Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Seen From Behind The Wheel

I've had two experiences while driving recently that were as unbelievable to me as these two photos, taken when I was in Ethiopia.  But these recent observations were in the state of Oregon.

The first one happened while driving on Interstate 5 in fairly light traffic (thank You Lord).  I looked up the highway and noticed that a car was coming toward me in my lane.  Just before I panicked and swerved to avoid her, the south-bound wrong-way driver somehow managed to dodge the other north-bound cars going 65 mph, crossed 3 lanes of traffic and screeched to a stop on the shoulder.  I was shaking for miles afterward.  So I spent the next hour wondering how in the world she got turned completely around on a divided highway.  Drunk?  Spun around trying to avoid an accident?  I won't ever know.

Then yesterday, I was stopped in a left turn lane behind a red compact car driven by a young dad with his toddler in a car seat in the back.  The dad was sipping on a Starbucks venti-iced-something and turning to talk to his child.  The next thing I knew, this doting father rolled down the passenger side window and hurled his almost-full plastic cup at the driver's window of the blue car in the next lane.  What??

Did they know each other?  Had the blue car man cut the red dad off a few blocks earlier?  

The left turn light changed to green and Mr. Red proceeded to turn, with me following.  Mr. Blue immediately cut in behind me to follow his attacker.  Wedged in between two rivals, I checked my rearview mirror to see how Mr. Blue was reacting.  He was craning his neck to keep Red in sight.  Red turned to go into the mall parking lot, I proceeded straight ahead - determined not to get in the middle of something even uglier - and Blue followed Red into the parking lot.

When I came home and told the story to my daughter, she was disappointed that I didn't follow Red and Blue to see what happened.  I thought about it (because I was morbidly curious) but I couldn't stop thinking about that little one in the back seat.  Just think what lessons were being taken in that day (and sadly, probably most other days) by that toddler.  I didn't trust myself that I might have to say something if I had stopped.

I wanted to end with a great moral here...

Little eyes and ears are always noticing.

Life lessons are caught not taught.

Try not to go the wrong way on the freeway if at all possible.

Retaliation always ends badly.

Liquid Dawn cuts through milk and coffee spills.

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