Watch It, Man!

For today’s Throwback Thursday – slash – pet peeve story, I’m bringing up the subject of drivers who don’t pay attention!  So many of us complain about hating people who text or talk on their cell phones when they drive, yet so many people still do it.  Grrr!

I also hate when I allow someone to go ahead of me and they don’t give me the “courtesy thank you wave” in return.  I really can’t stand that!

Once I was driving behind a lawn maintenance truck, and he lost an expensive weed eater/edger thingy.  I pulled over and picked it up then hurried to speed up and catch him to return it.  And do you know when I finally flagged him down at a stop light and returned it, he didn’t even thank me!  Worse yet, once he got back in his car and the light turned green, he cut me off and almost ran me into a ditch!

Sometimes I feel like my car has a “cloak of invisibility” on it (which is similar, though different than a “cone of silence.”)  (It’s no secret that I LOVE classic TV, so if you do too, you may know what I’m talking about when I reference Maxwell Smart’s “Cone of Silence” from Get Smart.  Of course, he had a shoe phone and not a cell, so that makes things completely different.)

Anyway, when I drive and someone cuts me off or tries to plow into me, I almost always stick my arm out and say, “Watch it, man!”  (I picked this up years ago from The Lucy-Desi Comedy Hour which was like an hour long version of I Love Lucy.  In the episode “Lucy Wins a Racehorse,” Lucy has to drive the horse in a race.  If you’ll watch here between 44:30 and 45:50, you’ll see what I mean.  And if you’ll watch the whole episode, you’ll be sure to laugh heartily for the next 50 minutes.)

Anyhow, I digress.  Despite drivers that don’t pay attention or are otherwise just plain rude, I also don’t like to be in the car with people who complain about the other bad drivers long after the incident has passed.  If we make the light, we make the light.  If we miss the light, maybe we just saved ourselves from being hit by a train.  It’s not worth getting all negative about for the next hour and a half.  (And if my sister Michelle is reading this, yes, I’m talking about you!…  I’m kidding.  She used to do this, but she’s calmed down about it a lot in recent years.  Thanks, Michelle.)

So, one cool thing that can happen when other drivers are rude, is that it can catch up to them and bite them in the posterior.  I LOVE when that happens!  Case in point:  Once, many moons ago, my sister and I were dating two members of a certain band.  We were on our way to a concert, and we got there early so we could use our all-access passes and hang out with the band before the show.  However, on our way there, a man cut us off and nearly ran us off the road.  Watch it, man! 

We kept driving, then ended up encountering him again later down the road.  He switched lanes rapidly, and this time nearly ran us into an oncoming truck!  We were obviously quite perturbed.  We slowed way down and hit some bad traffic, then ended up making it to the venue just in time to get our seats.  However, once we were in the venue parking lot, we had just eyed an available space, when out of nowhere the same maniacal driver came from the other direction, cut us off, and stole our parking spot!

We parked somewhere way out of the way, and were quite angry as we walked in during the first song.  Our band friends kept questioning us with their eyes and trying to read our lips as we took our seats, and we enjoyed the show and tried to let it go.

After the show, we went backstage and explained what had happened.  The whole band rallied behind us, and they were livid when they heard about the crazed motorist.  We waited while they changed, and we all headed back to our hotel and sat in the bar which was closed to the general public.

As we sat there visiting, a man came walking up with the guitar player.  The guitar player said, “Steve, you already know the guys.  And this is Rachel and Michelle.  They’re with us.  They’re like family.  You’ll love them.”  Then he turned to us and said, “Everyone, this is Steve.  I’ve known him since I was a kid.”

Steve smiled a crooked smile and blushed as he hung his head.  “Pleased to meet you,” he mumbled.

“Really?” I asked loudly.  “Because you were trying to kill us before the show!”

Michelle bowed up her chest.  “Yeah, whose grandma did you run over to park here outside the hotel?”

Everyone in the band looked at Steve as they realized HE was the maniacal driver who tried to kill us earlier!  He blushed and mumbled, “I was hoping you wouldn’t recognize me.  I’m really sorry about that, girls.”

It was hysterical and worth every moment of danger he put us in.  Don’t you love when you get to see comeuppance in action?

So tell me, have you ever had an encounter with a driver and later met them in another capacity?  (Perhaps with a potential employer or employee before an interview?  Now, THAT would be funny!)  Do you text and drive?  Do you talk on the phone and drive?  Do you know how many car lengths there are supposed to be between you and another driver in your lane?  Do you always give the courtesy thank you wave when someone lets you in ahead of them?

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40 thoughts on “Watch It, Man!

  1. I haven’t encountered the people who nearly hit me again, but I have been nearly hit as a pedestrian several times while crossing in a crosswalk on a walk signal. They were usually not paying attention or they didn’t care. The most recent incident was a guy who went through a red light and drove between me and junior high school boy who was crossing in the other direction. I shouted at him, but he wasn’t paying attention, of course. Unbelievably, he was also driving on the wrong side of the road to pass between us. So many things wrong about that.

