Monday, December 15, 2008

A Little Bit of Road Rage

I've driven around the world a couple times, so there have been encounters with less than stellar drivers that have pushed me to the edge, as it were. Most of the time, to be professional about the situation, one must just let it go and ignore the urge to mangulate some idiot (mangulate isn't a word, but it should be). But, there are times when patience (always a virtue) runs out, blood pressure rises, and common sense is out the window.

I had just loaded some wheat at an elevator at Pierceville, KS and was attempting to pull out on the highway to go east - a busy US 50. At the time, when sitting at that stop sign, one could not see traffic from the west very far. Generally, when a truck pulled out, it was going to slow someone down. That day was no different.

As I pulled out, the eastbound car came into sight. Sometimes, you can just tell what is going to happen, and this time was no different. The car caught me just as I was about wound up, and I told my running buddy (who had pulled out after I did) that this lady was gonna pass, and I'd end up having to pass her back, sure as hell. I continued to "gouge on it" as she passed - I was still building speed. When she finally was done, I was going considerably faster than when she started - probably close to 63 or 64mph.

That isn't all that unusual - it happens all the time. What happened next is generally enough to get a trucker's blood running a bit quicker - she slowed down. Here she was in a big hurry to get around me, and now she was gonna run slower. Fifty five slower. Pretty much a faux paus. So, I started lining up the oncoming traffic so I could pass her and get on down the road. After a few miles, traffic cleared and I started a sling shot pass.

Except it didn't work. Cars can usually always out accelerate fully laden trucks. She stomped on it and had to be running at least eighty just to keep me behind her.

Oookay, fine. If she wants to drive that fast, great. Just stay out of my way. No such luck - within a mile she had reverted to her original speed of about fifty five, and I was stuck behind her again. So, with gritted teeth and a tenuous grip on my patience, I looked for another "hole" to pass her.

Same results. As soon as she saw me take the oncoming lane, she stomped on the loud pedal and squirted ahead a bit. This is when I started venting on the two way communicator. "F***ing Bi**h!" I hollered. A female voice hollered back "What? What did I do?"

It was an oncoming female trucker, thinking I was pissed at her. I told her I was peeved at the driver in front of me and how she was speeding up every time I tried to pass her. I had caught her again, and now I was highly pissed. We were just about to Ingalls Feedyard, which is on a bit of a hill. "I guess I'll just push her lousy ass up this hill," or some such literate jewels spilled from my lips. I was driving an International 4300. The hood, with the bug deflector mounted, seemed like half of a ping pong table. I could just see the top of her roof. I was close.

It was about this time I noticed the Kansas Highway Patrol car coming at me in a string of traffic. Back in the day, most of them had CB radios. He pulled over and turned around so he could run me down.

"Do you want me to pull over in the wide spot at the feedyard entrance - for following too close?" I asked him. "No, I've been listening and I want to see what this driver is doing."

Well! That was certainly unexpected! For some reason, the lady stood on the loud pedal and took off. I duly reported this to the officer. I was also spotting for him to get around me. She also crossed the center line and started wandering all over the road as well. I was hugging the "fog line" so he could see, and when he finally got around me, she was already a mile ahead of me.

I finally caught them - he had her pulled over, and was shaking a finger at her through her open window as I went by. HaHaHaHaHa!

I sure hoped I'd run into this officer again, but I never did. I owed him a cup of coffee, at least.


threecollie said...

Sweet! I was feeling your frustration until the police showed must have been wonderful to see her sitting there stewing!

Earl said...

Now that was a "Peace Officer", the kind that should be always on the road. There are many more of them than we know. Great story.

Kathy B. said...

Jeff - my blood was boiling just reading your story - glad he heard your frustration. What a stupid ninnie. I have respect for you big trucks - and am courteous enough to stay out of the way for sure! Reminds me of driving in Omaha today - snowstorm, right? Slick roads, rush hour traffic...Woman next to me on her cell phone driving 10 miles an hour tying up the entire lane of traffic behind her. Clueless. About the only place I lose my mellow is while driving;D

Mo K said...

HA-ha! {/Nelson}
Excellent. I've lost count of the times I've said "Where is a cop when you need one?!"
Anyone messing with truckers is just a moron. And a dangerous one, to boot.

Farm.Dad said...

I am one of the few who can " See the story " Pierceville, KS " is but i can drive to the elevator ( no feat ) and the gym of the old school ( which i suspect is closed now ) . I guess i finaly read your profile and figgered out that you come from where i was for a while . I paid my dues under the tutalage ( ?) of " Squirt " as he monetered my traffic habits , and working as a cowboy/feedtruck driver for Irsick/Dall (sp) in the late 70s and real early 80s . BTW whatever happened to that garrand he had in his trunk ? . For them that dont know " Squirt " was both the sheriff and a local icon who was much respected by all .

Jeffro said...

Gads, I don't know what happened to all of ol' Squirty's guns. I kinda remember most of them were passed on to his kids. His oldest son Bill was sheriff for years, but cancer caught him just over a year ago. Jimmy is the sheriff now.

I'll bet you knew ol' Dayton Botts, too.