Et Tu, Jagoff?

Is Pittsburgh really a city full of do-gooders, or are we just as rude as (gulp) Philadelphia?




Illustration by Wayno
 

Call it a screed — because that’s the perfect word. It sounds like an angry, guttural scream. Back in November, I penned a screed — a thousand-word blog post entitled “Fed Up,” in which I shared two experiences I had in downtown Pittsburgh that illustrated, much to my dismay, that some Pittsburghers were losing their sense of neighborliness.

The post included the story that culminated with me getting out of my car, walking up to a man in a BMW and shouting, “You didn’t have to flip me off! Have some [expletive] manners. This is Pittsburgh!” I screamed that with so much righteous indignation that my high horse almost reared up and took off running in fright.

But I was fed up. I’m the girl who believes Pittsburghers are nicer than the residents of other cities. In the past, I have offered proof of that — and I believed it with my whole sunshiny, blue-sky heart. But these two run-ins with rude Pittsburghers had me reeling. So I screeched my screed and yelled at everyone, telling them to go back to being nice. I overused exclamatory punctuation and the caps-lock button. I invoked the name of his holiness, Mister Rogers.

There were a few commenters who wrote that I needed to get my head out of the clouds: Take the rose-colored glasses off, PittGirl. Pittsburgh is no different than any other city full of rude people looking out for No. 1 — surly men and women stuck in the giant hamster wheel of life, who don’t have time for kindness.

I told myself those negative remarks probably came from Ravens fans. Pittsburghers were nicer, damn it. But deep down, I was questioning that.

One month later, I was driving through Homewood toward Westinghouse High School to attend a meeting, for which I’d be five minutes late. I was heading down a residential street lined with parked cars when, a few blocks from the school, the driver in front of me came to a stop to chat with the driver coming the opposite direction. They were clearly acquaintances. There was no room for me to maneuver around them.

So I waited. And sighed.

The conversation continued as the woman facing me, who was in her 20s, dug through her purse in search of something.

She glanced up at me. I gave her a look that said, “I am a nice person. I am trying not to be angry. I am late.”

My Jedi skills clearly need some work: She returned to rifling through her purse.

I itched to give my horn a quick tap. Not an angry blast; just a tiny toot that said, “I have important Jedi matters to attend to presently.”

But I didn’t touch the horn. So I waited another 30 seconds. She glanced at me. I gave one long sigh under the weight of my enormous halo, and finally, she gave up on whatever it was she was hunting for in her purse and drove on.

I was now six-and-one-half minutes late.

That’s an additional 90 seconds. Gone — forever!

I adjusted my halo, gave my high horse a good smack in the rear and high-tailed it to the school. I was marching up the sidewalk, full of bluster, nursing my indignation, muttering about the rudeness of people these days when …

I heard a voice call out. “Excuse me, miss!”

I turned toward the road, and there was the young lady. In her car. Leaning out her window. I resisted the urge to hit the pavement in case I was about to experience a drive-by from a woman who yells “Excuse me, miss!” before shooting her victims.

She fired 10 words.

“I made you wait back there. I’m sorry about that.”

The wind blew out of my sails. The fire went out under my boiling anger. My halo fell off, and my high horse bucked me back down to the ground where I belonged. I dumbly nodded and thanked her. But I wanted to run to her and hug her for proving those Debbie Downers/Ravens fans wrong.

Thank you, whoever you were, for restoring to fullness what took a little hit in November: my belief in the goodness of Pittsburgh’s people.

You’ll never know how much it meant.

Now, has anyone seen my horse? It’s about yay high … 

Edit Module

Edit ModuleShow Tags

Hot Reads

Best Restaurants 2016

Best Restaurants 2016

Which 33 Pittsburgh-area establishments did our independent Restaurant Review Panel include among its top picks this year? Find them here.
Six Pittsburgh Chefs Who Are Outstanding in Their Field

Six Pittsburgh Chefs Who Are Outstanding in Their Field

In addition to awarding Best Restaurant honors this year, our Independent Restaurant Review Panel also voted to recognize six chefs for their contributions to Pittsburgh’s culinary community in 2015.
Citizen Artist: Vanessa German

Citizen Artist: Vanessa German

German blends a collage of community activism and soul-searching artistry.
PittGirl to Wooers: ‘Not Today Satan, Not Today’

PittGirl to Wooers: ‘Not Today Satan, Not Today’

It only takes one person, one jagoff, one childish, attention-seeking, discourteous jerk to send a woo through PNC Park.
Edit ModuleShow Tags

The 412

Cyclists Say PennDOT's Bike Map a Start, but Could Be Better

Cyclists Say PennDOT's Bike Map a Start, but Could Be Better

The state's new interactive bike map displays the speed limit and traffic flow of state route bike paths.
In the Future: No Driver May Be No Problem for Uber

In the Future: No Driver May Be No Problem for Uber

Pittsburgh is the test track for the ride sharing company's self-driving vehicles.
A Greener Future for the Strip District

A Greener Future for the Strip District

Riverlife moves forward with their ongoing work to build Three Rivers Park, Pittsburgh’s interconnected system of riverfront parks, trails and public open spaces, in the Strip District.
Three Mayors and a PIO Walk into an Elevator…

Three Mayors and a PIO Walk into an Elevator…

Mayor Bill Peduto shares tweets after being stuck in a Westin Hotel elevator.

