One more item from my trip to San Francisco last week: people don’t know how to internalize their anger in Northern California.
Of course, this is probably because most of them are too stoned to know what anger feels like most of the time. But I witnessed two very harsh road rage incidents that you would probably never see here in New York.
1. While on a city bus, I notice a car come to a dead stop in the middle of the street. This is a narrow two-way street, and there is no getting around this car. For the next 30 seconds, the bus driver literally lays on the horn. Finally, two people run up to the car and get in the back seat, and the car pulls off. That part of the story, especially the excessive use of the horn, is not unusual for New York. What happens next is.
At the next traffic light, the driver and passenger get out of the car and walk up to the driver’s window on the bus. “WHO THE FUCK DO YOU THINK YOU ARE,” they shout. “WHAT THE FUCK, MAN. WE OUGHTTA BUST YOU UP FOR THAT SHIT.”
Without skipping a beat, the bus driver responds to the threat. “I’ve got 20 fucking people on this bus who’ve got places to go. Get the hell back in your car or I’ll call the fucking cops.” The idiots oblige.
In New York, this uncharacteristic vulgarity from a bus driver would be followed up by silence on the bus, and a complaint to the MTA for lewd behavior. But not in San Francisco: the entire bus broke out in applause.
2. At a three-way stop, a woman in a convertible pulls to a stop at the same time as a Mercedes. The Mercedes pulls through the intersection safely, and the convertible, with the right-of-way, begins to turn behind him. At the same time, a Ford SUV driven by another woman – which was behind the Merecedes and clearly didn’t have the right-of-way – starts to pull forward into the intersection, despite the fact that the turning convertible is clearly in her field of vision. Suddenly, the SUV driver, realizing that the convertible is not going to cede her right-of-way, stops short, and her brakes screech.
The convertible driver honks her horn and raises her hand in disbelief. At this point, the SUV driver shouts for all to hear, “WHAT THE FUCK DO YOU THINK YOU’RE DOING, YOU FUCKING BITCH CUNT?”
Jerk? Moron? Asshole? Pendejo? These are acceptable words in expressing your frustration with other drivers in New York. But never have I heard “fucking bitch cunt.”
San Francisco drivers: calm the fuck down!