This year I almost missed it. Luckily for me, the dogs woke me up early yesterday morning, the TV was already tuned to the sponsoring station's channel when I turned it on, and the first bit of news I heard was that recycling was happening that very day. I pulled out all my old electronic equipment, loaded everything in the trunk, and drove to Baton Rouge.
The recycling station was set up in a large, strip-mall parking lot in front of the sponsoring electronics store. When I got there, there were two lines of vehicles at 90-degree angles to each other. At the stop sign where those lines intersected, they merged into one line to approach the collection area. It appeared to me that everyone was being courteous, stopping where they were supposed to, then a car from one line proceeding, then one from the other line.
When it was my turn to move into the single line, the man in the other line waited patiently, though I could see that he had already turned his wheels in preparation for pulling in after me. He didn't get the chance. The man behind me clung as closely as if our bumpers were magnetized and squeezed out the other guy.
That didn't go over well. At all. The man who had been cut off pulled his car up until it was almost touching the car of the guy behind me, jumped out and stormed to the window of the SUV behind me, where he shook his fist in the air and yelled, "Back up, you idiot! Back up! Back up! Back up, you old a$$h#&e!"
The "old a$$h#&e" didn't budge, nor did he acknowledge the guy who was waving his arms and screaming at him. He just sat there, staring straight ahead through his windshield, pretending he was exactly where he was supposed to be. The man who'd been cut off, getting more infuriated by the second, began yelling to the security guard at the front of the line and stomped off to meet the guard halfway and return with him to face the offending driver.
The guard assessed the situation and directed the man behind me to pull out of line and drive away in the opposite direction of the recycling area. He resisted at first, but complied after the guard said a few more words to him. Because I was too busy exchanging smiles and thumbs-ups with people watching from other vehicles, I didn't notice whether the line-breaker man went back to the end of the line or left altogether, no doubt wondering how he'd explain to his wife why all that stuff was still in the back of the car.
Both of these men were geezers (an uncharitable term for people near my own age), and though it was clear, traffic-wise, that one was in the right and one was wrong, it would have been so much easier and safer if the offended driver had just let the other guy get away with it. It would have meant only a one-car delay.
I understand all about "the principle of the thing," so I won't ask you if you think breaking in line was justification for the cut-off man's outrage. Instead, my question to you is, do you think that men's heads continue to get harder and harder as they age?