The following article was in the Knoxville News-Sentinel last week. Read it for a good lesson on driving. It’s a little long, but I think it’s worth your time.
A driving lesson that will last
DR. ROBERT GIBSON
The gold Camry sat in my blind spot, and its driver refused to slow down or speed up. I was traveling in the right lane on the Pellissippi Parkway between Knoxville and Oak Ridge near the Hardin Valley exit, and I was in a hurry to get to work.
But gold Camry had me boxed in behind an 18-wheeler going 40 miles per hour. I was going nowhere, with gold Camry on my left rear bumper, blind to my growing frustration. Why won’t this guy pass and let me move over?
I mashed the accelerator, planning to bolt ahead of the gold Camry and then make a quick move to the left. It didn’t work. Gold Camry accelerated, too, making my aggressive move too risky. I was pinned behind the 18-wheeler.
My frustration boiled over to anger. As the Camry’s front bumper drew parallel to my driver’s side window, I debated how I might transmit my anger. Shake my fist? Mouth some nasty words as he crept by? Maybe ride his back bumper all the way to Oak Ridge?
Gold Camry was interfering with progress, and I wanted him know it.
His front door drew even with mine, and I glanced over with a scowl. I saw a middle-aged man lost in thought. He gripped the wheel in 10-2 position, just like I had learned in driver’s education class.
I was certain that he would return my glance with an air of superiority. Instead, he kept his eyes on the road, straight ahead, as if I wasn’t even there.
The 18-wheeler was less than 10 yards ahead; I strained to anticipate the exact moment that the Camry’s back bumper would clear my front bumper. At that instant, I would whip into the left lane, using the maneuver as an obvious message to Gold Camry: Get out of my way, jerk!
Then, as the gold Camry crept past me, I read its license plate: “SON KIA.”
Killed in action. Shame crept over me as I comprehended what I had already begun to suspect: Gold Camry wasn’t boxing me in intentionally. And even if he were, what was the value of my few minutes of lost time in comparison to what he had lost?
I slowed down, letting the gold Camry fade into the distance. Work seemed less important now.
Since that day, I have often wondered why the driver of the gold Camry chose to put those letters on his license plate. Maybe they reminded him of something he didn’t want to forget, no matter how painful the memory.
Maybe he wanted other drivers to acknowledge what he and his son had sacrificed for their country. Or maybe he wanted everyone to remember the gravity of war which, as American writer Paul Fussell reminds us, “acts in ways that ask to be imagined before they are condemned.”
Whatever his intent, the words that I wished to say so emphatically to the driver of the gold Camry changed in an instant.
I hope the man driving the gold Camry reads this. I want him to know that we met one day on the Pellissippi Parkway, and I was made better by that meeting. I’m sorry, sir. Thank you for your son.
Don't let what you can't do
interfere with what you can do.
Joke of the Day
Two country truck drivers are barreling along when they come up to a low bridge.
A sign says, "Clearance: 11"2'." So they get out, measure their truck, and realize that it's 11"6'.
So the first GUY looks at the second GUY and says, "I don't see any cops around....let's go for it!"
(Dumber than dumb… Perhaps in earlier days, these two guys played football at the University of Tennessee before being kicked off the team some stupid crime.)