Since my last day of work, I haven't set foot on the subway. I've spent the last week or so ferrying the kids to and from school by car, starkly renouncing one of my long-held beliefs that car-based lifestyles are for schmucks. Especially in the city, with its alternate-side parking, and Byzantine rules of parking, and the complete lack of any parking anywhere.
Despite all this, I have to say that above-ground transport has a decided advantage when it comes to boy transport, because we cannot go anywhere on the subway without some sort of skirmish, or slapfight, or I WANT TO SIT ON THIS SIDE OF DADDY AARRRGH. In the car, I can strap them into their corners (and, in extreme cases, empty the trunk into a big pile between them) until TwoBert passes out from his extreme carcolepsy.
One thing I must constantly keep in check as I drive is my unfailing intolerance for flouters, and oblivioids, and most anyone else in general. This is difficult in my neighborhood, which is full of gypsy cab drivers who think nothing of cutting off six people in order to park diagonally on the sidewalk. Come to think of it, they pretty much think nothing, period. I like to think I've gotten used to it, but I often have to remind myself to chill out, especially when I've got kids in the back.
This afternoon TwoBert and I were headed downtown to pick up Robert from school. And as I was approaching an intersection, at which I had the green, this guy just started crossing the street, right to left, without looking anywhere. He didn't look addled or homeless; his clothes were clean, and he had on new sneakers. I kept thinking, he's gonna stop, right? He sees the Big Red Hand, doesn't he? No he didn't apparently, because he just walked right into the intersection against the green, hands in pockets, face forward. Begging to be hit like seven-pin.
I braked hard to avoid picking up the spare, and all he did was look mildly to his left. Like having a car bearing down on you at 30 mph was the order of the day. And as he crossed toward the driver's side, I sort of left my body, and forces outside my control took over. I rolled the window down and somehow simultaneously processed that I had to say something to this freak while at the same time preserving TwoBert's tender ears.
So I yelled, "You ... jaycock!"
I don't know where that came from. Perhaps it organically conflated itself from jaywalking and somethingsucker, but that's what came out. The Jaycock himself looked back a little quizzically, but he shrugged and loped off. TwoBert, however, was intrigued.
"Daddy, what's jaycock?"
"I don't know. It's a word I made up."
"Why did you say it?"
"I just sort of felt like it, I guess."
Two minutes later, as I was turning onto the highway, TwoBert said, "Fezzypoop!"
And then: "I like this game!"