Almost Getting Hit by a Car Really Shows You the Darkest Parts of Your Soul

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I walked up to the corner of 40th Street and Tunnel Exit Street (really, that’s what it’s called). The dreaded electric company had its trucks blocking 40th while the crew worked on something buried beneath the street, and a man in a blue vest and hard hat kept moving orange cones to allow cars out of the parking garage. The walk light was blinking red, so I decided to hang back, what with the confusion over the street closure and all.

The cars on Tunnel Exit Street got their green light and flew past me in the way that only cars in NYC can when getting stopped by red lights every block, and then the light changed. I stepped out onto the street, and though I saw a cab ready to turn the corner out of the corner of my eye, and even as his bumper literally touched the leg of my pants, I thought, Of course he’s going to stop.

But he didn’t, and before I knew what was happening, I was leaned over the hood of his car, both hands on it like I was going to be able to push it away from me. Without evening thinking, even before I stood back up again, I screamed, “I HAVE A FUCKING WALK SIGN!!

I never thought I’d be a person who yells at other people. Growing up in Ohio, I never raised my voice to anyone but my little sister, and she totally deserved it. I don’t think I said a single curse word until 8th grade, and even then, I just did it because some kids said I wouldn’t. I was raised to give people the benefit of the doubt, to think before I speak, and to feel guilty when I don’t.

The cab driver leaned out his window and said, “The light! The light!”, pointing to the stoplight above his head. I thought for .02 seconds that he may have had a green arrow, but then I realized that:

1) the sign wouldn’t have turned to Walk if he had a turn arrow,
2) that light isn’t ever an arrow, and

So even though this cab driver had totally been polite about yelling at me, I looked him in the eye and bellowed again,


And then I crossed the street with my head held high as the electric company crew laughed at me and a couple of guys made fun of me in an Asian language, called Tracey to tell her how I’ve turned into an angry New Yorker, and spent the next 20 minutes hiding out in the grocery store in case he decided to pull around the block and club me with his tire iron.

Have I mentioned I hate cabs?


  1. Alison says:

    I’ve become an Angry New Yorker, too.

    Now, when the subway doors and I’m in the train and people try to crowd in without letting me out first, I take up as much space in the door frame as possible, cross my arms, and glare until I’m allowed to make my exit. This take place on the 1 train much more than any other, I have noticed. Stupid, classless Bronx-bound people.

  2. kimz says:


    Oh man, yelling at cars might be my favorite city past time. Yelling at bikes is a close second …

  3. dd says:

    Oh no :(

    Glad you’re safe!

    I’m pretty mild-mannered in my everyday life, but I have found that, in dangerous situations, I’m most likely to get PISSED. Also self-righteous. I’m not sure how evolutionarily sound that reaction is, but I think it means I’m likely to die angry at somebody for Doing The Wrong Thing.

  4. bluzdude says:

    I’ve done the same thing, walking in downtown Baltimore. The cabs are no problem… it’s the rest of the idiots that don’t know how to freakin’ drive.

  5. Jack says:

    Yeah, I hate people who don’t comprehend the concept of #3 especially. If you’re coming up to a pedestrian crossing and they have a walk sign, then stop the damn car and wait. Have some f-ing patience. I do catch myself being a bit impatient sometimes as a driver and wanting to mow really slow-moving people down, but I guess my point is that I don’t since I understand how to rules work.

  6. thickcrust says:

    People who come to visit New York often remark on how they can’t believe there aren’t more traffic accidents in New York than there are. I agree, and I think that’s a shame. New York drivers do not kill themselves or one another nearly as often as they should, which simply encourages even more outrageously dangerous driving.

    At the risk of defending New York drivers, I also think that New York pedestrians are dangerous and irresponsible as well. They will cross anywhere, anytime. They impatiently stand in the street rather than on the sidewalk. They never pause for a moment to let cars clear the intersection.

    New Yorkers are incredibly selfish and self-centered. I find it neither charming nor endearing. And unfortunately, it’s the quality I most closely identify with New York. The fact that some people might help one another in the face of calamity doesn’t come close to balancing out the countless insults they – we – inflict upon each another daily.

    Did you ever watch Jerry Springer? I feel that was just a dark version of one of his closing sermons.


    I’d like for you to be in one piece for my wedding, though you know we’d make special accommodations for your wheelchair.

  8. Serial says:


    Re: Thickcrust

    Have you ever been to Europe? Those pedestrians are CRAZY. In Rome, you basically have to throw yourself in the street to get across. They won’t stop for you otherwise.

  9. Cristy says:

    Why haven’t we invented and built crosswalks between high stories of buildings and bridges in NYC yet?? We don’t have flying cars yet, but that’s no reason to not use all that vertical space. Hel-lo?

    Glad you’re not dead, btw. You’d’ve been missed. Seriously.

  10. Tracey says:

    Come back to Columbus and walk around OSU campus in order to feel super validated about always having the right-of-way as a pedestrian!

  11. Julie says:

    Wait, you got hit by a car and you just went and hid in a grocery store? Come back to Ohio where you call the cops and sue after being struck by a motor vehicle. That’s what you need to do!

    P.S. I’m glad you are alright.

  12. Nastassia says:

    LOL i Love this post.