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Burnett's Urban Etiquette

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Six vs. Half-dozen?

That was the question, or at least part of the what's-the-difference question I asked earlier to the woman driving the blue Monte Carlo that hit the bumper of my truck on Biscayne Blvd. downtown.

I asked because after I felt the jolt and tried to get her to pull over so we could both stop and sort things out, she pulled alongside me and and answered my accusation of "You just hit me!" with "No, no, I didn't hit you. It's OK."

Of course, I insisted it wasn't OK. But she continued to deny. After about 30 seconds of back-and-forth, she - a grandmotherly type - began speaking a little more slowly (as if that would make me understand her denials better) and explained "Listen, I didn't hit you. I bumped you, because I was doing you a favor, trying to get out of your way."

Now even if I had just fallen off the yam wagon, I don't think I could've fallen for that explanation.

I never said she totaled my truck or even damaged it. I said she hit me - her car collided with mine, and I wanted her to acknowledge that and stop so we could make sure there wasn't damage.

She didn't stop. I got her plate # just in case, but it turned out there was no damage.

Still, in case I ever lose my mind, she gave me an idea for my criminal defense.
How do these sound?
  • Your honor, I didn't punch him. I caressed him with my fist!
  • Stab? No, that's too strong a word. I didn't stab anyone. I poked a few people with a sharp object.
  • And I would never slap those people! I just gave one-handed claps to the sides of their faces.


  • A lady one rammed iinto the side of my car in Miramar, many years go, and when I got out to see how she was, she yelled at ME for hitting HER! Bar none, we have the worst drivers in the world down here...

    By Anonymous R'Rich, at 11:37 AM  

  • I was sitting stock still in a Publix parking lot, and some grandpa rear ended me - not hard, but enough for me to notice. When rolled down the window to yell, he was sputtering like I backed into him!!! I had been motionless for at least 2 or 3 minutes waiting for a parking space to open near the store...

    By Anonymous djtonyb, at 1:02 PM  

  • Maybe these drivers really studied the "pass the buck" section in the Florida Driver's License study manual.

    This is sort of like when someone crashes into a tree and then they say, yeah, the tree leaped out at ME.

    By Blogger Manola Blablablanik, at 2:16 PM  

  • Typical Myhammy. I call it the "giving a**holes too much room to breathe" factor. The opportunities for these folks to be a**holes back on their home turf of (pick one a**hole laden city) NYC, Boston, Bogota, Buenos Aires, Caracas, Rio, Sao Paulo, Havana, etc. was limited due to the congestive population present in these cities, which can be traced to their 19th Century European industrial aesthetic. Now that they exist in our place of unlimited auto mobility and access to other people's cash, those neighborhood factors that tended to restrain a**hole behavior (face and name recognition, Black Hand style mob chieftans, low upward and outward mobility, etc.) have been lifted. They are in a place which values anonimity and shuns responsibility for anything. A good, liberal beating about the face and neck is all that will help stem the tide of bad behavior. And I mean like Mike Tyson on Mitch Green Can-o-Whoopass (TM) style.

    By Blogger Big Daddy, at 4:15 PM  

  • Lord, what nerve! I've been so on edge lately, I probably would've lept from my car to hers until she pulled over.

    Of course, then she probably would've started speeding in order to make me lose my grip and fall onto the street, where she would've run over me and kept driving.

    And if you saw that story in the news the next day, you wouldn't be surprised, would you?

    By Anonymous MM, at 4:29 PM  

  • I live in Michigan, so what do I know, but isn't the whole notion of compelling her to act the way you wanted part of the problem with uncivil society? They are called 5-mile-an-hour bumpers for a reason, afterall

    By Anonymous greg zywicki, at 1:22 PM  

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