Kindness when stranded
Len Lear gave a vivid sense of the all too common experience of running into a person crazed by road rage; his encounter went far beyond the usual rude words and gestures so I wish he noted had the license number of the miscreant and reported him to the police. [“How do you deal with road rage on Northwest Philly streets?” Oct. 24]
On a more positive note: My car battery died on Oct. 20 in the parking lot behind Chestnut Hill Coffee. It was raining, my side window was stuck down and AAA told me there would be a four hour wait for assistance [Yes, four hours!].
I began asking people parking in the lot if they had jumper cables. Everyone seemed genuinely concerned but either didn’t have the equipment or had left them at home. After 20 soaking minutes of this, suddenly a car pulled up with cables. A man who had them at home went to fetch them, returned and with the help of another passerby managed to start my car before he had to rush off as a realtor to work an open house.
So sometimes one really can rely on the kindness of strangers.
I have developed pedestrian rage, which is not nearly as intimidating as road rage by people in powerful vehicles. This has occurred when drivers have tried to kill or maim me. I consider my rage to be a reasonable response to their actions.
Several times recently (on Sedgwick, on E. Mt. Airy and on Cresheim Valley Drive), I was crossing the street with a green light, walking in the crosswalk, when a driver made a sudden left turn – apparently to avoid waiting for the cars going straight – and almost ran me down.
I still have PTSD from such an episode after dark when the headlights were coming right at me. That driver slammed on their brakes in time. Another time, the driver swerved in time to avoid hitting me. Other times, I’ve managed to jump out of the way (despite no longer being very spry).
What I really wish I’d been able to do in these situations was smash their cars with a baseball bat or shoot out their tires or pull them out of their car. I don’t understand why they can’t wait for pedestrians to cross the street before turning and why they can’t obey this simple traffic law. Who knows what I’ll do next when I experience pedestrian rage!