Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Sign Of The Times

A little old, old lady--white hair, nicely dressed, driving a pricey car--just flipped me the bird in a grocery store parking lot. In Iowa! That's not something that you see around here much, and certainly not from that generation.

By the way, she was the one who was driving--too fast--in the wrong lane. Now, the latter is something you do see around here with alarming frequency and, I hate to say it, especially from that generation, which is a relatively large proportion of Iowa's population.

Did I respond in kind? Heck no; I'm reflexively polite to old people pretty much no matter what they do, and am even known for whipping out the terms "ma'am" and "sir" without thinking about it. (I do get teased for this; it's weird at my age, but old habits die hard.) In fact--and I'm sort of peeved at this, now--I actually waved, smiled and mouthed the word "sorry." How pathetic is that?

You know you're living in relatively mean times when an old woman--in Iowa!--takes to using "obscene" gestures.

As if any more evidence were needed, that is.

Added: Now, I'm not shocked by the gesture per se; I did live on the East Coast for a quarter century, after all. It's just, well--in Iowa!

One more thing... I'm reminded of this post written by Davenport, Iowa-native Brendan Wolfe of The Beiderbecke Affair, one of my favorite blogs.