I will file this under people are f*cking assh*les…
Went to Belmar (in New Jersey) last Sunday, the place was packed (but they are not the assh*les in this story). When I left, I reached route thirty-four north, and it was bumper-to-bumper. Took a while before someone let me in. Not sure how far behind me it went, but in front of me, the reason for the backup was out of sight. Pure volume, most likely, on a beautiful Sunday afternoon.
At the circle, route thirty-three west and route thirty-four north combine into two lanes, thirty-four on the right and thirty-three on the left; I was on the right. When I crest the hill, I see the source of the problem: a car stopped in the left lane, driver and passenger doors open, a young woman, barely in her twenties, searched the back seat for something. She must have been there for a while based on the length of the backup and yet, she was alone – no one stopped.
I pulled my car in front of hers, put on my flashers, got out and asked her what is wrong? She said the car just stopped, and it wouldn’t start.
Then she said, “I think something is burning, I smell smoke.”
The problem, anyone who knows me, knows I have no sense of smell (don’t worry, pre-Covid by decades).
I asked if she called the police (she had) and if she had AAA (she did). Then asked, where do you have to go? Where do you live?
“Connecticut,” she said.
Damn, I didn’t even notice the plates. I tried to start the car but wouldn’t kick over. She had gas, it wasn’t overheated, I didn’t think it needed a jump. I popped the hood, and looked around, but that was just for show. When I was a kid, my first cars were fixed by replacing the battery, the alternator, or the generator. Now you need a computer to find out what is wrong.
She was coming from Belmar, so asked if her friends were still there – they were. Told her to call them in case they need to tow the car. She talked to her Dad, who said try and get it off the road; we were in the left-hand lane with no shoulder. The only way to get it across was for her to steer and me to push.
For 1976 Al, that would not be a problem. For 2021, balding, out-of-shape Al –- a problem.
What comes next is why I stated upfront people are f*cking assh*les…
I stood in front of her car, and I scanned the right-hand lane, while cars merged into the one-lane behind us, to see if I can catch a glimpse of a car full of guys I can flag down and give us some help. Starts off nice, a woman slows and says she called the police, and what kind of car it is, but I told her she already called.
Then another woman hands us a bottle of water. Also nice.
Then this older, round-faced, gray-haired-f*ck of a couple stare at me through their windshields, hands up, and give me the finger.
As they pulled away I ran after the car for a bit, yelling “f*ck you you f*cking f*cks!” (I love a good alliteration) They just kept driving. Good thing, because I am sure I could have taken the husband, but the look on his wife’s face, pretty sure she could bite through a chain.
As I walked back to the girl’s car, someone in a white pickup truck, going in the opposite direction screamed out, “F*cking move the car!”
I yelled back, “Thanks, we would have never thought of that!” (Actually, I didn’t, but that sounds like something I would said in that situation)
When the police officer arrives, he asked me to move my car over to the shoulder and wait there. He pushed her car with his SUV over to the shoulder behind mine.
A few minutes later he waved me over. He said everything was taken care of, thanked me, and said I could leave. After giving him a rundown (her friends in Belmar, AAA) I told him how people reacted to her. Yelling, giving us the finger. He smiled and said, “Yes, I see it all the time”.
Of course, he did.
As I drove home I thought about how people reacted to a young woman stranded on a highway. No one stopped, just scowls, hand gestures, shaking their heads.
Why do people act that way?
Oh, that’s right, they are f*cking assh*les…