Sunday, January 30, 2011

His Story, My Edit

One of the biggest stories in the news today is the weather. No matter where you live, something notable or unusual has happened lately.

Here in New England, snow (in the winter) is nothing to speak of. Whether you're in the more temperate bands along the coastline or farther inland, in higher elevations, snow happens. We cope. That's about all we can do. We buy vehicles that can shift into 4-wheel drive at a moment's notice. We put tires on our cars with deep treads, studs, and even chains for better traction. Our weatherpeople know better than to sensationalize an upcoming storm unless they KNOW for SURE what's going to happen, how much precipitation we can expect, and what the timeline is. Administrators cancel school, and they even have calling systems that will alert every single parent in a school district in five minutes.

Last week, we experienced an unfortunate combination of weather circumstances that truly made travel, no matter what you were driving or how you were driving it, dangerous. It was below 10 degrees outside; it started snowing that powdery, sticky snow that was impervious to any treatment other than physically plowing it off the road. Of course, this all happened during rush hour, and I refused to drive on the highways under these circumstances. I made a one hour trip to work (20 miles between two "major" cities) on the regional bypass road. It was a white-knuckled journey, but, as long as I drove slowly and no one else did anything stupid (a tall order at times), I knew I would make it there safely.

I turned on the news when I returned home that evening. The top story was the morning commute--38 accidents were reported on major interstate roads, and the trip from Manchester, NH to Boston, MA had increased from 90 minutes to four hours at one point. Television crews from the local news station managed to get out to the site of one of these accidents to speak with the victim.

Here's the story he told the reporters:

"I was driving on (insert main in-town one-lane road name here) on my way to a job interview. I felt that I was getting too close to the car in front of me. I know they tell you not to hit the brakes hard, but I did. The car veered into a snowbank and flipped over. I'm Ok, though."

Here's what we know really happened:

"I left for that stupid job interview at a time I figured would get me there 15 minutes early. Once I hit the road, I realized how long it was going to take. If I were late, even in these driving conditions, I may not get that job. I started on my way, watching the clock on my dashboard like a hawk. I knew it would be tough with the front-wheel-drive only sedan and those cheap tires, but hey, I live here--this is what we deal with. First couple of turns resulted in classic car fishtailing--whew! Then, I got on the main stretch of road. I was going along just fine until I wound up behind one of those slow people. I mean, come on! I had somewhere to go! How dare this guy drive the recommended 30 miles-and-hour speed limit! I tailgated him hard at first--yeah, maybe that will make him think about pulling over. Humph...no such luck. I backed off a little, but I was still frustrated. I looked at that clock again--10 minutes! When I looked up again, the guy in front of me was slowing down. I hit the brakes hard to avoid a rear-end job that would cost me....and I flipped my car. I got off easy--more than the prime asshole I am deserved."

Listen, guy, you don't ever have to hit the brakes hard unless you're either not paying attention, you're tailgating someone, or both. And, if you do have to hit them like that under those conditions, you must have really been incredibly far up the ass of the guy in front of you to actually FLIP YOUR CAR.

Did I buy this guy's sob story? No friggin' way. My only hope is that perhaps this gave one guy pause for thought whenever he decides to act like a jackass on the road again, no matter what the conditions are.

13 comments:

Barbara Bruederlin said...

It's so true! I am stunned by the numbers of people who continue to tailgate, even in hazardous conditions. Not that tailgating is ever acceptable, but you would think that people would have the sense to leave a little space (and time) when the conditions dictate.

We regularly have 200-300 collisions per day after a big snowfall. It's crazy.

Snowcatcher said...

GREAT interpretation!!! Probably right on the nose, too!

Glad you stayed safe!

Webbloggirl said...

we had this snow catastrophe too Europe last december..that was so bad...thousands of car accidents in the street.what a sad one..hope ur weather will be better soon like ours...take care!

Constructive Attitude said...

yeah ppl keep talking about the weather. its what you do when you have nothing to talk about

pilgrimchick said...

The focus on weather in the news is a sign that there is nothing that qualifies as "real news" going on in northern New England. However, the people at the local news station have to be paid to do something...

JUST ME said...

My parents live in New England they've taken up talking to the cat like it's a person...since all three of them can't seem to leave the house.

Me? Colorado is just freezing my ass off at -20 degrees. No biggie.

Jennifer Fabulous said...

Haha I like your interpretation. That's hilarious and I know it's SO true. :P

I live in MO where the winter weather sucks but it's not nearly as bad as New England. Our meteorologists don't give a damn. They hype us up for every snowflake and we crawl to Wal-Mart the night before with our tails between our legs. Sigh.

Lana Gramlich said...

As my hubby and I are perhaps too fond of saying, "People are stupid."

Mike said...

...chuckles mischievously

booda baby said...

It doesn't take bad weather to turn most drivers into shit drivers and those into spin doctors. In fact, I'm having a hard time remembering any one in any accident EVER confessing it was their fault.

Isn't that curious?

Anonymous said...

Hi - I am really happy to discover this. great job!

Julia said...

Where did you go? Your last entry was January

pilgrimchick said...

I have no good excuses, really. I'm hoping I get lucky and figure out something to write about soon.