By LEE SCOTT
While driving to the grocery store last Thursday, I had an imaginary conversation with the woman in the car ahead of me. It was not a real conversation because she was already on the telephone with someone else. I knew this based on the way she was holding her cell phone and the way she was driving.
We had left a 35 mph speed zone and headed into a 55 mph speed limit zone, and she was still doing about 30 mph. I waited awhile hoping she would end her conversation, but that is when I started to talk to her.
“Excuse me,” I began, “You don’t know me, but I am in the car right behind you. I realize that your discussion with your husband regarding dinner tonight is important, but I really would appreciate it if you would pay attention to your driving. You are making me very nervous because you almost hit that street sign.”
Needless to say, she was ignoring me and continued, I imagined, discussing the kids, the weather, the upcoming vacation and a variety of topics which were so much more important to discuss while driving 32 mph in a 55 mph zone than paying attention to her driving.
It wasn’t until the truck behind me starting to “push” me from behind that I got a bit sterner in my conversation.
“Excuse me!” I said again, “But the truck behind me is extremely anxious to get around both of us and do the correct speed limit (or more). Could you please get off the phone and pay attention to your driving because you almost hit that old guy on the bicycle trying to get to work and I don’t want to be pushed off the road by this truck.”
She continued her actual animated conversation, and so I moved over a bit so the truck could pass me in the suicide lane, and he pulled up to her bumper instead of mine. I held back a bit worrying about an accident as he flashed his lights, honked, and road the back of her car. It did not matter. She continued her conversation.
I tried calling her again. “Excuse me. Could you please get off the phone before you are in an accident? You are a hazard and are frightening me, and the guy behind you now is even scarier.”
Obviously, she never heard me chatting with her, but at some point, her real conversation must have ended or maybe she noticed the guy in the truck. Whatever the reason, she suddenly picked up her speed as did the grateful line of cars behind her.
“I am glad we had this little chat” I said out loud and put down my imaginary phone.