Recently, we were driving into the city for dinner with another couple. We were seated Flintstone style with Fred and Barney in the front, and Wilma and Betty in the back. All of a sudden, a car that didn't have its headlights on started to pass us. I encouraged our friend to signal the driver by honking or flashing his lights. He simply ignored my suggestions, as he and my husband continued their conversation.
On the way home, another incident occurred. This happened on the expressway while he was trying to change lanes. The two hot rods were going head to head to prove who was King Of The Road, and our friend was determined not to let this young punk take over his title. As Wilma and I were hanging on for dear life, Fred and Barney were conspiring to teach this guy a lesson.
After we knew we were out of danger, I brought up dinner, and maybe a bit of lunch, before I said, "What's the matter with you Fred, and Barney you're just as guilty. How can two grown men with families waste all this time drag racing with a maniac, when you couldn't even help another driver who forgot to turn on his lights?"
Then Fred replied matter-of-factly, "That guy was just playing a twisted game. He purposely drove without his lights on, so that the first person who flashed his lights would become a moving target for them to shoot. How could I risk getting us all killed?"
Barney said that he had also heard stories about those gang related shootings. I said that the whole thing sounded absolutely ridiculous, and that by signaling to the driver it could prevent future accidents. The subject quickly changed, and Fred had us all laughing the rest of the way home.
The next morning, I was rummaging through the Sunday paper when something interesting caught my eye. I grabbed my husband, as we called our friends to tell them to pull out the Motormouth Rides section of the Chicago Tribune. Coincidentally, someone else was reluctant to help drivers who didn't have their lights on for the very same reason that Fred had mentioned. This was Bob Weber's (Motormouth) response:
"This is an urban legend that, as far as I could find, goes back to 1993. Despite such stories bouncing around, this is not part of a gang initiation. Please don't let unfounded rumors prevent you from being a good Samaritan."
Fred and Barney were also surprised to read this article only a day after the incident had occurred. Hopefully, this will result in them becoming more courteous drivers, instead of acting out their road rage. At least they both said, "You were right Julie, I mean Betty." I think "You are right," is the new "I love you."