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."
Hi Julie .. I'm afraid I just let people go by and do what they want .. it's easier for me - but can quite see the point of being a good samaritan ... equally being on my own usually I don't do the macho bit ...ReplyDelete
Fun times you have though and then to be vindicated .. fun read - cheers to you Betty! ... thanks Hilary
I'm aware of the urban legend but I still flick my lights. I've left my lights off before on accident and it's the pits to get pulled over for it.ReplyDelete
I never heard that legend and if I see someone whose lights are not on, I will blink my lights.ReplyDelete
I have also been a passenger in a car being driven by a vigilante out to prove someone was wrong and he was going to let them know about it. I do not understand the mentality of many men behind the wheel who are willing to put their lives and others on the line to make some stupid point. Testosterone can be a dangerous thing.
I hope that "you being right" taught them a lesson. Here's to female hormones!
Generally speaking a woman could go her whole life and NEVER hear those words....best write it on the calendar.ReplyDelete
Bravo - men have serious testosterone issues with cars. I always thought Betty Rubble had a lot of common sense. And she was prettier than Wilma too!ReplyDelete
Men and cars. Don't get me started.ReplyDelete
You were right. Is there any sweeter music to a woman's ears????
There have been some horrible accidents result from the attitude that some men have about owning their portion of the road.ReplyDelete
I like the new I love you, I would like to hear it more often.
Hilary - You bring joy to people everyday with your wonderful stories, so you do help people whether you realize it or not! The fact that I was so excited about my "vindication" conveyed that in my own way, I acted as cartoonish as the boys. Thanks Hilary!ReplyDelete
Libby - I've accidentally had my parking lights on without realizing it, so I would really appreciate if someone helped me.
Arleen - It is amazing that many calm, and mild-mannered men turn into completely different people when they're behind the wheel. Female hormones still bring on other issues, but that's for another story!
Delores - Good idea! I'll mark it down right now!
Gorilla - I wish that I looked more like Betty. We have a few very tall friends who tower over my hubby, and when they walk ahead of us, they look like Fred and Barney from the back.
Robin - Sadly, there is not!
Yvonne - So true that many men feel like they "own their portion of the road!" Glad you like the new I love you, and you deserve to hear it often! Thanks Yvonne!
I admit I'd heard that rumor as well.ReplyDelete
Funny how he thought that would be unsafe but interfering with a drag race was safe.
I had never heard that urban legend before. And I don't think there are any sweeter words than a man saying, "You're right, and I was wrong." :DReplyDelete
Ha! The male mentality...ReplyDelete
... at least the episode earned you a "you are right" moment...
Never heard of the rumour but not being a driver I wouldn't.ReplyDelete
Husband and I have a running joke about which of us is right. We sort of keep score.ReplyDelete
For some reason, my husband is kinder to female drivers than to young men.ReplyDelete
Must be a guy thing. When they're feeling testicular, they get into this whole competitive, show-'em-a-lesson mindset. Me, I believe some rights are worth dying for, but the right of way ain't one of them. If anybody wants to cut me off or fly past me, whatever, let 'em have at it.ReplyDelete
I hope you circled the date on the calendar in red crayon. Those, "You were right" days don't come along very often.
Alex - I wish that the driver would've seen it that way!ReplyDelete
Luanne - Those words are music to my ears!
Michelle - Very sad but true!
Yvonne - It's much better to be a walker than a driver! Hope you're able to walk on the beach soon, Yvonne!
Carol - It's like having your own insurance policy! Well played. Carol!
Munir - It sounds like your husband is very considerate. I know some men who don't take kindly to anyone who's slowing them down on the road, regardless of age or sex.
Susan - Yes, it has already been marked on the calendar, and delivered to a safety deposit box in an undisclosed location. But I probably won't give it another thought.
I always check out those types of stories, especially if they're forwarded in an email at snopes.com. They usually vet which are true and false very well. Glad your drag race didn't end badly for you!ReplyDelete
Those urban legends just won't die. Fortunately, you were able to show your husband this was a legend and not fact.ReplyDelete
"You are right" is worth a thousand "I love you"s.ReplyDelete
Geeze, that's scary. I've accidentally driven without my lights on a number of times, with no thought about gang initiation. Just goes to show men's primal impulses are vicious and competitive. I'm glad Betty and Wilma had the final say on this one.
Ava - We have had a few close calls throughout the years. When we've traveled to a few different countries, I've noticed that this type of crazed driving is the norm. At least we've finally agreed not to rent a car under those conditions. Thanks Ava!ReplyDelete
Lee - It just seemed riskier not to do the right thing. I should've been a better sport about it though!
Robyn - Very well said! Whenever any men in the car complain about other drivers, I always say, "Give them the benefit of the doubt. That could be me." Of course that's when selective hearing kicks in. We all know that Betty and Wilma aka Alice and Trixie really ran the show!
