First, let me set up the scene of the incident. On my commute home I drive over a one-lane bridge. Going home, the road I take (River Road, go figure) runs parallel to a canal. I make a right turn directly onto the bridge in question. Here’s a picture for the curious. There is a sign on the opposite side of the bridge that says, “Yield to oncoming traffic.” Traffic usually flows in a fashion that whichever direction is currently crossing the canal continues until all cars on that side have gone, which suits me perfectly. However, I assume that the yield sign is there to indicate that should two cars arrive at the bridge at the same time, the side with the sign should, well, yield to cars on the opposite bank.
Yesterday, I was driving home and listening to Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban again, as I’ve been listening to the whole series from the beginning after having finished Deathly Hallows. Although my day had been long and stressful, I was in a good mood, and I felt like nothing could bother me. I arrived at the bridge and did not see any cars, which happens occasionally. Some days I have to wait a few minutes to cross the bridge, so I smiled at my good luck and slowly proceeded onto the bridge.
You should understand that while you can see cars that are on the bridge, the view of the road leading up to the other side of the crossing is obstructed until you are actually on the bridge. As soon as my rear wheels crossed the threshold onto the wooden slats a woman in a black Mercedes coming towards me blew past the yield sign and stopped short on her side of the bridge. Right away I could tell I was in for a treat today. I turned off Harry Potter.
So, there I was, staring a 50+ year old woman in the face, sizing her up. The look on her face was one of “Get out of my way, peon!” I immediately decided that I was not in a hurry and didn’t feel like backing up. After all, I had the right-of-way, and it was obvious that I was the first one on the bridge. I pointed gently to the disregarded yield sign and mouthed, “You have to yield to me.” The Queen of the Bridge did not like this insolent behavior and started pointing at me and yelling something. I shook my head calmly and put my hands up as if to say, “I’m sorry, but I don’t speak your language.” This seemed to aggravate her to no end. She continued yelling and started inching her shiny black car towards me threateningly. Once again I motioned that I did not understand what she wanted and did not move.
In the 30 seconds that had passed since the battle of wills began, a few cars had pulled up on the woman’s side of the bridge. The first car in line had stopped at the yield sign, giving the woman plenty of room to backup, should she decide that she wasn’t the the most important person in the world. This pleased me, as I did not want to be forced to lose the scuffle due to another car blocking her only way out. My satisfaction quickly turned to twisted delight as a pickup truck pulled up behind me, right up to my bumper! “Aha!” I thought, “You have no choice now, you arrogant bitch!” My new ally waited about one second before banging on his horn like a five-year-old child with a new drum set. The Emperor of the Canal knew she was defeated. With much frantic hand waving and yelling, she retreated onto solid ground. I could not resist sweetening my victory, so I rolled down my window as I drove slowly past. “I’m sorry ma’am, but you had a yield sign and I did not,” came my relaxed declaration. The response I received was a hysterical, “YOU HAD A YIELD SIGN TOO, ASSHOLE!!!” I laughed at this preposterous statement and continued on my way.
As I drove past the four or five cars that had lined up behind my ousted opponent, I received two or three looks of bemused understanding. I turned Harry Potter back on and drove home with that rare sense of satisfaction that one can only get by knocking a true egomaniac down a few notches and getting away with it unscathed.