So, here is how the argument went:
DBM: "You do know that this is not a car park, don't you?"
Man with large beer gut and hard hat: "Shut up!"
DBM: "F%#k you!"
Not my finest hour, I have to admit, but I am not very good at arguments in the heat of the moment. Afterwards - well yes, I can come up with any number of smart arsed comments or intellectual comebacks, whichever fits the bill. I am, after all, a sophisticated, well educated and highly intelligent woman (I can say things like this on my blog, since some of you reading do not know me and may actually believe some of the things that I write!) Given time, I probably could have come up with an eloquent argument, but I was in my car, in the middle of a road - it really is a road and not a car park - and there were other cars that wanted to drive down said road, not a car park. Also, he was quite a bit bigger than me, and there were quite a few other large, hairy, dirty, hard-hatted men around the work site, so I thought that I had better hightail it out of there, tout de suite! Of course, since this incident occurred about 100 yards from where I live, it would not have taken Sherlock Holmes or a pack of bloodhounds to track me down. I really should think some of my actions through a bit more before opening my mouth........
Let me explain the irritation that had bugged me enough to start this argument. Mr. DBM and I moved to our new neighbourhood last Autumn. It is a new development - we bought into Phase II and Phases III to Phase God knows what are still being built. This means that we are living next to a building site. We aren't actually right next to it, so it doesn't bother me too much. It even has its advantages. There are always large skips around if you have any household objects that you need to get rid of in a hurry - I did mention that the Alien in the Basement was no longer in the basement, didn't I!?! There is also a good supply of waste wood around that Mr. DBM can collect to his heart's content. It is waste wood - honest. We only collect it under the cover of dark because we work during all daylight hours and so night time is the only time we have to do our collecting. However, there are definitely downsides to the development and the one that has been bugging me the most is the use and abuse of the road.
This road leads out of the development and on to the nearest main road, so obviously a lot of people that live here use it to get to wherever it is that they are going and back again. Unfortunately, all the large, hairy, dirty, hard-hatted men also use it as their carpark. There are cars everywhere, both on and off the road. And the problem is not restricted to just cars. There are also huge dump trucks arriving and leaving throughout the day, clogging the road up and dumping their contents all over the road. I suspect that the contents of their trucks are actually destined for places other than the road, but much of it seems to end up on the road, along with all the sticky, gooey, clay-like mud that also ends up on the road after being transferred there from the truck wheels. This mud then ends up all over my lovely, shiny, freshly washed car (I will have to admit to this being a bit of an anomaly, since I only actually wash my car about once or twice a year. When I bought the car - the first new car that I had ever owned, I was full of good intentions. I even bought a car washing kit and a big, fluffy, looks-like-I-have-my-hand-up-a-lamb's-bottom mitt to dry the car off with. Said mitt has only been used once and my lovely new shiny car is looking a wee bit dusty these days) Get back to the plot, DBM! Oh yes, mud all over my new car, gravel spraying up everywhere, cars and trucks blocking the road. And then there are the dumpsters and the huge stacks of wood and other building supplies everywhere as well as the ever-widening potholes that are at present large enough to swallow a small child (which I am OK with), but I will not be so happy once they get large enough to swallow my lovely newish car. Well, on the day in question, things were even worse than usual, since some huge behemoth of a truck was stopped in the middle of the road. Now, I drive a small car, by North American standards, so I figured I could just about squeeze through, but I realised a lot of cars and trucks would not get through and it was this that lead to the brief exchange of pleasantries outlined above.
So what should I have said, bearing in mind that I only live 100 yards away? Obviously, nothing. I should have kept my big, fat mouth shut and done what any sane and rational person does - gone to City Hall and put in a formal complaint. I am pretty sure some normal individual has done that, since the child-swallowing pothole has been filled in and the road is now cleaned on a regular basis - at some ridiculous hour in the middle of the night, so disrupting my much needed beauty sleep. It's no wonder my looks are going down the drain faster than dirty dishwater! If I had decided to stay and argue with the workman, I could have pointed out all the legal liability issues that come with blocking a road so that emergency vehicles can no longer pass down it. Or I could have cited Bulletin 93-11, which states that it is the developer's responsibility to keep city roads clean. I could also have just politely requested that they try to keep the road clear and how very much we would appreciate it, thank you very much, all said while smiling sweetly. That never works for me though, since my smiling sweetly usually ends up in some kind of grimace. Once again, Mr. DBM is much better at that than I am. I think that my biggest problem with this whole argument was the lack of an argument. What kind of intellectual comeback can you give when someone just says "Shut up!"?
Friday, 21 March 2008
So, here is how the argument went: