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Are there a lot of nasty people about or is it just me that brings them out? and what should be done if anything?

(185 Posts)
WideWebWitch Sun 27-Mar-05 18:23:56

I feel like some kind of middle class reactionary (which I'm not, I'm a fairly hard core Guardianista) but I'd be interested in hearing what people think about this.

While walking along a quiet 30mph country lane with dp and 2 children this afternoon, a car came racing along doing at least 50mph. He was going so fast I immediately shoved ds into the hedge to make sure he wasn't hit. We were walking on the right side of the road on a pavementless road in single file, in daylight. At the same time I threw my hands up in a 'what do you think you're doing' way. The guy stopped about 100yds on, opened his door wide enough (but didn't get out) to scream at me 'Yes, I'm using the road and I pay f*ing taxes, so f* off, you f*ing slag.' How sweet, and in front of my children too! So my questions are:

Have I been living in the countryside for too long if I think this is disgusting, unacceptable behaviour?
Is this why people keep their mouths shut and walk on by while tossers like this get away with abusive language and attitude? In general, I mean.
Why are people like this?
Are people more like this then they used to be? Why?
Should I keep my mouth shut at all times? (some of you may remember I was screamed at in the park recently for daring to ask a lone 7yo if he was ok)
Has this sort of thing happened to you or do you just not ever do things like throw your hands up in disgust (I realise it may be me!)

This completely spoiled our walk, any and all views on this, NOT just on my specific incident, welcome.

tortoiseshell Sun 27-Mar-05 18:27:33

No, think you were totally right. Cars seem to bring out the worst in people! But I think there are a lot of nasty people about. I want a portable 'W*NKER' sign that I can just flash at people who behave like this.

Sorry it spoiled your walk. But I wouldn't let it make you keep your mouth shut - there are some nice people too!

lou33 Sun 27-Mar-05 18:29:04

He was wrong, you were right. Unfortunately tossers like him will always think they are in the right, and think they can behave as they want.

We have had the odd run in, and despite knowing it will do no good, I still end up telling them what I think.

morningpaper Sun 27-Mar-05 18:29:04

Well Happy Easter.

Probably a lost townie.

I'm often getting abused by people in the street. I've no idea why. I think I look fairly unpreposessing (sp.? right word even?). Maybe people can smell Guardianistas?

No help to you, sorry. But sympathy!

Hulababy Sun 27-Mar-05 18:31:49

He was wrong; you were right.

Sadly idiots like him will always be the same - until they end up injuring or killing someone; and sadly it is rarely themselves who are the victims

Makes me so cross too.

moondog Sun 27-Mar-05 18:32:38

What a bummer www! It would have spoiled my walk too.
Modern times eh?
I suppose one could view this from two angles.
Certainly there is less fawning forelock tugging by the proles which is undoubtedly a *good thing* but equally there are more people willing to speak their minds, however coarse and aggressive their views.

I get very despondent about vulgar behaviour of this ilk, but my mother (a real Pollyanna!) reminds me that the vast majority of people are fundamentally decent. This is borne out by the fact that incidents of the sort you describe do shock and disturb.

I find that sometimes you can encounter a series of incidents like this which is unbelievably depressing.
But for all the oiks, there are many charming people about.
Yesterday for example, a young lad spontaneously gave my dd the bottle of bubble mixture he was playing with, a neighbour gave her an Easter egg, the girl that had my dog when I moved abroad called with a bunch of flowers for me, and my neighbour invited me to join him and his daughter for dinner.
All ample evidence that good people are in the majority eh?

Pinotmum Sun 27-Mar-05 18:36:43

It's times like that I wish I had a big gun and could say in a menacing voice "go on punk make my day". Instead I'd have said "oops, sorry, please go ahead and use the road" whilst picking bramble out of my hair. I thought country life was more serene that that - he mustn't have had a visit by the Easter Bunny today or maybe was the Easter Bunny in a rush.

Cod Sun 27-Mar-05 18:37:19

Message withdrawn

LGJ Sun 27-Mar-05 18:40:31

Do not keep your mouth shut,

This happened to me on Christmas Day FFS.

Her,, yes her, car she was about 17 was quite distinctive and the next time I see it, I will give her a gobful.

About a year ago, DS was in bed and I was outside talking to a neighbour, a guy about 40 and old enough to know better, came roaring past in a TVR and I beckoned him to slow down. He got out of the car and walked back and asked what my problem was (how dumb was he ??)

I started to tell him how many young children we had on the road, he then said to me, where is your accent from ? to which I replied Dublin. His answer was, you are not local so what has it got to do with you ??

Every so often, God grants you the power of put down in the here and now. And thank God this was one of those moments, I pointed to our house and said, see that redbrick house up there ? I own that, I pay council tax on it and in order to do that both DH and I work and pay taxes, so it has quite a lot to do with me, your point is ??

He shrugged and walked off, my neighbour is about my Mum's age was killing herself laughing as he walked off.

Pinotmum Sun 27-Mar-05 18:42:42

Having a mother from Dublin who takes no nonsense I know the art of put down when delivered with a Dublin accent

snafu Sun 27-Mar-05 18:43:40

What a wanker.

And the 'paying taxes' bit is classic ignorant me-first Daily Mailism (yes, I said it ) Perhaps he thought you were a gipsy, walking along the road like that when you could have been driving?

