Most People Are Idiots

September 7, 2006

A couple of days each week after I walk the boy and a couple of the neighbor kids to school I go for a 3.5 mile walk.  While walking this morning, it occurred to me that when people are behind the wheel of an automobile they often fall into one of the three categories:

  • Idiot
  • Ignorant
  • Malevolent

Now, number two, ignorant, is correctable.  You can learn and apply what you learn to bettering yourself and remove this label.  The other two, well, I’m sure some people have changes of heart, I know I have, but they are harder to come by.

Have you asked yourself, what brought this line of thought on in his head?  Relax, dear reader, I’ll tell you.  It all started when a lady (for lack of a publicly acceptable word) tried to run me down in the crosswalk while I was crossing with the light.  Notice in that sentence ‘crosswalk’ and ‘with the light’?  Well, I like to think of myself as a defensive driver and a defensive walker so I was expecting her to do this.  Why, you might ask?  Because she had a mobile phone pressed firmly against her face while she made a left turn in my direction.

Now, initially, I thought to myself, “what an idiot!” but on reflection I’m wondering.  Is it possible that she’s never heard about the studies linking lack of driving attention to mobile phone usage?  If so, then we’d say ‘ignorant’.  Is she incapable of learning?  Scary, but then the ‘idiot’ label would apply.  However, if she knows but either doesn’t think it applies to her or doesn’t care I’m beginning to think that the ‘malevolent’ label is more applicable.  The dictionary defines malevolence as “A desire to harm others or to see others suffer” and intentional ignorance seems to fall into that classification.

For the remainder of my walk, I decided to count the near misses – a total of six.  Three of these involved the driver talking on a mobile phone.  One, that left me laughing for half a block, was a lady walking out of the Challenger school across the grass towards her car which was illegally parked in front of a fire plug.  She was wearing an ill-fitting black skirt that was too small and too short so that her ample stomach oozed over the top of the skirt into a nice muffin top.  She was wearing three inch stilletto heels with no ankle straps so that every step into the damp grass caused her to sink those heels into the wet ground.  She was so intent on not getting stuck and keeping up her end of the conversation that she almost ran me over and when she realized that I was there she didn’t even make eye contact, just navigated around as I stood there in amusement.

The third involving a mobile phone was what appeared to be a young mother leaving the same school driving a behemoth of a SUV (a Cadillac Escalade).  She looked at me, directly at me as I was walking across the crosswalk, MAKING EYE CONTACT, and then pulled out anyway, forcing me to step back to avoid being her hood ornament.  All of the time, she is smiling and talking on her phone.  Definitely a ‘malevolent’.

I’ve just started this walking route; it will be interesting to see if these near misses are normal.  Perhaps I’ll think of something I can do to help … educate… these idiots.


One Response to “Most People Are Idiots”

  1. Bill said

    I noticed that at the beginning of this essay, you categorize people into one of three types of driver. I have a suspicion that I know someone who falls naturally into two of these categories. Is there a special Idiot/Malevolent category? Just wondering. I’m not saying anything. Just curious. He has been seen in various behemoths, notably a Cadillac and a Suburban. But he also terrorizes the neighborhood in a small, raspy BMW. I’m not naming names. Not since Schindler’s list.

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