You’re driving, going at a decent clip. Some jerk is tailgating you anyway. He’s so close you can see his face in your rear view mirror. He looks like a douchebag.
He keeps drifting to the left to see if he can pass. He can’t, which makes him frustrated. He probably has a crap job and a worse family, which are stressing him out. Or whoever he’s talking to on his cellphone isn’t telling him what he wants to hear.
He finally gets a chance to pass. Steps on it to make a point and roars past. “Man,” you think, “I really, really hope that jerkoff gets pulled over a few blocks ahead. I’ll smirk as I drive past. Maybe give him a friendly wave. That prick.”
That never, ever happens. But the other night, I got a tiny glimpse of what it would feel like.
I’m coasting in to an intersection. It’s a four-way stop. Some dude is rolling in to the intersection at the same time, opposite to me but turning left (down the street on my right). That means only one of us can go. We’re going to have to stop together, and then one of us is going to have to yield to the other. Either he’ll make his left turn, or I’ll head straight through.
I don’t mind yielding – I’m not in any rush. But he doesn’t give me the chance. He decides to preempt our little negotiation by not stopping at all. He just keeps going, makes his turn, and heads down the street on my right.
Unfortunately for him, we weren’t the only people waiting at the intersection. A third vehicle had arrived at the same time on the same street this guy just headed down. This vehicle, it just so happens, is a police vehicle, driven by a rather large police officer. At the moment I see him his hand is raised, palm upward, in a gesture that clearly communicates exactly the same thing I’m thinking: WTF?
I pause. The cop doesn’t. He u-turns and heads after the dude.
The moment is over, but the feeling remains: a rare, sweet satisfaction.