“Life is a bad neighborhood.”
–Tom B. Taker
Oh, out on a lonely stretch of road
Beware o’ that unwritten code
Make an illegal pass again
He’ll leave you a fucking road stain
‘Cause the asshole is a person in your neighborhood
In your neighborhood
He’s in your highwayhood
An asshole is an asshole in your neighborhood
A person that you street each day
Life is hard. We all get that. Some of us, though, are a bit more proactive. We take that knowledge then go out there and do what little we can to make it even harder.
There are people who walk among us who do shitty things. Unimaginable assholes. In the old days they’d get away with it. But now, because lots of us cover ourselves with video cameras when we step out of the house, every once in a while one of them gets nabbed with their dirty mitts in the cookie jar.
Meet William Crum, age 68. Angry. White. Elderly. Texan. While out driving a two-lane blacktop with a double-yellow line he was illegally passed by a motorcyclist. We know what happened next because another motorcycle rider who was following behind got the entire thing on video.
As the motorcycle attempted to pass, Crum’s vehicle sharply and “violently” swerved and sideswiped the motorcycle, sending the two people on the bike to the ground. The motorcyclist suffered cuts and road burns. His girlfriend passenger, however, was airlifted to the hospital with more serious injuries. After spending time in intensive care she was moved to a regular room and is now in stable condition.
Confronted at the scene, Crum was recorded on video making this statement: “I don’t care. Double yellow stripes. I got stung by a wasp.”
Crum refused to apologize to the motorcyclist, saying, “To her [he would] … but to him, no, because he was doing something illegal.”
I now break out my Asshole Decoder Ring and offer the following analysis:
- Crum. Probably the best-named human of all time.
- “I don’t care.” Hmm. This statement reads on the meter as sincere. We’ll take him at his word.
- “Double yellow stripes.” This goes to state of mind. What’s the most important notion stuck in his craw after wreaking violence on other human beings? Apparently he was fixated on the criminality of illegal passing. This is a solid piece of evidence that his swerve was intentional.
- “I got stung by a wasp.” Now this is an interesting non sequitur. I can find no news coverage confirming if this has been medically confirmed. My guess? It’s a little self-defense tip he picked up from the book Always Blame Road Rage on Our Friends the Bees.
- “He was doing something illegal.” There you have it. Judge. Jury. Swervecutioner.
- Irony: While swerving to take out his victims, Crum crossed the double-yellow line himself, thus literally crossing the line from brooding hero vigilante to rabid criminal scum.
What do you think? Was it intentional? The police seem to think so. Crum has been charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and aggravated assault causing serious bodily injury.
Sorry, Mr. Crum. I don’t dance.
This weekend my wife and I drove out into the country with our aunt and her friend for lunch. For some strange reason we ended up taking two cars. I think the reason for that was a plan to go separate ways at some point, but they stayed glued to us and that never happened. I’m actually thankful for that since my aunt’s driving scares the bejeezus out of me.
It was a nice day. I took some photographs, we went to a bakery that was rustic and smelled great, even if the actual product didn’t live up to what my nose was telling my brain. We pulled over a got some fresh produce from a self-serve roadside stand. And we had a nice lunch at a grill out in the country.
The roads to get there were rural and in some parts were pretty curvy.
So there we were in our little two-car caravan. My wife was driving so I was relaxing and enjoying the scenery. Out of the blue I heard my wife swear under her breath which immediately got my attention.
We were on a curve with a double-yellow line. That means “no passing.” Not because it’s illegal. It means no passing because attempting to do so on a blind curve will get yourself and probably others killed.
That didn’t stop this guy, though. He was driving like a maniac. I looked just in time to see him fly by on the double-yellow line. “What an asshole,” I said. My wife informed me he had just done the same to our aunt’s car that was directly behind us.
As often happens in cases like these, a little bit of mini-karma was dispensed. In other words the asshole car was now behind the truck that we were previously following. The roads were still curvy and Mr. Asshole was tailgating that truck like no tomorrow. Suddenly he saw a little opening, still on the double-yellow, and made his move. Yikes, a car was coming right at him! He managed to get out of the way and back behind the truck just in time.
That seemed to mellow him out some. He remained behind that truck all the way to his destination, which turned out to be the same parking lot as our restaurant. The asshole’s crazy move had saved him a grand total of fifteen seconds.
My wife, who is a skosh more assertive than me, wanted to go confront the guy. I settled for standing there and glaring at him. He backed into a parking spot in front of the country store and got out of his car. He looked pretty much like you’d expect – a total scuzball.
“What was so friggin’ important?” my wife and I both wondered.
We watched the dude pop his trunk and proceed to unload lots of bags full of cans and bottles. The big hurry was that the dude was about to get his $2.00 in friggin’ bottle money!
Now that I think about it there just might be a chapter about driving in the book I’m writing entitled Society of Assholes. (Deliberate understatement alert.) If I knew the dude’s name I’d dedicate the chapter to him.
What an asshole!
Please enjoy the musical pairing that has been selected by our chef for this post:
No one enjoys having to pull over for an emergency vehicle, right? After all, you are traveling around in your gasoline-powered combustion vehicle on important business.
Dammit! Taco Bell just can’t wait!
Even though you don’t like it, you pull over to the side of the road when you hear the siren and see those flashing lights. Only a super-mega-douchebag wouldn’t. The penalties and humiliation for failure to yield to an emergency vehicle would be quite intense.
So you reluctantly pull over and curse the fates that had the audacity to fuck with your driving. Of course, you wait until the last possible minute.
Then you happen to notice something very, very interesting. All the cars on the road pulled over at the same time. And because you’re at the end of that line, that means that after the emergency vehicle passes you, the cars ahead of you will still be waiting because they haven’t been passed yet.
There are a few precious seconds it takes for the emergency vehicle to pass everyone.
This is it! This is your big chance! Just as soon as the emergency vehicle clears the front of your car, crank that steering wheel hard and punch the gas. Punch it hard. Your goal here is to just barely miss clipping that emergency vehicle with the front of the car. Your skill will be measured in the inches of separation between life and death. Dance on the edge of that precipice and rejoice in the moment.
If you’ve timed things correctly you’ll be in the fast lane and the parked cars ahead of you will be screwed and now they’ll have to wait for you to pass. You did it! You passed all of those other slowpoke losers.
Take a moment and savor your victory. Taste the fruits of sweet driving nirvana.
Congratulations! You are now one of the biggest asshole dicks of all time.