Friday, January 30, 2004

Bit of a story this week, but first, some TV stuff:

Watching Keen Eddie's return on Bravo proves that you can still make a classic solo-cop formula show, as opposed to a more contemporary ensemble drama, and still make it fresh and fun and interesting. All you have to do is accept that nobody will watch it, apparently, especially on Fox, where it must have just been too weird. Me, I loved it then, and I'm loving it all over again now.

Another new favorite is ToddTV on FX. Normally, I don't much care for the "reality" genre, but I like the audience participation factor of this one. It's about this guy who agrees to live his life according to the whims of the audience. At the end of every episode, there's a phone-in vote to determine a major decision in his life, and viewers can email suggestions for him to do from the web site. He's a self-centered, arrogant pretty boy, and he's not getting his way, and that's always fun. (I sent in a suggestion that if he's going to act like a kid, he should work with them. Tune in next Wednesday to see if they use it!) Here's how much I'm enjoying the show, after only two episodes: I'm watching it and taping Newlyweds, which is on at the same time. And I really like Newlyweds.

So here's my story: Much as I hate McDonalds, I went through their drive-thru yesterday to pick something up for a friend. I place my order and pull up out of the way of the speaker. I'm watching the big SUV in front of me, and suddenly her reverse lights come on, and she starts backing up. I'm watching her get closer and closer to my car--and I can't go anywhere because there's someone behind me--and when I realize that she isn't going to stop, I lay on my horn. Which she must not have heard, because what actually stopped her was her car rubbing up against mine.

I get out to survey the damage, which is fairly minor. She rubbed up against the side of my bumper, scraped some of her paint off onto it, and caused some minor scratches in the bumper. She calls out from her behemoth, "How bad is it?"

"Well, there are some scratches," I tell her.

"Oh, that's okay," she says. And starts to turn away like we're finished.

"Actually, no, it's not okay. Because they weren't there before you backed into my car."

"Well, you should have backed out of my way."

And that was it. At that point, it wasn't the damage that made me mad, it was her instant willingness to shift the blame onto me, because I didn't get out her way when she started backing up in a fast-food drive-thru, and that absolves her of any responsibility for anything she hits. Like if I throw a punch at her and it connects, is it assault? Or is it her fault for not ducking? So, now I'm not willing to just let it go.

"No," I tell her, "you shouldn't have backed into my car."

"Well, you could have backed up," she says.

"Or," I counter, "you could have not backed into my car."

Things go this way for a bit, and we agree to finish up in the parking lot. Ultimately, she gives me $20 bucks, which is fine, because the damage was too minor to mess with insurance companies. But I wanted to be sure that she sacrificed something, because of the casual attitute she had about just backing into my car. Like it's somehow my responsibility to stay out of her way, and not her responsibility to not put me in the position of having to do that in the first place. And need I mention again that she was driving an SUV, which studies have shown tend to be owned by particularly self-centered individuals?

And this is why I hate leaving the house most days.