“Did you just throw me the f#$%in’ finger?!?!” he bellowed in rage.
The 1981 Chevy pickup, a mildewy milk chocolate brown, sped up behind me and then slowed down and forced me off the road. With no one-way streets to zip down and no place to retreat, I pulled over and slowed down.
“Who the f&$% do you think you are?” he continued leaning over to the passenger side. As he blocked traffic, others began to honk their horns in displeasure.
Santa Fe is an interesting place. While it may give the impression of a laid back, slow-paced town, many of the natives have a breakfast burrito-sized chip placed firmly on their shoulder that can be triggered at the drop of a hat. I’m not sure what causes it.
In some towns you can blame the oppressive heat for keeping people on edge. In others it is based on horrid traffic patterns and a stressed populace. But in this instance I guess it could just be attributed to a random outburst from some heavily tattooed, mullet-sporting, curse-bag driving an old truck. Or drugs.
It was the end of a beautiful day and the sun was throwing its Tuscan-style light all over the town. I was on my bike at the intersection waiting for the light to turn. As I took off, the curse-bag honked at me and pulled up uncomfortably close. Naturally, as I am wont to do when riding my bike, I copped a self-righteous attitude and displayed my finger of indifference, which was not appreciated by this citizen.
He quickly pulled up beside me at a steady 10mph and shouted expletives my way before pulling in front and forcing me off the road and then pulling up on the curb to continue his tirade.
My pulse began to quicken as synapses fired and senses flared – fight or flight? – how do you defuse this situation?
Fortunately, another car witnessed the exchange and pulled up beside the truck and yelled at him to back off.
This is not the first time I’ve encountered the Santa Fe Chip and it will likely be the last, but I would like to thank the kind person who pulled up beside this belligerent motorist and allowed me to avoid the whole ‘fight or flight’ decision.