Combat Commuting and Precipitation
It wasn't even close to being a storm, but all it takes is for one person of the right cautionary makeup to make note of a stray flake, and then alter their driving habits accordingly. So, after making my initial 6 mile solo drive amongst the farms and fields, the inevitable merging on to a state highway was encountered, and I got to see a large number of very cautious types already on the road, all of them ahead of me.
I spotted a gap in the traffic, silently notified the driver I was cutting off that it was his day to get mad at me, nothing personal, and merged in with the flow. It took no time at all to get up to speed with this particular column, 47 mph, in a 55 mph zone where everyone drives at least 65 mph, often more. The good news is that the traffic is almost exclusively heading toward Columbus at this time of day, with little or no oncoming traffic, so passing opportunities abound.
Leaning into the passing lane, I see a gap about 6 cars ahead of me; passing that many means my arriving at work perhaps 7-10 seconds sooner, but I like to accumulate those seconds. Make it kind of a game, if you will. The fact that I have a downright perky 6.0L V8 Chevy engine that just LOVES to jump makes it easy to score high and often... So, away I go.
I quickly get up to 78 mph, and start tallying passed drivers. And like a bad joke or unimaginitive scene in a movie, I pass the leader of this particular parade, an Ohio State Trooper. Oh yeah... I was had, and there was nothing for it other than to follow through with my maneuver. The lights came on as I was still exhaling the last drawn out syllable of "Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaw, fuck...", and I immediately pulled over, no doubt providing a merry moment for all who followed me.
I rolled the windows down, took off my gloves, turned on the dome light, and turned off the engine, making my hands very visible. I knew I was screwed when this particular Bear didn't creep up on my 8 o'clock while he asked me if I knew why I was being pulled over. No, this guy got right up even with my outside mirror, shone his flashlight in my eyes, and before he said anything, I managed to say "Oh, hell... shame on me...", and shrugged lightly.
I got read the Riot Act. "Just what the hell are you thinking, passing me and in this weather?"
"Damn right. Didn't you see me?"
"No, not until it was far too late, actually..."
"What are you thinking, anyway?"
(Apparently, he wasn't being rhetorical, I observed).
"I'm running a little behind, and I didn't want to be late", I offered.
"So you blew by all these people and me? In this weather? With all of these deer in these woods crossing at all times?"
I made a little movement meant to resemble inspired realization at this point, arching my eyebrows briefly.
"Naw, I can see that that was a bad move on my part... I was being very foolish, you're right. I'm sorry". No point in fighting it at this point, just guide it to the inevitable conclusion.
"You just don't care about anything or anyone at all, do you?"
"No, that's not true... that's not true at all" I pointedly said, looking at where I thought his face was in the glare of his flashlight.
"Well, you sure acted like it, putting yourself and a lot of other people at risk. Driving this company truck" he said, stepping back to read my door. "And it's a fine company, too".
You've heard of it? Really? C'mon...
"Yes they are, I'm lucky to be with them."
"Damn right. Quit being stupid. Go on, get outta here."
That was unexpected... I didn't linger to ask, nor even to thank him. I left, taking extra care to merge safely.
And I couldn't stop giggling.
Posted 12-11-2010 at 11:20 by jhoagland