– 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 … ”