Sign Up for the 412 e-Newsletter

 

Our new, daily e-newsletter is curated by the editors of Pittsburgh Magazine and is designed to give you the very best Pittsburgh has to offer -- delivered directly to your inbox.

Sign me up!
* Email
 First Name
 Last Name
  * = Required Field
 
Edit ModuleShow Tags Edit ModuleShow Tags

Hot Reads

Best Restaurants 2016

Best Restaurants 2016

Which 33 Pittsburgh-area establishments did our independent Restaurant Review Panel include among its top picks this year? Find them here.
Six Pittsburgh Chefs Who Are Outstanding in Their Field

Six Pittsburgh Chefs Who Are Outstanding in Their Field

In addition to awarding Best Restaurant honors this year, our Independent Restaurant Review Panel also voted to recognize six chefs for their contributions to Pittsburgh’s culinary community in 2015.
Citizen Artist: Vanessa German

Citizen Artist: Vanessa German

German blends a collage of community activism and soul-searching artistry.
PittGirl to Wooers: ‘Not Today Satan, Not Today’

PittGirl to Wooers: ‘Not Today Satan, Not Today’

It only takes one person, one jagoff, one childish, attention-seeking, discourteous jerk to send a woo through PNC Park.
Daytripping: Canonsburg is a City of Antiques

Daytripping: Canonsburg is a City of Antiques

Nearby Canonsburg is a rare find for antiques collectors.
U.S. Open at Oakmont: Will The Town Finally Be a Player?

U.S. Open at Oakmont: Will The Town Finally Be a Player?

The U.S. Open is returning to Oakmont — and unlike previous tournaments, this one could make the community a vital part of the action.
Edit Module

Edit Module

Edit ModuleShow Tags

On the Blogs


Cyclists Say PennDOT's Bike Map a Start, but Could Be Better

Cyclists Say PennDOT's Bike Map a Start, but Could Be Better

The state's new interactive bike map displays the speed limit and traffic flow of state route bike paths.

Comments


Pittsburgh, only cooler
PittGirl: How You Should Grade A Squishy Tongue

PittGirl: How You Should Grade A Squishy Tongue

Kennywood Park opens soon and new this season is the return of the famed whale at the entrance of Noah’s Ark. In the name of science, PittGirl paid an early visit to test the squishiness quotient of the whale's all-important tongue.

Comments


All the foodie news that's fit to blog
Long-Standing Spoon Chef To Open His Own Eatery

Long-Standing Spoon Chef To Open His Own Eatery

Dave Anoia, the former chef de cuisine at Spoon, will open DiAnoia's Eatery in the Strip District in August.

Comments


Not just good stuff. Great stuff.
The Best 6 Places to Get a Cup of Tea in Pittsburgh

The Best 6 Places to Get a Cup of Tea in Pittsburgh

The quiet rise of Pittsburgh's tea scene gives us a few favorite gems.

Comments


Highmark Stadium Pub Wants Your Attention

Highmark Stadium Pub Wants Your Attention

The in-house tavern at the Riverhounds' home stadium is now welcoming guests during weekdays. But is it worth a dedicated stop?

Comments


Mike Prisuta's Sports Section

A weekly look at the games people are playing and the people who are playing them.
Crosby’s Long-Awaited Signature has Pens Pondering The Possibilities

Crosby’s Long-Awaited Signature has Pens Pondering The Possibilities

For Sidney Crosby and for the Penguins, happy days are here again. But the emotion of the moment won’t mean much if Crosby and the Penguins aren’t able to build upon it as the series progresses.

Comments


Style. Design. Goods. Hide your credit card.
Recycled Paper Never Looked So Good

Recycled Paper Never Looked So Good

Whether you’re looking for an original illustration, a cute note card to send a friend or a unique notebook to keep track of your thoughts, Little Alexander’s paper goods offer beautiful locally made options.

Comments


Sean Collier's Popcorn for Dinner

The movies that are playing in Pittsburgh –– and, more importantly, whether or not they're worth your time.
The Angry Birds Movie Is Just a Total Mess

The Angry Birds Movie Is Just a Total Mess

Plus reviews of "The Nice Guys" and "Neighbors 2," as well as local movie news and notes.

Comments


Everything you need to know about getting married in Pittsburgh today.
Get with the (Wedding) Program

Get with the (Wedding) Program

Have you ever considered making programs for your wedding guests? If not, think again and get creative.

Comments


The latest tips and trends to refresh your home.
A Tiny House that's Big on Energy Savings

A Tiny House that's Big on Energy Savings

Spread out across the city for these upcoming events, including a “Tiny House” exhibit at the Carnegie Science Center displayed by the FIY Network.

Comments


The hottest topics in higher education
Pitt Adds New Major

Pitt Adds New Major

The environmental engineering major will be available in the 2016-17 academic year and aims to help students prepare for a changing job market.

Comments