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January 25th, 2009

I'm not sure what was going on in downtown Champaign last night. I thought we might have lost the basketball game, which had people in bad moods, but we actually beat Wisconsin, so the mood should have been more upbeat.

sudbla and I were driving to meet a friend for dinner. In the busy downtown area, I made a right turn and had to immediately stop because there was someone in a crosswalk going across the street. I was nearly actually at a stop when he turned, pointed both arms at me, and yelled "STOP! JUST FUCKING STOP! I'M CROSSING THE STREET!"

I probably shouldn't have engaged him, but since I WAS stopped, I rolled down my window and said "Dude, I did stop. Just relax." His response was still going on and fading away behind us as I drove away. "FUCK YOU! FUCK YOU, YOU ASSHOLE! YOU'RE A FUCKING ASSHOLE!"

Slightly shaken by this, I made another right and parked, and we got out of the car and walked across the street to the restaurant. A car came up right behind us and there was a loud horn blast. Startled, both sudbla and I whirled around and raised our middle fingers at the inconsideration. Once again, we were met with the response from the angry driver of the car, a woman this time. "FUCK YOU! FUCK YOU!"

I always forget that what I'd like to do in situations like that is to stop and stand in front of the car, further delaying them, but that probably would be risky because someone in that kind of mood might actually dare to step on the gas and hit me.

It was just really disorienting, though. I've not seen that kind of blatantly angry behavior around here in a while; to have it happen twice in a matter of minutes... I hope it isn't just people on edge because of the economy or something. I was actually a little shell-shocked and when it came time to leave the restaurant I almost didn't want to walk back out into the street.

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