My girlfriend and I were walking home tonight from the Guild theater along Emerson passing the intersection of Hamilton and Emerson when a car moving on Emerson away from University stopped a bit into the crosswalk, not really blocking it, and not moving when anyone was actually in the intersection. A mistake I think every one of us makes several times in our lives and must happen a million times a day every day somewhere.
A young man walking with his friend crossing on Hamilton away from University on the Palo Alto Creamery side of the street was slightly put out in having to walk around the front of the car that was slightly in the crosswalk.
Out of the blue the pedestrian slapped the palm of his hand down on the hood of the car and everyone in range looked over as I suppose he thought he was punishing the driver of the car who had come to a stop in the crosswalk.
The driver of the car, also a young man, jumped out of the car and the two began yelling at each other. To me, the driver had a point that you do not slap and perhaps damage someone's car in that way - for many reasons - and even if he had been wrong or fully blocking the crosswalk. But how useful is it to make a point to probably drunk rebellious kid out on Friday night? Thankfully no blows were landed as the two faced each other down disturbing the peace of everyone enjoying a Friday night in Palo Alto by yelling at each other and telling each other off and then continued on their ways.
As my girlfriend and I continued walking down Emerson we noticed the car-slapper and his buddy were behind us and the car-slapper was going on like he was a lawyer about how it was illegal that the car had invaded his space and he felt he was assaulted and had a right to react, blathering the whole way down to the small next corner past Beppos where he had parked his car. We walked on enjoying the rest of the now quiet peaceful night shaking our heads. Kids these days.
It was so pointless and stupid and in these kinds of stupid incidents sometimes there is a escalation that leads to someone getting hurt or even killed. It's stupid and I and most likely everyone else in the area that witnessed that don't want to see it. I know it is fashionable for psychiatrists to tell us that young people's brains are not fully formed and they have underdeveloped super-egos and so have problems with impulse control - but can people just calm down and mellow out a little and not sweat the small stuff, because almost all of it is really small stuff?