    • Oh, no! When I was growing up, my grandma who raised me didn’t drive, and we walked a lot, and I’ve been nearly hit as a pedestrian several times as well. I’ve had the opportunity once or twice to even bang on the hood of the car as it braked inches away! Yikes! 😀

  2. We have a school for the blind right downtown. I stopped for a “white cane” on the evening commute. Someone passed me on a two lane street and nearly ran the guy down. I never saw any comeuppance.

  3. No, I do not text, take phone calls while driving!

    Once when I lived in BC, I was driving from Kamloops to Vancouver through the Fraser Canyon when I was passed and cut off by a car with Saskatchewan plates that sped out of view around the next curve. The driver, obviously used to the straight roads of the prairies, was driving way too fast on our winding mountain roads. Several miles later, I was not surprised to see his car wrapped around a pole.

    You have the coolest stories Rachel, dating band members – awesome!
    Diana xo

    • Good for you, staying off the phone. 🙂 That’s a shams, but I’ve seen that, too, or seen them pulled over by a policeman, which is better and more deserved. 🙂 Thank you! 😀

  4. That is so funny. X-P
    I once was headed home after work, completely exhausted, and made a left turn onto the road that just happened to be popular with people coming back from their commute. I saw someone coming from my right, but they were going the speed limit and I thought I had enough time. However, the moment I had turned my head to actually make my turn, they sped up to fifty mph in a forty mph zone! I didn’t realize this until I had pulled into the lane in front of them, when to my horror I realized they had just slammed on their brakes and were about six inches from my rear bumper. I normally try not to speed, but I was so terrified that I went up to forty-five before settling down. Fortunately, while I could see them through their windshield and my rear-view mirror, I doubt that they could see me. I kept on eyeing them nervously through the rear-view mirror, wishing that I was ANYWHERE but there. Then I reached the stop light and saw that my dad was coming to a stop and was heading home with me, which helped me to calm down a little, because I knew that if that crazy driver DID run into me, at least my dad would be able to tell the police what had happened and pull me out of the crash. Finally I turned out of the crazy driver’s way, and as I came out of the turn I looked in the rear-view mirror one last time to see the driver accelerate through the intersection, and she was looking down at her cell phone. I almost got in an accident–the FIRST accident I’ve ever been in–and all because she was txting her boyfriend about her d8.
    I almost didn’t want to drive to work the next day, and I made sure to never again make that particular left turn if I was coming home after 5:30. It was a scary experience.

  5. this is more than a pet peeve to me.don’t ever move to s.c., b/c i have been hit by 11 idiots in cars & 2 were 18 wheelers, by 1989…6 in charleston & 5 in greenville. physically it stays with you every day of your life. 10 times i was the passenger. sometimes the person driving the car i was in is the idiot.

  6. People on a two-lane where the speed limit is 55 mph driving 45 mph. I do wave for the courtesy pass. Personally, I think that electronic gadgets and cars should be fitted out with automatic turn off when the key in the ignition of the car is fired up.

  7. I haven’t had that kind of experience Rachel but my brother-in-law once got in this cut in hor tooting, slamming on the brakes, giving the finger, row with another motorist. He was on his way to a job interview and guess what when he got there? Yep. Needless to say he never got that job.

  8. Unfortunately/Fortunately–I can’t decide :), I do not have a vehicle, so I have not directly experienced a lot of these crazy situations, however, from family and friends, and even viewing drivers from afar, I know what you mean about rude drivers. However, as a pedestrian, I always give courtesy to drivers, who allow me to pass or cross in front of them, because I feel like many drivers do not acknowledge others (drivers and pedestrians) on the road. Thanks for sharing you story 🙂

  9. Distracted driving- drives me crazy. And I can’t drive anymore. Vision problems, ms. But my husband still is a truck driver- professional driver for a living. Yes I know. Many an eye rolling now. There are some drivers who drive trucks terribly. There are good drivers who make mistakes driving anything. And there are cautious truck drivers. Hardly a day goes by that my husband comes home with a story of someone nearly killing someone else on the road who just rode off oblivious to what they had done- and nearly caused. He has a pet peeve though. When he is in traffic which must merge together due to construction. He gets in the correct lane. Then he watches bunches of drivers zoom up in the soon to be ended lane where they are backed up and looking for one inch to pull in front of someone. When this happens in traffic that is moving , it causes him to react quickly- 45,000 lbs doesn’t stop on a dime. Then there’s 12 gears to go through. ANd yeah no wave. SOmetimes even the finger. People really should think more

    • LOL! That’s true. When my grandfather taught me to drive, he said it was like playing chess… you have to drive seven cars when you drive your own: Yours, the one in front of you, the one in back of you, and the three beside you, in front of them and behind them. Because any of them can do something at any time without warning, and you have to be prepared with an escape plan. Luckily, I picked up driving better than chess. 🙂

  10. I’m with you on loving watching karma in action! And I would NEVER text and drive!!! Hate to see people talking on their cell and not paying attention. . . I do give the thank-you wave. . . And one of MY pet peeves is people tail gating you. . . It terrifies me, actually, and sometimes I even pull over in a safe place and let them pass. I always hope they will feel bad after I do this, but I suspect they don’t! 😁

    • I hate that, too! Not to be crude, but it’s like an auto enema. Yeah, I sometimes pull over and let them pass, and other times, I slow WAY down. But I don’t think they ever feel bad. 🙂

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