Here’s what makes my blood boil: callous jerks running roughshod over old folks with an air of insouciance that unhinges me . Whether it’s shoving past them in lines, defrauding them by phone, neglecting their care or outright ignoring their presence, their constant victimization makes me furious. I defy one, single reader to go one, single day without witnessing this crime. And it is, a crime.
A few hours ago, a frail, old man was backing out of the “Handicapped” space next to my car. He moved slowly and looked behind carefully as he reversed. However, when he was three-quarters of the way out, some girl flew around the corner in a large pickup, SAW him and actually SPED UP to pass him. He slammed on his brakes. After she passed, I looked through the window at his face. It was grim and shaken. I waved. He looked up nervously. I smiled and motioned him to roll down his window. He did but only one inch. “Not your fault,” I said. “She was a jerk. You were in the right of way.” He gave me a tight-lipped, half-smile.
I kicked a cab in New York City once. I was helping my 90 year-old grandmother across 5th avenue when a taxi ran a red light. He came so fast that I had to pull her out of his path. As he passed, within mere inches of us, I kicked his bumper as hard as I could. THAT made him slam on his brakes. He jumped out of his taxi yelling in a foreign language. I was too mad to be intimidated. “You almost hit my grandmother, you maniac,” I yelled. “You could have killed her!” As I continued to maneuver her safely across the street, cars all around him began honking. He just stood there, yelling, as all of 5th avenue angrily swarmed around him.
Frankly, I don’t know to this day if I actually made a dent in that cab because I never looked. However, I hope I made one in the driver. Part of me wonders that if that girl today in the pickup had been closer, would I have kicked her bumper too? Maybe I’ve turned into the Clint Eastwood of the elder set. Maybe I’ll start carrying a cane at each hip. If someone gets unruly with one of my elderly, I’ll whack ‘em. First I’ll look ‘em right in the eye, though, and say, “Make my day.”
Helen Hudson is the author of, “Kissing Tomatoes,” now on Amazon/Kindle.