Hello, back there Sir, in your white SUV. Yes, I can see you, and you look kind of comically upset with me. As is often the case, you are probably finding that the steering wheel and pedals in your vehicle are not controlling mine. If you’ll think about it for a second, you’ll most likely conclude that’s probably a good idea, in general.
And it’s funny because up until thirty seconds ago, it seemed that the two of us had quite a bit in common – we were both bringing our kids to school and dropping them off in an orderly fashion, with dozens of other parents out front.
Of course I had no idea what a terrible rush you were in. I don’t usually plan my trip to drop off my daughter at school in that manner, not right down to the second – I guess I am not as serious or important or sophisticated as you. It seems such a burden for you to carry under your troubled parental brow, being the sort of parent whose seconds are so valuable.
Are a stock broker or a surgeon? Come on, just tell me – it makes me feel giddy and flushed just having my car near a true alpha dog dad like you.
But me – I will humbly admit I am just a regular dad who likes to watch his daughter walk all the way to the door until she disappears inside her school for the day. She knows it, too – she looks back every single time and smiles and waves.
Sometimes there is a forest of kids out here hanging around, and there was a time when she was nervous walking through them.
So I told her, no one’s going to mess with you because I’m sitting right here and if anyone does, I will get out and throw them against that brick wall if I have to, hard enough to stick. Yes ma’am, I certainly will. So hold your head up high and be confident, sweetheart, because I’m the nicest person who will ever come to your aid. After me, it’s your mom with fire coming out of her eyes, and then a series of uncles until we finally have to unleash Big Uncle Shawn, like the mighty Kraken.
You’re fine, little sister. I’m watching you and there is an army behind you. And I don’t care what this joker behind me thinks, not even a little bit. If he wants his ten seconds back, he can go around me. Unless he has not-too-cleverly parked himself just an inch away from my rear bumper.
In which case he can sit there. Don’t worry, dude – it won’t be long, and perhaps your kids will look back and not notice that you are swearing at me through your windshield and making hilarious, agitated arm gestures. Perhaps they will not notice how very badly you want to get out of their sight and get on with your pointy-eyebrowed day.
Perhaps they will mistake you for a parent who wants to take ten seconds to show your kids that you really care about them and watch over them, instead of saving yourself ten seconds, and strongly suggesting that you don’t.
Here, let me roll down the window, in case Alpha Dad wants to talk about it. A smile and a wave – Hi, Jason Statham!
Why isn’t he waving? We’re both in the Brotherhood of Dads, aren’t we?
Really, Alpha Dad, if you had my phone number, you’d barely have time to break me off a text, that’s how long you’re having to sit there. And I truly wish I had video of how visibly flabbergasted you are by a man who will drink in ten seconds of his daughter walking into school, like a soothing elixer, because that’s what it is to me. That ten second walk is an outstanding reminder of why I am doing everything else that I’m going to do today.
You can spend it freaking out if you want, that’s on you. But you should take a look at my daughter walking into the building over there, and understand that I would burn every city on Earth right to the ground for her if I felt like I had to, and that then I’d try to hook her up with some ice cream or popcorn or something, out of the rubble. That’s who she is, to me, compared to practically everybody else. Certainly compared to you.
Given that mindset, it shouldn’t surprise you that I’m not sorry about helping myself to ten of your seconds. You’re the one who stapled them to my back bumper in the first place.
But didn’t you think it was weird when you whipped around me, and then honked at two more school children who were crossing the parking lot in front of you in a crosswalk, and then whipped around them too, and then we wound up at the same intersection a minute later, with me giving you a curious stare from my lane while you tightened your jaw and stared straight ahead in yours – didn’t you think it was weird that I turned right and left you there?
That I was suddenly, perplexingly ahead of you, despite those ten seconds? That it turned out, those ten seconds wouldn’t have helped you at all?
It really seemed to me like you were right where you would have been, if you’d chilled out and waited for your kid to walk into the building, like I did. But you still seemed angry. I wonder if you’re just angry all the time, you poor thing.
Well there’s no way to know. You’re way back there talking to someone else’s rear view mirror, through your windshield, with a little vein pulsing in your forehead and injustice rising off of you like stink lines in a Peanuts cartoon.
How’s that working out for you by the way?
Earlier: Dear Sir, Regarding Physics