In which I made significant strides toward being a crazy old lady

by kattiewampus

An unpublished draft dated September 19, 2014:

Yesterday on my way home from work, I stopped at the gas station to fill up my car. As I pulled up to the pump, I could hear the thudding bass and shouted lyrics of someone’s hip-hop music turned up loud enough for the entire gas station’s enjoyment.

It was coming from the car at the pump in front of me.

On the other side of that pump, a man was putting gas in his truck. As I got out of the car, we exchanged glances and smiled at each other as if to say, “Yes, I think their music is obnoxious too.”

Not only was it unnecessarily loud, but it was also foul. The rapper was shouting out expletives, obscenities, and racial slurs with almost every other word it seemed. I cringed internally at the barrage.

As I was swiping my card, I noticed that there was a young girl in the back of the man’s truck – presumably his daughter. I’m terrible at guessing ages, but I’d say she looked about seven years old. She did not look happy. While the gas was pumping, her dad was leaning in the car doorway, apparently talking to her. I wondered if the music was bothering her. I wondered how the man felt about his young daughter being forced to hear words like f*** and n****r brazenly proclaimed 10 feet away.

So I walked over to the car in front of me and told them to turn their music down.

Only not quite as bold as that, because I don’t like confrontation.

So instead I walked up and said, “Excuse me…. would you mind turning your music down? The guy next to you has a really young daughter…”

And they said sure.

And sort of turned it down. For a few minutes.

There was a momentary blessed silence.

And then the next track came on. And it was the same thing all over again. But by then, the man and his daughter were driving away, and I was done filling up my car and shaking badly thanks to a chaser shot of adrenaline, and if they didn’t get the message the first time, it didn’t seem worth it to argue the point.