As of today, you are reading the blog of a proud graduate of the 12/2012 Defensive Driving Program of America. It only took me 12 of the 30 allotted days to complete the course. Each slide more excruciating than the last.
This past weekend, I had a chance to put those skills to work. It was a cool and rainy morning as I was zipping through the back roads of Westchester on the way to an early morning appointment. Although unusual for me, I was running late.
The defensive driving playbook would advise me to pull to the side of the road in a safe location, telephone the person I was going to see, and then return to the road in a safe and efficient manner. Using the turn signals and hazard lights as necessary. I couldn’t be bothered. So I did what any normal person would do. I sped up a little bit (DMV if you’re reading this, please note I was still within the legal limit), and tried to make up for lost time.
As I approached a large hill, a beautiful, wonderful, charming, sweet, kind man approached from the opposite direction in a gas guzzling Land Rover. Normally I would be disgusted by such wasteful behavior. But on this wonderful day, that sweet man decided to flash his brights at me, prompting a series of thoughts to race through my head. It’s not night – I don’t need to have my lights on – oh wait, it’s raining – But my lights are on already – is that asshole telling me to turn them off? – you prick – I know my lights are on – Could it mean anything else? – Is this the universally accepted signal that there could be something lurking ahead?
So, thank you sir. Thank you for helping me avoid another horrifying driving class. Thank you for reminding me that, as Marge Simpson once famously said, you should always rely on the kindness of strangers:
In general, people should do more things to help one another out. The flashing of the brights, though probably highly illegal, is one of the great inventions of modern time. I hope that I have an opportunity to repay the favor to others in the future. I’m going to start thinking of and inventing other ways to help advance human togetherness.
If you have ideas for ways we can make the world a better place, please let me know!