company.

So I was about to climb out of my guy's car when I felt the slightest nudge. Another car leaving a different pump scraped my guy's bumper. That car, a meticulous Chrysler 300M with custom chrome rims, rolled about two more feet before it stopped. The tinted window came down and a young guy with a wild goatee and a mop of crazy hair on his head - couldn't have been more than 25 - stuck his head out and asked politely if he had hit my guy's car. I offer the driver's description to drop a little reminder hit that so many stories WE all have like this are couched in assumptions based on appearances.

Anyway, we were both so taken aback by the other driver's civility that my guy just stammered that yes the two cars had bumped but that no damage had been done. The young guy insisted though that my guy take another look and make sure his car wasn't damaged. It wasn't. And the other driver smiled and explained that he'd hate to see someone damage his property and get away with it, so he figured it was only fair to apply the same rule in reverse.

My guy shook his head incredulously, shook the kid's hand, and told him thanks for being honest. He drove off. We handled our business and left.

Let's give credit where it's due. That kid had good sense, good Burnettiquette.

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