A Brief Foray into the Human Spirit

TaxiI sit here on my brown couch attempting to ponder an event that just transpired. On my way home from the office, I had to stop off at the Greyhound shipping station and drop off a few packages. The Ottawa Bus Station has the worst parking system, not to mention entry/exit system of just about any place I’ve ever seen. For starters, it sits on a one-way street, which is annoying enough. Simply getting to the station from one side necessitates an out of the way merry-go-round. The treat is that, upon finally pulling into the Station area, visitors are greeted with a one lane, one-way parking lot as well…with about fifteen spots, all of which are on parking meters to boot. What this means is that not only can you not find a spot, you don’t even really have the liberty to wait for a spot to become available, because there’s a slew of cars stuck behind you waiting to do the same thing.

This is not the point of the story, however. The preceding statements serve only to illustrate how tensions can be high for motorists viting the Ottawa Bus Terminal. (As a side note, today the parking spots were surprisingly empty and I slipped into one nicely, not bothering to pay the meter. First time this has ever gone so smoothly for me.)

What is worth mentioning about this experience:

I exited my car and walked across the line of taxis that are perpetually poised by the station awaiting their tender, tender fares. As I did so, a middle-aged driver was also exiting his car, and began to yell at one of the taxis that had just pulled in.

“IF YOU CAN’T DRIVE, THEN STAY OFF THE ROAD!” the middle-aged man screamed.

The taxi driver proceeded to exit his cab to square off against the scarf-clad assailant. They began yelling about the details of who had cut whom off, and who was a bigger immigrant than whom, etc. I went into the building to drop off my packages, as they were pretty heavy.

I made my transaction with little delay and exited the parcel office, not surprised to find the two men still locked in debate; however, when I passed it became clear that something had changed.

Both men were smiling.

“OK, you have yourself a good day now!” the middle-aged man said.

“You too,” wished the cab-driver, before re-entering his car, which was still in the cab queue.

I, as well, proceeded to re-enter my car, somewhat dazed by this turn of events.

This is simply another card added to the already-stuffed Rolodex of mankind’s most inexplicable social traits. I mean, what sort of agreement could the two men have reached in such a short period of time? I know as well as anybody, there is no cure for road rage.

I won’t bastardize this beautiful scene with any of my meager interpretations. Simply enjoy that wonderful clamminess that glazes over our soul when we witness these snippets of interaction that add so much romance and mystery to the enigma of the human condition.


2 Responses to “A Brief Foray into the Human Spirit”

  1. January 10, 2006 at 3:49 am

    I had a similar altercation with a clerk at Canada Post. The clerk wouldn’t let me sign out a work-related package because the address on the slip didn’t match my photo I.D., which features my home address. (My question here is, who has photo I.D. with their work address on it? In all honnesty, who has such a thing?!) In any case, after fifteen minutes trying to argue some sense into the man I simply gave up to return the following week armed with my business card — which doesn’t feature my name or photo might I add! At which point, the same clerk had no problem releasing the package. I extened my thanks to the man and wished him a good night despite the fact that I had previously spent a quarter of an hour arguing, snickering, and smearing the man with obscenities. And that’s coming from a passive man who rarely gets upset about anything!

  2. January 10, 2006 at 4:36 am

    You’re a true example of every day heroics, Master Baeta. I look forward to your continuing inspiration.

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