I agree that the vast majority of people are fundamentally nice. Unfortunately the wankers tend to have louder voices. I always throw my hands up in disgust, etc and I know that one day I'm going to get my head kicked in for my trouble...

tiredemma Sun 27-Mar-05 18:44:49

its not you www, unfortunatly, there are a lot of pricks (excuse my french wont you?) around.

i nearly got run over on a very busy dual carriageway last week by an utter fool who did a right turn at a junction as i was crossing the lights, (it was a no right turn junction) as i was already in the road he came around the corner very fast and had to slam on his brakes almost sending me over the bonnet.
did he apologise? did he hell, he yelled abuse at me and made me feel as if it was my fault.
im afraid though that i yelled back and called him a wan*er.
cant understand why people behave like that, imagine what they are like at home with thier own families if they treat strangers like that?

Socci Sun 27-Mar-05 18:46:15

Message withdrawn

redsky Sun 27-Mar-05 18:47:15

His behaviour was outrageous and I really admire you for reacting as you did. Several years ago I might have done the same but these days I tend to be very frightened of getting the kind of abuse you endured. In that situation I probably wouldn't have reacted other than to protect the children then after he had sped past (and no danger of him seeing me) shouted 'bl*y lunatic'! Wish I had the confidence to challenge some of the appalling behaviour I've seen - but I've kind of given up the battle which is a really bad example to set my kids.

Smurfgirl Sun 27-Mar-05 19:07:11

Oh I am so sorry, what a twat!

I hate that I am scared when I walk along the street on my own its so unfair isn't it. I never say anything back, I am too nervous.

I don't really know why people are so mean, its so pointless, all that energy wasted on hate.

motherinferior Sun 27-Mar-05 19:19:30

It's not just you. I was walking the Inferiorettes home across the park a month or so ago, and a dog ran up to dd1 - who's only four FFS - making her scream MUMMY and generally freak. I bellowed - quite politely - 'Please call your dog OFF' at the young bloke in charge - who shouted back at me and called me an 'idiot'. Which both DD1 and I found really upsetting.

Arseholes, all of them.

Cod Sun 27-Mar-05 19:21:19

Message withdrawn

WideWebWitch Sun 27-Mar-05 19:42:17

Ha ha mp at 'maybe they can smell Guardianistas'! Maybe they can. Thanks for all these comments, they're really interesting. I think the guy might have got out and had more of a go had dp (6ft 4) not been with me but I shouldn't need to have a tall bloke with me to feel safe from people like this should I? Moondog, your mother is probably right, the majority of people are decent (are they? Do we all think so?) and this kind of abuse is abnormal. Pinotmum, well, I'm glad I didn't have a gun or I might have turned into Susan Sarandon in Thelma and Louise when she gets her revenge on the truck driver, like this, ha ha! Yes, "I pay taxes" is a particularly Mail ish sort of insult isn't it? Not really yer usual hard man stuff! I wish I'd yelled back "not at 40% I bet" (sorry!) Redsky, well, I do wonder if I ought to shut up in future but when your child is in danger, well, I don't think my reaction was extreme tbh! But I understand why it's easier to keep quiet, I just don't seem to have mastered the art of it yet!

hatsoff Sun 27-Mar-05 20:02:49

www - what a total arse. the "not at 40 per cent" would have been a fantastic retort - presumably one of those it takes a couple of hours to come up with (well, if you're like me, anyway). I don;t know what the answer is - I remember your other park story too. I think part of the answer is to try to forget the arses and make a real effort to find the nice people. I make much more of an effort these days to strike up conversations with strangers, (I think it's an age thing - I'm not afraid of looking silly these days), to smile and be nice, say thank you to bus drivers etc, and every so often, it pays off, you end up having a lovely chat for 5 minutes with a total stranger you'll probably never see ever again, but it reminds you that the majority of people are actually pretty nice. And that you can count yourself in the "nice" club.

Heathcliffscathy Sun 27-Mar-05 20:07:47

www: what a total twunt. awful for you and the kids. must be v angry frustrated little man. fwiw, i don't think it's a countryside/townie thing: ime lots of people that live in the countryside drive like absolute lunatics down just the windy single track roads that you describe, and are v obnoxious if you indicate that you think so.

sobernow Sun 27-Mar-05 20:22:30

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Wallace Sun 27-Mar-05 20:24:35

I often wish we had a 30mph sign to wave at passing traffic as we are walking along! But amybe not a good idea if it would get that sort of reaction.

tamum Sun 27-Mar-05 20:26:34

I would have done the same as you www, and you're not being remotely unreasonable. I wonder if he was actually a bit shaken up by having a near miss, and wasn't able to control himself enough to stop it manifesting itself as aggression? No excuse at all, but maybe his heart was pounding too if that's any mild comfort.

Pinotmum Sun 27-Mar-05 20:29:47

I remember when dd was just walking enough to toddle on the pavement holding my hand. A man and woman, middle aged, walked past holding hands and as they didn't want to be separated knocked into dd who lost her balance. I said without thinking "there's no need to knock her over fgs" and he turned to go for me, he squared up but she pulled him back. I am not confrontational but I am not a doormat either however I felt threatened with a small child. Sobernow, yes thank god this country does not allow guns, for that man's sake at least

Enid Sun 27-Mar-05 20:30:19

you've been unlucky www - those kind of men hate women who stick up for themselves.

f**k them.

x E

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