Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Civility, or What Passes for It, On 18th Street

As I was making my way from the office to the Metro yesterday, I heard a car horn honk several times, catching my attention.

A lady in a white Mercedes was attempting to exit a parking space. She had been penned in, either by the car in front or the SUV behind, because there was no way she could have maneuvered her car into that space. She had about three inches of clearance, so she backed until her car bumped the SUV behind, pulled forward, repeated.

The horn was coming from the driver of the SUV who was, quite unbelievably, still in his car, doing nothing but beeping. He could have moved back a foot or two (he was the last car in line), let her out, and parked. (He would have even been parking legally for the next ten minutes, when rush hour restrictions went into effect.) He rolled down his window and yelled, "You're hitting my car!" She yelled back that she couldn't get out. He yelled that it wasn't his problem, as he was in a space, whereas she was not.

Whether or not the SUV driver was correct seemed beside the point. His car was getting bumped and he had it in his power to move, but he chose to yell instead. The lady would have been better served to try to ask the guy to move, rather than try to maneuver her car out of such a tight space, but she chose to bump his car repeatedly instead.

I'll try to keep this incident in mind the next time I have a problem on the Metro.

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