I have never taken the finger seriously; actually, I find it kind of funny. I have gotten it several times, especially in Reynosa; from grandmas that feel that my 70 m/hr is too slow, teenagers, old guys, moms, etc. I think the finger is part of the whole experience of driving in Reynosa, kind of an initiation thing, you´re not a real driver until you flip the finger or something like that.
Anyway, I always wondered how does it feel to flip it, but whenever I had the opportunity to do it I just didn´t feel like it. Well, this Tuesday I did it, for the first time I flipped my finger, and I must say it wasn´t at all what I expected, everything turned into weird situation.
I was coming out of staples minding my own business, extremely stressed because of an assignment; taking a left to go to Wal-Mart, I didn´t see a car getting into the parking lot, he was going fast, I was going fast and it turned into those situations where both cars have to stop all of the sudden so that one of them can pass, but the guy on the white truck got extremely pissed off, he stood there in front of me for about 5 minutes screaming and moving his hands pointing towards the road and making a lot of nonsense gestures. Like I said, I was stressed, so I got pissed off too, but I just let him pass.
I continued my way to Wal-Mart when I notice the guy parked on one of those business that face toward university drive, and out of his car, he kept making gestures at me, so I decided to make ape gestures too, that made him even angrier, but I didn´t care; and all of the sudden, without even thinking I feel my hand going up, as if it had a life on its own, and that´s when the countdown to the weird situation started.
5, my hand goes up, I see my finger, rising, triumphant. 4, there it is, my finger is up, facing him. It feels awesome, kind of therapeutic, I can feel all the stress finding a scape through my finger, for a moment I see a ray of light over my finger and a chorus of angels sings in the background. I should do this more often, feels awesome; I only wish I could stretch my arm closer to the window. 3, he´s getting extremely mad, he reminds me of the girl on the exorcist, turning his head, looking dangerous, I probably should stop…. just one more second… 2. He´s running to his car. Is he planning to follow me???? crap, he´s on his car… Run Yngrid Run!!!!! 1. Shit! He´s following me, is he planning to attack me over a stupid finger???? I can imagine the headline “UTPA student gets killed for flipping her finger.”
As I run at 10 miles per hour on the parking lot, with the angry man on my rear mirror I realize there´s no way I can get away with all these people and cars unless I run over someone. So, I decided to look for a witness in case he decides to attack me, or a brave man willing to protect me. Running through the parking lot I see the car of the parking lot security guard and I park close to it to ask for help, but, surprise, surprise, is empty.
Looking for someone else to help me and with the angry man almost by my side; I see a Wal-Mart employee, one of those poor guys collecting all the stray carts to bring them inside, so I waived at him. He could be useful, I mean he has to have some arm strength, pushing 50 carts on a row is extremely hard without some upper body strength. Wait, only in México they do it that way; here they have a pushing-cart-helper-thing. Crap.
Angry man parks beside me. Starts yelling. I look at the cart guy for help and ask him to get a police or security guard. He goes looking for him warning “us” to not do anything reckless until he gets back with the guard. Guard gets to the scene and from there everything turned into a half hour sermon of me being a reckless driver, how I shouldn’t be allowed in the parking lot… guards should be on the lookout for people like me…. Something about me being a threat to society… something… something… indignation about the finger…. Something… no wonder I´m reckless, I´m from Mexico… something… screaming… more indignation on the finger… more screaming…(if he keeps like this he´s gonna get a stroke)… something… (should I apologize?)… something… (I´m hungry)… more screaming… (I want chocolate)…(is he ever shutting up??)… something… (…)
At the end, the guard asked me in Spanish for a summary of the whole situation, I explained in Spanish. Guard tells me to not pay attention to angry man, that he´s crazy (in Spanish). Angry man looks defeated.
-Angry man- “ok, lets leave it like this” (yeah right, acting like he´s giving me a chance, he just realized he has nothing to get out of this)
I make the mistake to make my point outloud. Another 15 minutes of a sermon (don´t remember what it was about) he leaves, I stay there for a moment to make sure he´s away and leave…
Things i learned from this:
1.- if you flip your finger make sure you do it fast, don´t stand there to figure out what the other person does about it.
2.-If he/she gets in the car, yes, he/she wants to get after you, no point on standing there to figure it out.
3.-if you flip it, do it with a scaping route in mind.
4.-just don’t do it, I’m not sure it’s worth it….