since i became a parent, certain things that bugged me previously now make me absolutely insane.
two: parents who aren’t nice to or are crass in front of their kids.
three: idiot drivers.
i encounter number three at an alarming rate these days nd the incidents keep getting more dramatic. last week involved a rather angry female driver while i was walking to the PATH. four days ago, i experienced something far more frightening while in my dad’s car on the way home from a Trenton Thunder game.
my dad was driving, i was in the front passenger seat. my mother was in the backseat behind my dad, with Matthew asleep next to her in his car seat. we were on County Line Road in Bucks County, a two-lane road with a 45mph speed limit.
now, i’ll say right now that my dad is not the most patient driver. he is never reckless and he’s not aggressive in the way many drivers seem to be. he does have a complex in which he believes bad drivers single him out with the sole purpose of aggravating him on the road. so when the silver-gray Sentry in front of us at a traffic light didn’t budge when the light turned green, my dad touched his horn briefly.
“he’s not paying attention,” my dad said when my mom protested his honking. “i think he’s fighting with his girlfriend or something.”
about two seconds later, the driver of the Sentry gave my dad the finger and proceeded to drive at about 20 miles per hour. from what i could see, the driver was a kid—late teens or early ‘20s.
“come on,” my dad grumbled. but he didn’t ride the Sentry’s bumper, nor did he honk again. i could tell the driver was taking immense pleasure in being an idiot, which really made me angry. why are people so small-minded and prone to stupidity? why do so many get pleasure out of inconveniencing the lives of others?
a minute or so later, we approached the next intersection, at which there was a left-hand turning lane. my dad pulled into that lane as the light turned yellow, intending to use it to pass the Sentry. immediately the Sentry jerked to the left, attempting to block us and almost hitting my dad’s car.
at this, i wanted to get out and punch the driver in the face. i started to roll down my window, preparing to scream, “there’s a baby in this car, you fucking idiot!” but i stopped myself. my hands were shaking and i said, “that’s it. i’m calling 911.”
while i was dialing, the driver of the Sentry and my dad were exchanging words. i believe the Sentry driver leaned out his window and said something like, “i was going!” with a faux-innocent, truly jack-ass-bully expression on his face.
the light turned green and we continued to follow the idiot along County Line Road—still going at 20 miles, maybe slower now. i got connected with the Bucks County PD via 911 and gave the dispatcher the car’s location, description and license plate, reporting him as a reckless, aggressive driver.
at the next intersection, almost immediately after i hung up, the Sentry suddenly peeled off and made a left onto Lower State Road. i glanced in that direction as we drove on ahead and let me tell you—the idiot was burning rubber.
i don’t know if he saw me in his rearview on the phone and figured out what i was doing or not. i knew even if the cops did come, they’d never find him now. and that pissed me off. was he the most reckless driver i’ve ever seen? hardly. but he was acting like a full-on asshole and—i’ll say it again—people like that have no business being on the road.