Yesterday while driving my daughter’s boyfriend, Chris, to work, I had a run-in, so to speak, with a Christian. As I was leaving my neighborhood, I made a left onto the main road, which was a two-lane road – one lane in each direction. Before doing so, though, I checked the traffic both ways, as you do, and determined it was safe to go. There was a car coming in the lane I was entering but based on the speed limit of the road and the distance it was away, I thought I had plenty of time to go and get up to speed before the vehicle would get to me. Turns out, I was wrong.
Even though the speed limit was 40 on the road, I accelerated to 45 as quickly as I could. Even so, before I knew it, the on-coming vehicle was so close to me that I could barely see its headlights. The vehicle was a Yukon. It was obviously flying down the street well above the speed limit to have gotten to me so quickly.
Within three blocks the speed limit changed to 30, so I took my foot off the accelerator. And, as luck would have it, just beyond the speed limit sign a Sandhill Crane was walking toward the street. (For those who don’t know, Florida Sandhill Cranes are considered Endangered and are protected by law.) Naturally, I hit my brakes. The person behind me nearly hit me but stayed right on my tail honking her horn.
Three blocks later, there was a red light. When I came to a stop the person in the Yukon pulled up so close behind me I thought she would hit me. Then, she laid on her horn.
When the light changed and the traffic in front of me proceeded, so did I. And, all the while the woman behind me was right on my rear. After another three or four blocks we came to an active school zone where the speed limit was 20. Of course, I slowed my speed to 20, as did all the cars in front of me. Still she persisted, riding my tail and honking. It was only when she noticed the cop sitting on the side of the road that she backed off. I commented to Chris that perhaps that was enough to convince her to behave.
I was wrong. Another couple of blocks and there was a red light at which I had to make a right. As it turned out she turned right, too. After turning, I got into the left hand lane because I would soon need to turn left. She took her place in the right hand lane. She then sped up and flung her vehicle into my lane. The thing is, she wasn’t passed me. Not at all. I had to slam on my brakes and swerve to the left to avoid hitting or being hit by her.
I said to Chris, “What the hell?” And, I wondered out loud, “Who does that? Who does something like that?” No sooner had the words left my mouth, I saw it. There, prominently displayed above her right brake light, was a cross-eyed Jesus fish. “Of course,” I said, “a loud and proud Christian!” And then I noticed she was flipping me off out her window. Nice combination – a Jesus fish on the hatch and a bird out the window.
At this point, I figured the woman would decide that she had made her point (whatever it was) and that she would just go away. I figured wrong. When we came to the next light, I began to move into the left turn lane. The moment she noticed what I was doing, she swerved into the left turn lane, again, nearly causing a collision. It was only that I hit my brakes, again, that prevented it.
After turning, she moved into the far right lane. I stayed in the left lane. A lane separated us. She was about half a car length ahead of me as we proceeded along the road. Suddenly, she came flying across the three lanes and cut me off – again. Again, I had to swerve and hit my brakes to avoid hitting her. Again, she was flipping me the bird the whole time.
She moved over to the far right lane again and slowed a bit seemingly to let me get ahead of her and the moment I passed her, she did it again. She sped up and raced into my lane, cutting me off again. And, yes, her bird was flying.
I looked over at Chris to say something and noticed he was shaking. If you had been in the car with us, you would understand why. This woman wasn’t playing. It seemed she didn’t care if she hit us. She probably realized that her big Yukon would have creamed my compact car. It was no thanks to her that we didn’t crash. It was only because I reacted as I did. I asked him if he was okay. He said “yes,” and with that, he pulled out his phone.
He called the police to report what the woman was doing to us. Because I had fallen a bit behind her hoping that she would leave us alone, I had to speed up a bit so Chris could get her license plate number. It seems she noticed what we were doing because at the first sign of an escape, a gas station on the corner, she turned off the road into the parking lot. We noticed that she drove behind the store.
Another block away was Chris’s workplace. Poor guy, he was still shaking when he got out of the car.
I don’t know if the police followed up on Chris’s call. But, seeing Chris on the phone and us looking at her license plate was enough to get the woman to leave us alone and that was what we wanted.
There were a couple of times throughout the ordeal that I thought “I should let her hit me to give her what she wants. I’m insured.” But, that is not who I am. I don’t behave that way. I would never really have done such a thing. Still, I wish I had had the opportunity to point out the irony to her of how differently the two of us handled ourselves in this situation.
Not once did I retaliate. Not once did I flip her off. I tried to avoid this woman all together. Me, the atheist. Yet she, the Christian, pursued me relentlessly – recklessly.
Of course, there’s the possibility that the car didn’t belong to the woman driving it. It is also possible she bought the car used and that it came with the Jesus fish. Still…