there were incidents and accidents; there were hints and allegations


  • I don’t normally use the horn when I drive: if I have enough time to punch the horn, I have enough time to get out of the way and by then the danger’s usually past. But there’s three lanes coming off of Washington St. in Union Square. From left to right: left turn only, left or straight, and straight or right. I’m in the center lane about to turn left when the guy in the left lane decides he wants to go straight. He edges past me, less than two fingers from my driver’s side mirror.

    I punch the horn and nothing happens. I try it a few more times, idling through the intersection and enjoying the new sharpness of vision that adrenaline confers. Finally I press the horn again a block later (and nowhere near the offending vehicle, I should add). A familiar tone. So the horn didn’t freeze overnight or anything.

  • I stopped off at Wendy’s for a burger and a coke on Monday. The young man in line ahead of me nearly flipped his shit at the guy behind the counter for (1) totalling up the order before he’d placed all the items; (2) setting his change down on the counter rather than handing it to him; (3) speaking English with an accent. “I don’t speak foreign,” he declared, storming off. To his credit, the counterman stood there impassively being yelled at, even after the man came back to angrily insist that he hadn’t got all his change back.

    “I told you that’s not your change,” the counterman said.

    After heaping screaming abuse on the employee and the manager, the register was re-opened and the correct change produced. “Thank you,” the young man said insolently.

    “You not welcome,” the counterman said.

    “Man, you just come outside, all right? You just step outside and you see.”

    There was a point, somewhere in the history of our civilization, when a manager would have just said, “You know what? Here’s your twelve dollars and nine cents back. We don’t want your custom.” Until that time returns, don’t take any shit – real or imagined – from anyone behind the counter.

  • Updated Nerds on Sports (as I do every Tuesday). I go into the distinctions between HGH and anabolic steroids, and why the former might not be as bad as the latter.

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