Common People

Posted by Jeffrey Griffin on 10/5/2014 5:00:00 AM

I left Spry Stadium last night.
 
Women's soccer. Wake Forest and Clemson. Double overtime. Tie game. It is what it is. No reason to agonize. No reason to gloat. It was over.
 
For perhaps, maybe, the third time ever... EVER. Sophia and Miles spent the evening with somebody other than an immediate family member. In other words, a babysitter. Kathryn had the kids. Kathryn was waiting for me to come home. Vikki was flying somewhere along the east coast. My only thought was to get home and kiss my babies.
 
I backed out of my parking space.  I turned to the right and headed toward the exit. The Clemson team bus was on my right. Handicapped parking spaces, all empty, were on my left. A dark car pulled into the parking lot, veered to the right and straddled two handicapped spaces, blocking my exit.
 
I shifted into reverse, backed up, shifted into drive and completed my turn. I was now squarely between the mystery car and the Clemson team bus. The driver of the mystery car exited his vehicle and began walking toward the stadium. I lowered my window half-way and said "you might want to try parking in a space next time."
 
He wore khaki pants, a dark jacket with the Clemson logo and an orange hat with an upper case "C' embroidered on the front. He was, by any reasonable account, a well-dressed man. A fan? An alumnus? A coach would have been with the team. My guess? Father of a Clemson player. Just a guess.
 
My thoughts and my car turned toward home. and I then I heard him...
 
"FATTY!"
 
My car instinctively shifted into reverse and the power window lowered the last eight inches.
 
"Did you say something to me?"
"What?"
"What did you say?"
"I didn't say anything."
"We both know that's not true."
"I don't know what you're talking about."
"Yes you do. I heard what you said and don't call people names. It's rude. It's disrespectful. It's common. Don't be common."
"You have ten feet clearance. You still can't fit through there?"
"I'm not talking about your parking. I'm talking about your behavior. You're a common human being. Common."
 
The mystery driver's partner, girlfriend, wife - I am unfamiliar with their relationship status, exited the passenger's seat and walked around the car. She was, in the parking lot light atmosphere, a woman who appeared to have spent many days in the unforgiving South Carolina sunshine.
 
She joined the exchange. "Why don't you learn to drive?"
 
"Why do you associate with a man with no manners?"
 
Common people.
 
I went home. Common people.