Five Dollar Finger

This morning, I put the assorted nonsense I use during the day in my pocket. For some reason, I had a $5 bill and put that in my right pocket too. I never do that, especially since I would usually drag it out accidentally and lose it.

After eating lunch/supper, I drove back toward the house. I waited at the light on Emma and Butterfield Coach. It’s challenging to get good visibility on the left, an issue exacerbated by people pretending they’re racing in the Indy 500 as they come around the long curve. An SUV crossed the intersection doing at least 70. I waited, craning my neck to check again. Before you say anything, waiting until the light turns green IS an option. Still, it is just as likely to get you killed – and for two reasons: people have no patience waiting on someone to legally and safely turn, and a red light is often just encouragement to speed through an intersection illegally. I forgot to mention that East Springdale’s residents are less likely to have both a driver’s license and insurance at any given moment. It’s one of the many reasons I advocate that the city uses the actual roads for the annual Demolition Derby.

As it turned out, my light turned green, and I pulled out quickly. (That’s what she said. My apologies. That was a reflex TWSS there.) A couple of seconds later, I looked in my rearview mirror. A cobalt blue Hyundai was coming up behind me exceedingly fast, probably going 75 mph. As they passed, I noted that the car had five younger people in it, two of whom shoved their arms out the window, using their middle fingers to wave hello.

I concluded that I had interfered with their driving progress for zero seconds while they sped and failed to stop at a red light. I wasn’t quite sure what to do with that information.

The blue car, of course, caught up with a throng of traffic. A throng, whatever that is. So I followed them up Butterfield to Friendship. I turned left as they did. At this point, their guilty conscience probably convinced them I was angry about getting flipped off. I wasn’t. I was amused. They passed my normal turn into the neighborhood I live. A block further on, they turned into one of the dirt driveways on the side. The other side of the road isn’t part of Springdale city limits – and it shows. The high class you’d normally associate with Springdale diminishes considerably on that side of the road. (I apologize for the snark there, Rodeo fans.)

I stopped across from their driveway. I got out of my absurdly blue car and walked across. The driver’s eyes widened. Yes, it’s true someone could have shot me. I can think of no better way to die than by pranking someone in East Springdale unless it is to be shot by a jealous husband in bed. I handed the guy in the passenger rear seat a $5 bill and said, “Get yourself a 6-pack. And stop driving like pansies.” I laughed.

Someone inside the Hyundai said, “Dude, what the f—?” in a high-pitched voice.

I drove away, smiling like an idiot.

I like to think that this merry band of miscreants will be flipping off MORE people, expecting others to tip them for the honor.

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