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Has Driving Courtesy Gone the Way of the Floppy Disc? Published on MORE.com 3-15-2010

I was sitting at a red light having just exited the parking gargage at work. I work at a large university and there are always kids walking in front of cars without looking as if their ipods have projected a protective bubble around them and no car can touch them. Driving on campus is chucked full of driving hazards like that. I call it "the student slallom" and personally think it should be considered for the next winter Olympics as an exhibition event.

Anyway, I was sitting at the red light and a student decided to test the bubble theory and stepped into the crosswalk just as the light turned to green. I saw him but he had no idea I was on the same planet let alone that he owed his life to my reflexes which only goes to show you that for him, the bubble theory worked.

Since the only way the young man was NOT going to cross in front of me would have been for me to get out of he car and physically yank the earbud from his ear, I patiently waited for him to slump past my bumper.

When he was only halfway past my car, the SUV behind me honked at me like I was the one holding up the traffic. Now I have a minivan and the SUV sits higher than me so he had to have seen the kid walking in front of me, right?

Apparently that was the wrong assumption for me because SUV-guy laid into the horn again. The kid didn't hear because he probably had the music so loud that blood was going to drip from his eardrums in another minute or two. I, on the other hand, was perfectly able to hear the horn, both times and I gotta tell ya. SUV horns are damn ugly.

I wanted to get out and explain the rules of campus driving to the horn honker. That the kids pay way too much money to go to the college to be run down in a crosswalk and that as a mom, myself, I felt it my duty to look out for the students and make sure they are safe, so they can continue to attend college and so I can continue to have a job and pay my mortgage. Kind of like the circle of life only with a pay check.

So I reacted like any other responsible adult and when the young man stepped up on the curb to continue his walk completely oblivious to any of this auto-drama going on, I pulled out as slowly as I possibly could and made SUV-guy follow me at a snails pace to the next light.

OK, I know it was wrong and I did get a big old fat obscenity thrown my way that I could plainly hear because SUV-guy hung out his window to deliver it my way but damn, did I ever feel righteous.

And when we got to the next light, and the SUV could pull out and get in the turn lane next to me, guess who crossed in front of him?

You Gotta love Karma