Friday, November 05, 2010

Road Rage, Interrupted Or, How Did I Escape This Unscathed?

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Another blast from the past from Chicago Moms Blog. Originally posted June 2008.

While I was out with the boys the other day, we saw a really nasty exhibition of Road Rage. Driver A swerved out of his lane to avoid someone making a left turn and nearly cut off Driver B. Driver A almost got hit, but forced Driver B to let him into the right-hand lane. (I later surmise that Drive B or one of his passengers flipped off Driver A at this time.)

About 50 yards after this near miss we all arrive in a line at a stoplight. Driver A, a man about 5 foot 10 in his late 20s steps out of his car to inspect the damage, though I wasn't sure if there had actually been an accident. Driver B, a man of similar height, but a good 30 years older, also exits his vehicle. I am in the next car in the line, taking this all in.

Words are exchanged. Drive Am the young guy, hits and then shoves Driver B, the old guy.

I honk my horn at them and then turn off the car and jump out. “What are you doing?!? Leave that man alone!” I shout.

Is Driver A embarrassed to be put in his place by a five-foot small woman?

No, he defends his actions.

WTF? He’s assaulting a senior citizen!

I frantically try to dial 911 from my cell phone, but I’m shaking and keep messing up. I know, I know. It’s only three digits! First my jittery fingers typed in an extra 2 and then a 0. Had to hit the “talk” button to send the call….

Finally I get through. How to explain? It’s not a traffic accident per se, more of an incident. I can barely hear and I’m frantically trying to explain about the young guy hitting the old man. I’m not sure if I’m coherent, but I have the wits about me to give the cops Driver A’s license plate number and car description.

After a bit more shoving and shouting Driver A returns to his care and takes off at the green
light. (I think it was because he saw people with their cell phones out and heard murmurs of "911" and "cops.")

Driver B heads in another direction.

I return to my car.

OMG. My boys. What did they think of this?

Where they scared? Yes, a bit. Scared of the guys or worried about me? Both.

“When you see something that is so wrong, you just can’t sit by and watch it happen.” I tell them, adrenaline still coursing through my veins. I also tell them that if anyone approaches their car like Driver A did to Driver B, just lock the doors and windows and call the police. (Actually I left the last bit about the police out, but I’ll tell them in the morning.)

Upon reflection it seems almost comical, tiny me playing the role of Big Mama, yelling at these bad boys to play nice.

I acted strictly from my gut. My need to stand up for this stranger outweighed my normal instincts to focus first the safety of my kids. Is that bad? The young healthy guy shoving around an old man was just too much. Sometimes I hate this world.

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