How to Diffuse an Atomic Neighbor.

Citizens Arrest! Citizens Arrest!

The other day I was pulled over in my neighborhood.  Not by the police, but by a “concerned septuagenarian.”  In my neighborhood there is a round-about.  The car attempting to enter should yield to those in the round-about.  However, this particular car treated the round-about more akin to a 4-way stop, or at least a 4-way yield.  I had just voted, was in a hurry and could not be late for my 6-year old’s swimming lessons. Serious stuff.

I eased through the round-about and continued on my merry way.  As I approached my destination there was construction traffic. I decided to avoid said traffic and in doing so was “caught.”  The concerned citizen stopped behind me and I graciously waved her around.  She did not budge. I waved again and mouthed “You may go around” and smiled.  She stopped next to my passenger window.  She had on dark, huge sunglasses. Bumblebee Glasses as it were.  She had a long, skinny cigarette protruding from her mouth.  Her car make? Buick. Her mood? Foul.

She stated that she had the right-of-way and that I should have yielded and that the speed limit was 25 and that I was most assuredly going faster than that.  I was a little surprised by her comments.  It took a second for me to process what she was saying.  It was not a close call at the round-about.  I did not cut her off, in fact I didn’t impede her forward progress in any fashion whatsoever.  It was not  obvious driver error, at least to me.

I thought of all the responses I could have made.  I thought about being defensive or dismissive or worse. I wondered how she even saw me while she was wearing those huge, elliptical goggles she had for sunglasses. I thought of how bad smoking is, that it causes cancer and that one can also be cited for driving too slow and impeding the flow of traffic. Instead…

I said,”You are right. I am sorry.  Thank you for calling me on it and it will not happen again.”

She was taken aback.  She was geared up for a fight.  She then asked me if I was lost.  I said “No ma’am, have a nice day.”  Fortunately, there was no arrest nor incident report.  She went her way and I went mine.  Sometimes, “You are right and I am sorry” is the best response.

Matthew Thompson is a Divorce Attorney in Mississippi cautions all drivers to drive defensively.

Follow the blog:#BowTieLawyer Visit the website: #Thompson Law Firm  You may also contact Matthew with your family law matter or question at (601) 850-8000 or

One thought on “How to Diffuse an Atomic Neighbor.”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s