Dear Idiot Driver,
I know that to you it seems reasonable to swerve from your lane, on my left, all the way to the lane on my right by shortcutting in front of me, leaving a whole three inches between our cars, going 70 miles an hour down a Texas freeway at night. I’m sure the 10 seconds you saved doing that instead of pulling in behind me and making your way to the intended lane in a safer manner will somehow make a positive impact on humankind as a whole. Because, really, there’s no other reason I can think of that would make it OK for you to gamble with my life that way. (You will note that I don’t comment on you gambling with your life; who am I to tell you not to squander it?)
I’m grateful for three things (in no particular order):
- I’m grateful I was paying attention.
- I’m grateful my brakes worked.
- I’m grateful that there was no one behind me to slam into me when I slammed onto my brakes.
I’m sure you would tell me, Idiot Driver, that it was an overreaction to stomp on my brakes just because a car swerved in front of me, without signals, leaving many many inches of buffer room in front. What can I say? The reaction was instinct.
The only real victims of tonight’s incident were my nerves and my formerly-full to go cup, which toppled over the side of the cupholder and landed somewhere near my feet. Since it was nighttime, I couldn’t see but could clearly imagine the Diet Coke seeping out of my cup onto the floor of my truck, leaving a mess. Since we were, as previously mentioned, travelling 70 miles an hour down a Texas freeway, just pulling over to clean up was out of the question.
Yes, ultimately that’s a small incident, but so close to being catastrophe. And the 10 seconds you saved? Well, maybe one day I’ll see how they mattered.