Saturday, March 10, 2012

To Vent or not to Vent....?

I try not to vent about erratic inconsiderate irresponsible drivers. It won't help any. They won't drive better. Seldom does it make me feel good to scream when they can't hear me or rant while I'm ignored. But this past week has been filled with so many ignorant operators that my irritability has exceeded my capacity to remain calm and quiet.

For example, while driving on Interstate 40 the other day, I followed a female driver who pitched a tent in the left lane; weaving and bobbing between the lane lines, as if serpentine-ing invisible cones. As my anger grew, her speed decreased until she was driving about ten miles under the speed limit in the passing lane.

Frustrated with the inexcusable irritation and the traffic that was backing up behind and beside us, I turned on my light bar, activating the red and blue lights and the wig-wag white ones. At first I thought she would yield to the right, her illuminated brake lights indicated she knew an emergency vehicle was behind her. The next few moments however, were filled with insurmountable terror as this non-driving individual completely stopped her vehicle in the left lane of traffic.

I'm not going to sugar coat for you what happened next, it wasn't pretty. I'd tell you what I yelled at her if I could remember, but graciously my post traumatic stress disorder has blackened out the worst of it. I do recall running to her driver's side, yanking the door open and screaming for her to clear the roadway. Then the sound of several thousand pounds of machinery pushing violently against innocent break rotters had me sprinting back to my patrol car.

The stench of burning break pads filled my flared nostrils as I yanked the gear shifter down into drive and stomped on the accelerator, dangerously dodging vehicles as I slid to a stop on the right hand shoulder. Safely behind the offender's car and off of the roadway, I acknowledged the crashing sound that was my pulse against my ear drums. Then I took several large exaggerated breaths and screwed my campaign hat on my head. As I walked to the passenger side of the perpetrators vehicle, I scanned for threats while I adjusted the leather hat strap on the back of my hair, noticing it was still on fire.

Near death experiences will give you clarity like you've never known, I'm told. I can't really say if that's true or not, I feel and think about the same. But I wondered what she was thinking as the wrecker hooked up and left the scene with her car in tow. I'm sure it crossed her mind the need to obtain a valid driver license before driving or better yet, to get a driver's manual and make herself familiar with the rules of the road. Yah, probably that.

Maybe venting does help a little...I feel better.

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