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The Attack Of The “Wait” Finger

, , , , , , | Legal | February 17, 2021

My house is on a corner with the side street on a slight hill. In the winter, the hill gets icy and even four-wheel-drive vehicles have difficulty getting started after stopping for the stop sign. Because of this, I have installed a heavy timber retaining wall to stop vehicles from running through my fence and into my yard; I have to replace parts of that wall frequently, however.

But now it’s summer and weather conditions are fine. It’s about noon and I hear a familiar crash. I look out to see a large black SUV straddling the timber wall, a middle-aged lady at the wheel, still talking on her phone, her tires still going forward but a couple of feet off the ground. A mix of radiator fluid, engine oil, transmission fluid, and power steering fluid is squirting all over.

I go up to her.

Me: “Turn off your engine before you ruin it, ma’am.”

I get the “wait” finger while she continues on the phone. I finally SHOUT:

Me: “TURN OFF YOUR ENGINE!”

She does so while continuing her phone call. (Gee, I wonder how she missed the turn and ended up on my wall!) She finally gets out of her car, still on the phone.

Me: “Do you want to call the cops, or do you want me to?”

She turns her back to me; I am obviously interrupting her very important phone call. I call the police. The police arrive about ten minutes later and the lady is still on the phone. They ask me if I was involved and I explain that I am the homeowner and the lady was driving.

Cop: “Ma’am, can I please have your license, registration, and insurance information?”

The lady gives the cop the “wait” finger and turns her back to him. After several minutes:

Cop: “I need your license, registration, and insurance papers. Please put your phone down.”

She scowls at him and sets her purse down on the retaining wall in front of her spewing vehicle. While still on her phone, she digs with one hand through her purse and gives him her license. He has to ask her again for the other papers, which she finally gives him. He goes back to his cop car to do whatever they do, make reports, etc.

I am still on the scene, so I walk closer to the lady and overhear part of what she is saying.

Lady: “Yeah, I just got my car out of the shop this morning, and I’m already in another wreck.” *Pauses* “Yeah, some guy put this wall out in the street so that it hit me.”

I intervene and speak to her, interrupting her important phone call.

Me: “I put that wall on my property to keep cars out of my fence.”

I point to the newest section of fence where a car took out some of the wall and went through my fence into my yard last winter.

Lady: *Screaming at me* “I would not have gone through your fence! Idiot!

The cop came and gave her a ticket… and she still had not put down her phone. A wrecker came — oh, boy, that’s ANOTHER story for another time — and ignoring my pleas to lift the car off the wall, just chained up and dragged it from the wall, causing more damage to both the car and my wall.

Still on the phone, the lady got into the wrecker and left.