I've never heard of this! I've become such a country bumpkin in our small town- people are kind and patient (because you probably know who is in the car and will have to sit next to them in church). I'm a wreck in the city.ReplyDelete
Canadian cars have their lights on all the time, switch on the ignition, the lights come on. Much safer all round. It was a law passed in 1990 I think. Although in fact, you do see cars without lights.ReplyDelete
Anyone who enters drag races needs their brain checked. Dangerous in the extreme.
Julie - I'm also a wreck driving in the city. I'd much rather take the train to visit our son, than have to worry about the traffic, and frantically search for parking. The people in your town sound wonderful!ReplyDelete
Jo - Sometimes it's still confusing at night when your dashboard is lit up, but you only have your parking lights on. I agree that drag racing is extremely dangerous for everyone involved.
Did anyone check to see if the guy who wrote the article was really a gang member trying to lure people into flashing their lights? I've heard that story for years. Of course living in L.A with gangs all around me I'll believe anything gangs are capable of doing. Oh, don't get me started on gangs!ReplyDelete
And we have that drag racing going on too. There've been some sensational crashes around here connected with drag racing.
An A to Z Co-Host
Tossing It Out
We witnessed an event like this in broad daylight on a busy street. So scary. Two men, weaving in and out of traffic, leaning out windows yelling at each other.ReplyDelete
I've never heard that legend before, but I'm glad to hear that is all it is.ReplyDelete
Lee - You may be on to something! At least we all know you'll be safe in April, as you'll probably never have time to leave your house! Good luck with A to Z, Lee!ReplyDelete
Susan - It must've been pretty frightening! I hope that no one was hurt.
Daisy - The good news is that it's one less thing to worry about....for now.
Men and cars! Yes, they do this all over, in our part of the world too.ReplyDelete
Nas - Today we went for a long walk, and it was a lot more relaxing than driving! Try to avoid these untamed male beasts, Nas!Delete
Men can be crazy in cars, and there are urban myths. There are also truths. Can you believe that even in England (and this happened in the town where I live) that a man can point a gun at you while he's overtaking? The road rage is getting worse.ReplyDelete
I've just learned to stay as far away from crazy drivers as possible. Which is... well, almost all of them. If someone's going 100 mph, I'm going to get the hell out of the way and let them go wherever they want. If they're going to crash, it's sure not going to be into me.ReplyDelete
And admittedly, I like having fun with my muscle car from time to time. But usually when you line up at the light next to someone who wants to race you can tell who wants to have a quick jaunt to the speed limit just for kicks and who wants to act out Paul Walker's final moments by weaving in and out of traffic at 100 mph... and you won't ever find me taking place in the latter.
Also... too soon...?
I actually heard the same thing about the gang initiations a while back. Since then, I haven't flashed anyone with their lights off... Just in case.ReplyDelete
Valerie - That still leaves trains, and buses. I'd probably avoid flashing cyclists, as you could cause a lot of accidents that way!Delete
Fanny - Road rage is bad enough without having to worry about guns. Stay safe my friend!ReplyDelete
B & B - You're wise to move away as quickly as possible from those situations. Very sad about Paul Walker.
The possibility of truth in this rumor makes me sad. Statistically the US is becoming one of the more dangerous countries we visit. Of course that would never stop us from seeing family and friends. It just makes me sad.ReplyDelete
Rhonda - One of the many advantages to all of your traveling is that you acclimate very well to your surroundings. Though there are no guarantees, you just have to try to avoid certain areas, and hope for the best. It also helps if you don't unnecessarily provoke anyone on the road.Delete
I guess I am a wuss, but I am the Dr. Kevorkian of the road. I always move over and assist them in their suicide quests. I wouldn't make a good road-rage victim anyway.ReplyDelete
We live three miles off the interstate and people die all the time in accidents due to all type of stupid stunts and reckless behavior, Julie. And as you know I had two of my children die on our local interstates due to the reckless behavior of a truck driver. So I always try to help if it's possible and if there's some crazy nut on the road or a drunk driver I'll get on my phone and report it. The state police are very responsive here in Virginia.ReplyDelete
JJ - You're definitely not a wuss, but I do like the Dr. Kevorkian analogy! Nothing good comes from road rage.ReplyDelete
Jen - I knew that you lost two of your children, but I didn't know how it happened. I'm so sorry for your unimaginable loss, and I hope that I didn't add to your agonizing pain. Jen, It's wonderful that you continue to help people in distress, and I'm so sorry if I offended you in any way.
Wow. Reckless driving can really be a trouble, not only for those under its wheels, but for the drivers who lie miles away. They could spin out of control, potentially taking anything and anyone in its path. It pays to really know what to do in these situations, and what legal actions can be taken should you be involved in one.ReplyDelete
Robin's post today reminded me that I haven't stopped in awhile! Great post and I have heard that story before. At first like you I didn't know it was an urban legend and it rated right up there with the hatchet man. Remember that one? While pumping gas he gets in your car and then down the road hacks you to pieces. One thing it made me vigilant at the gas pump! Great post!ReplyDelete
Banned complain !! Complaining only causes life and mind become more severe. Enjoy the rhythm of the problems faced. No matter ga life, not a problem not learn, so enjoy it :)ReplyDelete
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