Last Sunday I was going to IKEA to buy a pair of Hand Rings. For those who don't know IKEA is a huge home products retailer, Hand Rings are those round gymnastic rings that are hung with ropes or straps from somewhere and gymnasts hang on them and do their gymnastic things, and in California these huge retail stores are usually located in wide open areas with some streets leading to their ultimate parking lots. When I was getting near there I reached a 4-way stop sign with the left turn lane being backed up with tens of cars, but the straight lane only with a couple of cars, so without looking I put my car in reverse to go back a couple of feet and then go forward to the lane on my right side. Well, I didn't look, there was a big truck behind me, but I did not hit it, I had stopped on time, I shifted forward, and proceeded to move forward.
They honked at me. I don't know why, but just to tell me fuck you, because in this country honking is mainly used to insult someone, whereas in Iran honking is use for exchange of information, hey honk I'm on your right, honk I'm turning left, honk you're too close, honk where you going,... But here honking is to insult careless drivers, in this case he was telling me to fuck myself, basically. To tell me I was a bad driver, there was no other reason for it. As I said I didn't hit the truck, I had stopped in time, I was moving forward when they honked at me. So, when I was a distance away on the right lane and moving forward I honked back at them, which meant fuck you too. But they didn't like that, they wanted to insult me but they didn't want to be insulted back, because I was bad they were good, so they changed their lane and started to follow me. At first I didn't make much of this. We were both going to the same place and it was natural for both of us to take the same route, especially when the other left lane was backed up.
But, soon it became obvious to me that they were following me. I didn't need any of this, I was there for a simple purchase, in and out, yes I made a mistake, but it was over with and I wanted to get on with my life, but they did not ease up. They honked some more, they gestured with their hands, they were pointing to me to pull over, all along while I was going back and forth in the busy parking lot trying to lose them. They would not give up, so I decided I didn't need any of this and I would just give up and go back home, so I began to leave the damn place, but they kept on being more irritated and more aggressive, and my car began to smoke, at the time I didn't know whether it was from the engine or tires. Their truck had at least two passengers in it, maybe four; I couldn't be sure since things were happening too fast. At times, in the rear mirror, I saw them making drastic moves to keep up with me. At a 4-way stop intersection I turned left to a dead end In-N-Out burger joint, I was trapped in the parking lot. They locked my way out. I backed away as far as I could. They moved forward just a little to turn their front wheels in my direction. This gave me enough room to escape from the back side of where they had stopped, and drove forward towards the street, while they were facing the opposite way, away from the street and had to go back and forth to make it back into the street. This gave me enough time to get away.
One way to go, no choice, I went back to IKEA parking lot, took the back way, made my way back to the main streets again, and headed back home the long way, all along worrying that they might catch up with me again. Back home I waited for an hour and then went back to IKEA again, parked my car half a mile away and walked there. Come to find out they were sold out of Hand Rings.
Oh well, I didn't care. I was content that I had avoided a potentially dangerous situation. From here on if someone honks at me to tell me fuck you, I let it go. It doesn't take away anything from me. I'm fallible, but I believe in non-violence, so I have to practice it.
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MPD joonby Literary critic (not verified) on Sat Feb 07, 2009 02:37 PM PST
I left a comment for you on the moshaereh blog, 6th February, in case you missed it.
Beware people. There are aby blue (not verified) on Thu Feb 05, 2009 08:36 PM PST
Beware people. There are a lot of crazy people out there, with all sorts of mental issues, many on alcohol and drugs, and who knows what they can do to you. Just be patient, polite and considerate.... it just works out better. And let it go...
So you are James Bond tooby I Have a Crush on Alex Trebek on Thu Feb 05, 2009 05:27 PM PST
Well this was just too much. To be honest, I googled the hand rings.
Just to share, in the spirit of peace and sharing, here is my story.
Once, I tried to change lanes on a very open highway. No traffic! It wasn't Iran, obviously. It was in the freedom capital of the world - YOU es Ay! (except for iranian.com servers where we are blogging in an IRI type environment).
Well I was fed up with the Japanese geisha lady and I tried to push to the left (with blinkers) and the fancy American lady in her Ford Explorer (exploring Fox News and McDonalds) sped up, well that made me angry! Share the road Beeeeyoch! So i squeezed in, knowing she would not hit me, because I drive a very expensive, classy car with a hole in the back seat floor board. I took a sip of my Fanta being pleased with my Tehrooni lane change.
Well then you see, she did the nice honk and honk and extra flair - middle finger! Well, I'm also peaceful and not into honking so I just shrugged and put my hand up like Christian Bale and said "OH WOW GOOD FOR YOU. BIG DEAL YOU WILL FALL BACK 2.2 SECONDS HEADING TO TACO BELL".
Then oh my god. She started tail gating me and I regretted my stupid action. My car is a massive piece of shit and she could have killed me and told the police I was al qaeda. So I just sped up and took the next exit.
Better safe than dead.
Not always an insultby Ali P. on Thu Feb 05, 2009 12:27 PM PST
I honk when I want to say:
"That was dumb!"
"This ain't Khartoum!"
"Chaakereh Abbas agha!"
"Can we go already????"
"I saw THAT!"
And I reckon people maybe saying those things to me, when they honk at me...
i can't decide whether toby anonymous fish on Thu Feb 05, 2009 10:45 AM PST
exclaim horror or laugh until i pee! ok, i've decided this was joke and now i have to leave the office. great. thanks MPD.
DW Duke,by Multiple Personality Disorder on Wed Feb 04, 2009 11:05 PM PST
As you know, and I noticed your comment on Roxane's blog also, I originally wrote this as a comment in her blog but it got so big I decided to make a blog out of it. I have followed your comments here and there, and you seem to be a well rounded and reasonable person.
Thank you for reading and your comment.
Honk if you love Jesusby DW Duke on Wed Feb 04, 2009 09:45 PM PST
Several years ago I had a friend who was a Presbyterian minister. He liked to help people out. His church was next to the campus of Washington University in St. Louis where I was attending law school. One Thursday a student came to him and asked to borrow his car for a few hours so he loaned it to the student. On the rear of the vehicle was a bumper sticker that said "Honk if you love Jesus."
After the student had used the car for several hours he brought the vehicle back. Everything seemed fine until Sunday morning. An elderly woman came up to the minister after the service and with tears in her eyes she wanted to know if something was wrong or if he was mad at her. He said "no, why do you ask."
She replied "On Thursday I pulled up behind you and saw the bumper sticker that said "Honk if you love Jesus." I honked the horn as I always do and instead of waiving like you always do you flipped me the bird." :)
On a more serious note, On December 26th the son of an attorney I know went to a pool hall with several friends. There was a person there who wanted to start a fight with him and wouldn't leave him alone. The attorney's son decided to leave. The person who started the fight came around with a pickup truck with two other guys. He jumped out and stabbed the attorneys son to death with a machete. These altercations can easily escalate into serious matters as we know from watching the conflict in Palestine and Israel.