a true story by Joe Novak
I honked my horn and indicated to the driver in front of me to pull up. Apparently, she did not read or understand “frustrated old man” hand signals so she just shrugged her shoulders and paid me no mind. We were sitting at a traffic signal that refused to turn green. The reason was, she had not pulled up far enough to trigger the sensor buried in the asphalt. The road sign read, “Stop here to activate signal”. I again tried to get her attention by blowing my horn and pointing to the sign, apparently blowing your horn twice at this young lady is a no-no. She proceeded to make hand gestures unbecoming a lady and just to make sure I saw them, she rolled her window down and stuck her finger in the air. I assume she wanted to show me here fake fancy manicured fingernails.
About five minutes had passed without as much as a flicker of green on the traffic light. The volume of frustrated drivers was building behind us. Some cowboy even drove around us, through the red light showing that young lady his finger, but I don’t believe he had his manicured.
That’s it, I thought, I better get out and tell her why this light is never going to change. As I approached the driver side window with extreme caution and trepidation, I heard her tell someone on her cell phone, “Some old jerk is coming up to my window”. I tried to be the politest “old jerk” and used my sweetest tone of voice as I approached with visions of getting pepper sprayed or worse.
“Excuse me young lady,” I said, “the reason this light is not turning green is that you need to pull up to that sign, which will trigger a sensor and turn the light green.”
“It will?” she asked in total disbelief?
“Yes, it will, please try it,” I begged.
Now how difficult could this be? What reason would this “old jerk” have to lie? She just sat there looking around and giggled as if any second I would reveal that she was actually on candid camera and that sign was one of our props.
I walked back to my car and saw the drivers behind me looking for an answer I did not have. No, I didn’t have any good news for them; we were stuck here for eternity.
Wait I thought, I know how to fix this! I pulled around her stopping short of running the red light, throwing the gearshift into reverse I pulled onto the sensor in the road as the young lady, upset that I had pulled in front of her leaned on the horn and showed me her nails again, both hands no less.
Like magic the light turned green, once again the “old jerk” has saved the day … or not. I pulled away, never looking back, never expecting a thank you, hopping never to see her painted nails again!