Ah, blameshifting

I’m not even sure that “blameshifting” is a real pysch term, but you get the point…and if you don’t, you will.

I stopped a lady a few weeks ago for failing to yield to a pedestrian in a crosswalk. This violation is near the top of my “Wow, I’m an idiot driver” list. At any rate, the pretty lights went on, the loud siren sounded and I got to meet a new fan.

MC: Hiya. Do you know why I stopped you?
BS (sadly, it stands for BlameShifter…but I think we’ll agree the other obvious term applies as well): No.
MC: Ah, well, you didn’t stop for the ped in the crosswalk.
BS: I didn’t see him.
MC: I would assume that to be true. Unfortunately, I did. And then I saw you almost hit him. With your big ass car. You know, the one that outweighs a pedestrian, even a huge one, by about ten times.

I left the slightly bewildered driver sitting in her car while I wrote out the citation. When I returned to her vehicle she was a bit, shall we say, incensed.

BS: How come the fifty times no one stopped for me, no one got a ticket?

Here are the list of responses that flew through my infamously sarcastic mind:
1. Because you’ve just got really shitty luck.
2. Because I obviously have it out for you.
3. Because no one cares about your safety.
4. Because I’m an evil prick and stopping someone for not yielding to you isn’t in my malevolent plans for world domination.
5. Because no one wants to fuck up the office pool about how many times you’ll have near misses before you get tattooed into next week.
My eventual answer was much more professional (and boring), but it equated to something like, “Ma’am I assure you that had I seen someone do the same thing to you that you just did to the other pedestrian, I’d have stopped them as well.”
Sometimes, my inner monologue is so much more interesting than reality.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic. Snark is encouraged. Being a prat is not.

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5 thoughts on “Ah, blameshifting

  1. Just for the heck of it, what's your criteria for "failing to yield to a pedestrian crossing the xsection?" Is it when the mirror of the vehicle is within three millimeters of touching the ped? Or is it when the above-mentioned ped is 30+ ft away while merrily crossing the lanes of traffic that are oncoming relative to the vehicle making the turn?

  2. You would think if she had been a victim of the same sorry offence she would be all the more careful not to do it to somebody else.
    As for your "malevolent plans for world domination"…I like it. If I support you now will you give me a country of my own?

  3. Once upon a time I was crossing a road next to an airport building, on foot. The road was next to where one could pick up people who had arrived from flights. I was in a designated crosswalk, complete with piles of "Yield to pedestrians" signs.

    As my cane and I toddled across the way I was very narrowly missed by some jerkwad so busy yapping into his cellphone that he might not even have noticed me. Just after missing me he pulled over to pick someone up.

    I had the absolute joy of watching a state trooper walk over and read this guy the riot act. I could not hear it clearly but I did watch the driver's face go deep red and then turn completely white as a sheet as the nice trooper most likely explained to him things like what would have happened if he had not only hit a pedestrian but a disabled one at that. I didn't see if the jerkwad got a ticket (even then I could only stand still for so long) but he sure did get about 10 yrs of his life shaved off.

    That was pre-2001, when I could still walk. If it were to happen today I wonder if a ticket and a lecture would be the least of what you'd get.

  4. "Sometimes, my inner monologue is so much more interesting than reality."

    Just sometimes? I'm kinda dissappointed now.