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Friday, April 27, 2012

No need for drama. Enjoy your ice cream.

Life's been pretty good since I escaped from that place in Mountain View. It means I've been relatively relaxed. Being able to set my own schedule certainly helps. If it's a beautiful day and I want to go to the beach, I go to the beach.

There are situations where there is no reason to get all bent out of shape. It's easy enough to see whether someone was innocently distracted or being malicious for some reason and respond accordingly.

So, in that vein, one fine afternoon, I was down in Santa Cruz. There's a hundred+ year old beach boardwalk there with rides, carnival food, sun, sand, surf, and my favorite, pinball. While their games have seen better days, I was still feeling great.

On my way out of town, I was heading towards the freeway and decided to stop off at Marianne's for some ice cream. For those who haven't been, parking is pretty tight, and you may have to do some crazy maneuvering to get into a spot legally.

It so happened that two spots were open right up front on this day, and a sedan pulled in, and I pulled in to the next spot over to its right. Right when I stopped, the sedan's passenger decided to exit and flung open her door. Due to the extreme skew of these spaces, the edge of her door wound up contacting my car somewhere up by the corner where my turn signals are.

I looked over in surprise and was met with a similarly surprised look from a girl who couldn't have been more than 12 or 13. I think she was more spooked than anything else, since if I had been just a moment later, she would have run right out in front of me. Obviously, she was excited about ice cream and wasn't thinking in terms of traffic safety. Besides, she was just a kid.

Anyway, I got out, since I wanted ice cream too, and her dad exited the driver's side of their car. He was beside himself, but I said, hey, wait, it's no big deal. I moistened my finger and used it to rub the spot on my car where they had connected. The spot came off.

I said "See? It's just plastic. No big deal. Enjoy your ice cream.", and just walked into the shop. That's it. Nothing actually happened.

Meanwhile, I imagine the dad and his daughter had a little talk about how it might have been far worse, and she could have gotten in trouble, and all of this, but I didn't stick around to listen. I was inside ordering my ice cream and staying in my chill-and-happy vibe.

I got my ice cream and departed, and proceeded to finish it in my car. Obviously, I'm not going to eat ice cream while driving on Highway 17. It's challenging enough with both hands on the wheel.

While I was out there, the dad came out and motioned for me to roll down my window, and apologized again, and I said again, it was no big deal. He said he could at least pay for my ice cream, and he was holding a 5 dollar bill, and he seemed insistent, so who was I to argue? I thanked him and pocketed the bill, finished my ice cream, and headed up the road.

That's it. That's the whole story: a non-event on private property. I save my righteous indignation for actual problems.

I headed back to Silly Valley.