When I was young and silly, I once raced my car through a residential neighborhood with the sole intent of flinging my ex-boyfriend's class ring at him in a way that would mar any attractiveness to his new girlfriend.
Since he had the presence of mind to stay behind locked doors once I screeched into his driveway, my only satisfaction was throwing the ring into the swimming pool, jumping back into my car and tearing down his street again.
That's when I saw her.
A woman was stalking through her front yard, cordless phone in hand, no doubt on the line with the police department. When she heard me coming again, she leaped onto the curb and wagged a finger at me in the same way my mother always did when she wanted me to feel ashamed.
Like Pavlov's dog, I could not resist the signal and immediately slowed down, limping out of the neighborhood both rejected and dejected.
Now I am the woman skittering about her front yard, hopping mad at the drivers who flagrantly ignore the 25 mph speed limit on the very street where my son walks to school.
But when I wag my finger -- various digits, depending on the day, often accompanied by ear-splitting shrieks of "Slow Down!" -- I get no shamed response. Some people actually speed up.
All manner of people are speeding down my street, and it's not just ignorant high school and college students. All sorts of rumbling work trucks and vans, piloted by bleary-eyed chain smokers; muffler-needing coupes with seats so far reclined it's a wonder drivers can see over the wheel; and a certain pizza chain from whom I will NEVER buy anything again because after repeated calls to managers, their delivery drivers won't respect the speed limit. Do you know who the worst offenders are?
I mean it. Their shiny SUVs are plastered with FHS soccer stickers (and hockey and tennis and volleyball and shuffleboard) and they apparently are very late for practice. Or a hair appointment. Or they just don't give a damn.
Cuz I'm spiritual, I don't throw nails into the street as they come speeding my way. What do you suggest I could do to encourage drivers to slow down? The finger has lost its power.