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Today I witnessed something I just as soon would not have seen. I was in the drive through at Dunkin Donuts, waiting an impossibly long time. The parking lot was crowded and more cars kept coming. There was a black Mitsubishi sedan behind me in line.

As we waited, I suddenly heard a bang and looked in the rearview mirror to see the black sedan behind me rocking after it had been hit from behind. A white Buick had backed out of a parking place and backed into the back of the Mitsubishi. As I watched, the driver (a short, heavyset, bald man) and his teenaged daughter both jumped out of the car, yelling. They were both screaming and swearing. It was quite the sight (and sound).

They approached the Buick, still yelling profanities. From what I had observed, this was not a high speed crash. Nor was it intentional. It was raining. The parking lot was very crowded (it’s a tiny parking lot), and through a rain-spotted rear window that black sedan did not show up very well. I had been watching it for some time myself (through my own rain-spotted rear window) as it crept along in line behind me.

The next thing I knew the fat, bald man was pounding on the trunk of the Buick. The Buick had pulled forward but then backed up a bit more so that it could pull into a different parking space. The man was yelling, “are you going to back into me again?!”

angrymanWhen I looked again, the Buick’s driver had gotten out, and it was an elderly woman, wearing a raincoat and a bad-looking wig. By the time I made it through the drive through and picked up my order, the Gates Police were arriving. I had to drive back around the building on my way out, and I noticed the policeman talking to the bald man. The Buick was parked, and there was no damage whatsoever to the rear bumper. The bald man’s daughter was squatting down behind the Mitsubishi with her nose against the bumper, surveying the “damage”. There wasn’t a scratch on it from what I could see. It looked like a huge amount of fuss over nothing.

What a poor example that bald man had set for his daughter. Given the fact that she was out of the car before he was, it was obvious he’d been giving her poor examples of behavior to follow for most of her life. I felt sorry for her. I badly wanted to tell the man and his daughter that they were both candidates for moron of the year for probably frightening a little old lady half to death. I can understand getting out of your car to see if there is damage and possibly exchanging insurance information, but the degree to which they both overreacted was just absurd and disturbing. There was no reason to react the way that they did. That poor old woman probably went home and had a good cry. She looked like she could use a hug.

What is wrong with people today? It’s only a car.  It was just an accident.  There was no visible damage!!

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