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Caused a minor traffic accident

Something wrong behind the wheel

Bend, Oregon —

Okay, that does it: these people are hillbillies.

This morning I watched a driver stop and wait for a girl across the street who was — I'm not exaggerating — at least 40 feet away from the entrance to his parking lot, where he wanted her to cross before he exited the busy Purcell Street.

I didn't imagine it; he didn't just stop. He waved her on toward him, using that whispy little diddling finger gesture that Central Oregonians make when they want to confer their hillbilly magnanimity upon poor bereft pedestrians.

"I can't believe it," I said. "He's stopping for you. He had so much room [to get off the street.]" If she shared or enjoyed my incredulity, she didn't show it. She had more pressing concerns — like hurrying up to get out of *his* way.

I'm gobsmacked. I am accustomed to the tendency, enough to hate it; but I've never seen it excercized in such extreme fashion. Now it's official: there's something wrong with these people.