I felt a jerk, and yes, it was a real jerk

March 8, 2012 12:00 am

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It happened the morning after the long Presidents Day weekend. There's nothing like a long weekend to make a Tuesday morning every bit as grim as a Monday morning.

Not that I'm complaining about having a long weekend, especially for one of the minor holidays we celebrate with low, low prices on mattresses. When I worked at newspapers, I spent many Christmases in the newsroom, eating stale cookies and reading my co-workers' cards while wearing my electric sweater. Magical.

The morning after Presidents Day, I stopped at the GetGo for a big cup of coffee and joined the scrum on Fifth Avenue. Most people I know avoid Fifth Avenue, but it's the only place in the city where you can get through three or four consecutive lights without having to stop. Even the pedestrians display a rare sense of urgency when jaywalking.

I lost my synchronized momentum and stopped at a red light. I raised my coffee from the cup holder and sipped it. I was replacing it to prepare for a green light when


Coffee everywhere.

I looked in the rearview mirror to see who had plowed into my car. A middle-aged guy in a silver sedan. My neck woke up screaming.

If an accident is anything less than terrifying, it's just a total nuisance. Starting with having to shoulder your way through two lanes of traffic to find someplace to pull over so you can be late for work having this unpleasant conversation with the guy who is, of course, following behind me and will have to ...

Execute a quick left turn and disappear.

The coffee hadn't even finished soaking into my upholstery, and the miscreant had decamped, taking his license plate with him.

He hit me pretty hard, and he might have seriously hurt me. That's probably why he bolted. As it turns out, neither I nor the car were badly hurt. But I was severely annoyed and disgusted. What kind of jackass crashes into a car stopped at a red light and takes off? I realize it was Mardi Gras, but it was also 9:30 a.m. in Pittsburgh. Only the most dedicated would be drunk.

First Published 2012-03-07 23:05:21

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