'But I'm only going ONE way!'

This is a case of the wrong way being the only way.

There I was standing in front of the Malden Access TV station on Thursday afternoon and I never thought to borrow one of their cameras to film a great example of crazy driving and post it here. If nothing else, it made for great guerilla theater.

Thanks to a new building being built in Malden Square near the dead end of Pleasant Street which has fences blocking about half of all of the streets along the construction project's perimeter, parking is tighter than ever. Add to the trouble that Malden City Hall and Malden Police headquarters use the same limited number of parking spaces as merchants.

So, throughout my conversation, which lasted more than a half hour, there was a mini-SUV, of the Geo Tracker style (though not exactly that) double parked in front of one of the businesses. It's driver remained in the driver's seat while the passenger was inside on of the stores. This was benign, except that the small amount of traffic that did try to get by had to move slowly to be sure it threaded through without hitting anything.

Suddenly the driver laid on her horn. I thought it was because the person in the store was taking too long in her opinion. It wasn't. It was soon apparent the driver of the parked SUV was trying to alert the driver of a new, small Toyota that she was going the wrong way down the one way street. (Yes, Pleasant Street is a one-way dead-end street. Stephen Wright, eat your heart out.) The SUV driver kept beeping, and the Toyota driver stopped to see what the problem was. She should have just kept on going. The SUV driver launched into a angry rebuke (I don't think there is anything like a friendly rebuke, but you get it) of the Toyota driver, which included strict instructions to back up and use Abbott Street to exit out of the dead end rather than drive the wrong way for a block. The Toyota driver pleaded that she didn't know how to find her way out, but the SUV driver had no patience for the mistake and didn't explain very well that there was a way out closer to the City Hall. Flustered, the Toyota driver slowly made her way the wrong way towards Washington Street, where she slowly turned right and hopefully found her way out of the square.

There was a nice resolution to the story purely from a fiction writer's perspective. The SUV's passenger came out of the business to find out what the commotion was, and also got a loud rebuke from the driver because he was taking a long time.

I'm glad I was on foot, and walking away from that scene. I wouldn't want to be anywhere near that driver after that exchange.


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