A bird in the hand ...

-A A +A
By Becky Cassell, Editor


Apparently, I'm not a very skillful driver. You see, a teenager flipped me "the bird" Saturday afternoon in the Kroger parking lot.

I can only assume that gesture was her opinion of my driving skills.

I had stopped by the grocery to pick up a few items, and as I was leaving, I pulled out of the parking aisle and headed toward the stop sign at the center of the lot.

I've done the exact same thing likely hundreds of times, and I know how long it takes for a car coming in the entrance to reach the same place - at the proper speed.

The teenager driving a small silver car was apparently traveling about three times the speed she should in a parking lot, because she appeared in my rearview mirror much more quickly than she should have.

And her hand was the most visible part.

A middle finger was prominently placed up against the windshield.

To be honest, perhaps I sat at the stop sign a little longer than I normally would have - but that's because I was so shocked at the rudeness.

What's so ironic about this is that just last weekend my 18-year-old son came home and said, "Mom, I've got a column idea for you."

He said I should write about how polite drivers are in our community. He said he just thinks it's neat the way many drivers wave at others, even when they're strangers, and how some will even stop and let another driver enter or exit when it's not their turn.

And, honestly, that's what I had planned to write about this week because I've noticed it, too.

Four-way stops in Taylor County aren't usually four ways. It seems that at least one driver will always let others go first. And if you're waiting to turn left across traffic, but you can't see what's coming in the far lane, oftentimes the person in the near lane will stop and watch traffic for you, motioning when it's clear.

But this young lady on Saturday apparently doesn't find anything wrong in being rude to strangers OR speeding in a parking lot.

Just last week, in a story on the News-Journal's front page, Police Chief Dennis Benningfield remarked that a large number of traffic collisions that happen in Campbellsville occur in parking lots.

Hmmm. Perhaps that means one should drive at a reasonable speed in a parking lot?

It's a good thing I didn't come to my senses until much later.

As I was unloading the groceries at home, I thought of what I would have liked to have done. I would like to have put my car in "park," stepped out and shamed the young woman for her rudeness. I would also have liked to share with her some statistics on teen driving.

Maybe then she might think twice before she gets behind the wheel next time.

I much prefer writing about teenage rudeness than teenage tragedy.