Thursday, July 07, 2005

Survival of the Fittest

After tae kwon do class yesterday one of the students shocked us with her story of a car that had just almost knocked over her and her new baby as they tried to cross a busy street in Teaneck, NJ. The car was being driven by an elderly gentleman who apparently was not as sharp as he once was. The sidewalks were under construction; she had a tricky time negotiating the bits of the sidewalk that were usable. Out of the blue, this man's car sped toward her. She darted in between a parked car and quickly pulled the stroller up with her. Meantime, the driver knocked over four large traffic cones and sped off. My fellow student was sure that he didn't see her.

Lookit, in Canada, we drive crazy, but we drive close to each other because essentially we trust that the other guy will get out of the way and let us pass if we really need to keep barrelling. We are a fairly unassuming, social bunch. And we do really trust the other guy. The other big reason that you might want to get out of the way is because in Canada our beer is made with actual alcohol.

And besides, it's altogether possible that the guy knows you and just wants to drive close to say "Hey, how's it going?"

My tae kwon do instructor and I talked about this and then equated the scenario to the midwest, where -- strong beer notwithstanding -- the same thing could happen.

However, here in the Northeast it's about survival of the fittest. The driver may have been thinking that if this little lady with her baby buggy couldn't get out of the way fast enough, they deserved what they got.

I think he's onto something. It could also be that he is a martial arts master. I will ponder this when I'm out blading today, listening to ZZ Top on the iPod.

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