The setting–8:00 a.m., 2 February 2012, San Francisco, California, at the intersection of Market Street and Eighth.
So the self-centered and self-absorbed male yuppie driver thought that he didn’t have to wait at the flashing yellow light, he could cross Market Street onto 8th Street and keep going. But he was wrong. The traffic was as heavy as it was unmoving. So he was stuck blocking the crosswalk on the south side of the intersection, inconveniencing the pedestrians, including yours truly, who had to walk around him.
But that did not matter to him. What mattered was that none of the cars in front of him were moving at all, let alone moving fast enough to satisfy him. Unlike these other drivers, he was going places and had places to go! Disgusted with the cars in front of him who dared not to move out of his way, he threw his car into reverse, spun his wheels at full speed, and almost released his brake when-
I can get really pack on the decibels–I once lost a role at an audition because the director said I was too loud for a 500-seat house. So “CAREFUL!!” was enough to make the driver freeze for a moment. Then, just as the yuppie was about to give me the finger, I pointed to the rear of his car. Finally, and for the first time, he looked into the rearview mirror.
A shrunken and very elderly bald Asian man with a large sack on his back was staring at the driver, pale, wide-eyed and trembling.
The driver turned back to me and turned pale, wide-eyed and trembling. He did not give me the finger.
The elderly Asian gentleman crossed the street safely.
And that, ladies and gentlemen, was the 12th time I have ever saved a human life.
Vonn Scott Bair