Casual Rudeness

I was out in the car recently, two young kids in the back, heading home after a visit to the Supermarket.  Just outside is a roundabout that you turn right to get out onto the main road – those coming into the Supermarket therefore turning left.  There are more exits from this roundabout, but the majority of traffic is into and out of the Supermarket car park.

The thing that frustrates me, particularly with this exit, but it does happen to a lesser degree at other junctions/roundabouts, is the seeming lack of indicators installed on cars.  Whilst leaving the car park you’re stuck watching the line of traffic coming in – all you need is for those cars to actually indicate that they are turning into the car park rather than using one of the other exits from the roundabout, yet they often don’t.

So, as usual, I was there waiting for my chance to get out, yet again some guy in a posh car decided not to use his indicators.   Exasperated, I threw my hand up in the air and muttered to myself about the sad lack of indicators on cars these days.  There was no swearing involved, no rude gestures, not even any particular bad will towards the negligent driver – it just seems to be the “norm” now.

What also seems to be the “norm” is how strangers are quite happy to be rude to other strangers.  I don’t know if he thought I had said something rude to him, or made a rude gesture, or if it was simply an automatic response to anyone complaining about his driving, but this complete stranger then very casually, without even looking in my direction, stuck two fingers up at me.

I experience this type of attitude all the time in WoW – indeed it almost seems to be expected in certain circles – but this guy just gestured in the same manner as anyone else would wave.

I did experience the urge to follow him back into the car park to ask precisely why he felt the urge to stick two fingers up to myself and my two kids, but decided I should perhaps save myself the bother of a possible hospital visit which is sadly more and more likely these days too.

Thinking about it afterwards, the casual and almost instinctive way he reacted – it was almost as if either (a) he had been brought up to always react that way or (b) he was so used to other motorists complaining about his driving that his reaction was second nature.  Either way, I felt the urge to shake him and ask him to look at himself as to WHY he was getting so many people complaining about his driving!

Perhaps I’m just getting stroppy in my old age.  At another roundabout very close by, a few months ago I was coming back from work when another man in a new black 4×4 decided to pull out right in front of me, causing me to have to slow down to avoid hitting him.  Once I had gotten over the surprise and switched my windscreen wipers off (!!) I beeped my horn at him.  At which point he pulled over onto the side of the road, waited until I was going past him, then gave me a “hard stare” and gestured at me.  He then made a point of following me almost to the end of my street.

Was there a new Highway Code out that I’m not aware of?  One that states that indicators are no longer required, that roundabouts now no longer give way to the right, etc?  Or is it just that people feel if they are physically stronger than someone, they should have right of way?


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