When I go to the Y, I use a lot of shortcuts and back streets. San Diego traffic is very busy in the morning so I stay off the freeway. My route usually takes me by a Starbucks on a mall and I have to drive slowly because preoccupied people wander out of the café with their lattes and extra shots and skinny vanillas and the like and they may just step in front of you. You can’t go forward or backward so you just wait and hope they don’t bump into you and pour hot sticky processed chocolate or caramel syrup on the hood. Well, the caramel is pretty good so I could lick it off the car later, I suppose.
But I almost always have to stop for the Starbucks devotees and let them pass, which I don’t mind. But … three times people have blundered into my car because they were not paying attention in the first place. I’m glad I do not work with those people because they seem to have the attention spans of howler monkeys on crack.
The first time, it was a very pretty Asian girl. I saw her coming, slowed down, waited, and prayed she would look up. I thought “No, no, no, NO!” until she bounced off the passenger door. I lowered the window (punch of a button) and asked “Are you all right?” and displayed my handsomest expression of concern. The attractive young lady declared she was still healthy, had not broken any bones nor spilled the coffee, gave me a smile and went out of my life. Sigh. Well, when you get older, a smile from a scorching hot … never mind.
The second person to attack my car at Starbucks was a tall skinny guy wearing a tie and nice slacks. He also had a professional shoeshine and a great hairdo. He was walking fast and texting with one hand when he slammed into my passenger door, hitting it fairly hard. He dropped his coffee and I heard him say “God f**king damn!!” when he bent over to pick the cardboard cup off the ground. I did not lower the passenger window this time. He looked up at me and I shook my head sadly and drove on.
The third person was another lady on another day. She was a middle-aged lady, attractive, short, wore a nice skirt-suit with heels, had a coifed hairdo, middle-age – a successful woman on her way to the top and beyond. She oozed confidence until she lumbered into my car like the rest of the apparently self-absorbed folks who patronize this particular Starbucks. She did not spill her hot beverage when she bounced off my Lexi, but when she got over her shock she scowled at me, a withering glower as powerful as a one-room school-marm’s, and that is a top shelf frown, people. I wore my sunglasses which are extra dark so I survived the laser-beam glare, and in return I gave her my big howdy-do smile while pointing at her, the mute version of Nelson’s “ha-ha!” on the Simpsons. Then I drove on to the gym, seeking a certain cute gamin yoga practitioner.
The lesson: I should drive past that Starbucks with my passenger window rolled down so if some rube is going to crash into my car I can alert them with a loud scream. Or blow my horn. My horn. Oops.