The trend is coming to a dead stop on a busy city street, throwing your car into reverse, and backing up into me. And it has happened twice in a week.
The first time came on a one-way street going north near my neighborhood in Indianapolis. A little red car with a temporary plate was in front of me, slowing down. I slowed down accordingly. Then stopped right in the middle of the block. I stopped, too, at what I thought was an appropriate distance, thinking I could easily drive around this rolling traffic hazard once the traffic cleared behind me.
Then the backup lights came on and a foot went down on the accelerator and before I could even hit the horn, I had a Toyota all up in my grille, as the kids and hipsters say.
Naturally, I got out of the car to see what sort of damage might have been done. It was minimal, just a little scrape. On my truck, which is 12 years old and showing its years, that is no big deal. And the other driver’s car didn’t even have a dent in the bumper.
I waited for the other motorist to join me in the street. And waited. And waited. Finally the door opened and out stepped a young woman, bawling her eyes out about being almost out of gas and how her GPS told her there was a gas station right here (it was a block to the west) and she just gotten the car and she was so, so sorry.
I didn’t have the heart to tell her what I was really thinking and besides, I’m not supposed to use that kind of language, so I just asked her if her car came equipped with a rearview mirror.
“I’m so sorry,” she said. It was not the answer I was looking for, but under the circumstances it was probably the best I was going to get.
“Next time, look behind you before you start backing up in the middle of traffic,” I offered helpfully.
OK, so that was incident No. 1. Incident No. 2 came a couple of days later on another one-way street in my neighborhood. It happened pretty much the same way – car comes to stop, car backs into truck – except this time, the owner of the car didn’t get out and blubber. He simply drove off.
You might say I was perplexed. You might say I was some other things as well, but small children might read this and once again, I’m not supposed to use that kind of language. So let’s keep it at perplexed.
And yes, I got a plate number, although just like the time before, the damage was negligible. Evidently I have a very sturdy truck where this sort of thing is concerned.
I guess it just points out how disconnected some drivers can be. It also shows that some people are really stupid and probably shouldn’t have gotten a driver’s license in the first place.
So please ... if you see me in your rearview mirror, please keep going forward. I thank you, and my bumper thanks you.
Redmond is an author, journalist, humorist and speaker. Write him at firstname.lastname@example.org. For information on speaking fees and availability, visit www.spotlightwww.com.