Rather than a polite acknowledgement, I got a single finger salute and some presumably apposite invective, which went unheard because our windows were closed. He then proceeded, in a most inelegant manner, to position his car in the tyre bay and I decided that this was an opportunity to have a bit of a larf because there was ample room for me to park without blocking any other traffic.
SWMBO issued me with an unequivocal "Gypsy's Warning", and snorted her derision when I made it clear that I wasn't looking for trouble. In fact I genuinely wasn't looking for trouble, being close to getting my bus pass and not being as fit as I used to be, I tend to avoid physical confrontation these days.
So it was with a gentle smile that I approached Mister Stroppy and asked the reason for the unnecessarily aggressive attitude.
You might be as shocked as I was to hear that my mild and somewhat conciliatory approach was met with further bluster and expletives.
Once he stopped for breath I said "Well then sunny-jim, this is your lucky day. Personally I'd be quite content to drag you out of your car and rip your %*&$£ing head off, but my Wife says I mustn't because it would make a mess."
Somewhat shocked at my own temerity, I looked into his face and saw that my comment had had the desired effect. The blood drained from his face and he didn't say another word. Meanwhile his back seat passenger was roaring with laughter, his front seat passenger was trying hard to be invisible.
Pressing home my advantage, I said, in my best "Hale and Pace" intimidatory tone, "Lets hope I don't see you again in the near future" and got back in my car, expecting to receive a judicially admonitory ear-bashing from SWMBO, which turned out to be... "Do you HAVE to swear like that?"
Now those of you who know me will be aware that I am the mildest of men, slow to anger and never one to start a fight, but in this case I was just concerned to make it clear that, as a grey haired, bearded old git, I should not be expected to allow that sort of behaviour to go unchallenged.