Where there's a wheel, there's a way

The two most common elements in the universe are hydrogen and stupidity.


– Harlan Ellison

My fellow commuters are getting careless again.

After pretty much an uneventful summer of only slightly irritating trips to town, I suddenly seem to be targeted every day.

Usually it’s the classic scenario. You know, I’m in the left lane going slightly faster than the speed limit, but I can’t get over into the slow lane, much to the dismay of the motoring moron behind me.


That’s when he Jimmie Johnsons to within 5 feet of my back bumper and tempts me to: A) Speed. B) Slam on the brakes and make my wife a wealthy widow.

Things got so bad last week, I tried changing up my routes.

That didn’t work.

I was still surrounded by the most inattentive of fools, chatting on cellphones, weaving in their lanes or driving like they were 15 minutes late for a court date/job interview/brain transplant.

For example, slipping into town down Walton Way I suffered:

• A large flatbed tractor-trailer taking up three lanes, I suspect to navigate a left turn, which didn’t happen because the driver changed his mind.

• A pickup that suddenly backed
out of a driveway into traffic, causing me and the car next to me to slam
on brakes (and my briefcase to rocket into the dashboard with surprising force.)

• Someone who kept honking his horn, only it was never clear for whom the horn was intended, the nature of
its significance or from which vehicle it came. I kept looking at the car next to me and she kept looking at the car
next to her, and we never did get it settled.

I try not to take all of this personally. That’s what the cops say to do. But it’s really hard when you have my shortest of tempers.

I used to keep a little notebook in my glove box and write down the tag numbers of various offenders, along with the make and model of their vehicle and any other information I might share with the sheriff.

But, admittedly, reaching over, popping open the glove box, fishing out a notebook and then writing down tag numbers is probably not the safest thing to do when you find yourself in a Dale Earnhardt Wannabe Contest.

So … I white-knuckle the wheel until I can get out of the way. And then …

I grab my cell phone from my pocket and take their picture as they speed past.

I call it Justice Cam.

I’m not sure how I’m going to use it, but I’m sure something will present itself.

And if they drive away too fast, I rarely worry.

When I pull up behind them at the next traffic light, it’s even easier to get a shot of their tag.

“Smile for the camera … ”