Close Friends at the Crossroads
Heading to the post office box the other day, we were suddenly overtaken
by a roaring sports car. It snapped from the right lane into our lane, passing
within inches of our bumper, then jamming the brake to avoid the pick-up truck
just ahead. Now, ordinarily that would inspire my obnoxious side to the fore,
but this time for some reason I waxed reflective. The construction guy in the
pick-up truck saw this occurring behind him and braced for the collision… that
Next signal the elderly blue-haired lady behind the wheel of the Jag
raced up behind the truck as though she hadn’t seen him until the last moment.
Then she let the car edge forward till it nearly touched the back of the
pick-up. The framer watched nervously as she rolled closer and yet closer.
Finally stopping, she appeared to be transfixed by her rear view mirror, perhaps
checking to see that none of her cosmetic surgical tucks had let go. The signal
changed, and the truck pulled away, but she failed to notice. Then she stomped
the accelerator to catch her escaping prey.
Next signal the events repeated the same script. By now the pick-up
operator was getting a bit perturbed. One more signal, one more high speed
approach and creeping roll, and the workman set the hand brake and exited his
unit. He was a huge burly man with his name embroidered on his shirt and a
leather tool belt with an enormous hammer slung on his hip. He walked calmly
toward the rear of his truck, then stopped at the Jag. From his tool belt
came… no, not the hammer, but a metal tape measure. (I eased forward so she
couldn’t back away. I was helping.)
He made an oscar-winning stage-presence routine of accurately measuring
the distance between the two bumpers. Then he carefully read his measure tape,
walked around to her side of the Jag and announced, “Why don’t you pull
forward another couple of inches? That’ll get you there sooner!” Then he
calmly walked back up to his cab, and for the remainder of the signal wait, he
had his truck in reverse, with the white lights glaring in her eyes, and the
back-up alarm going “beep beep beep beep!”
She was white as a sheet as the truck finally drove away from the
intersection, and she immediately changed lanes and hastily fled. Meanwhile in
the post office, I thanked him. He smiled.