Things are not what they seem

By Nancy Black

I knew the moment I looked into my rear-view mirror something was amiss. From my point of view, I was witnessing an obnoxious-looking Jeep — you know, one of those big ones with strobe lights on top, an open cab and huge, over-sized tires? — speeding up behind me on Peavy Road, straddling both lanes, as the driver was holding a cell phone up with both hands while driving with their elbows. “Oh, I don’t think so, mister,” I thought to myself. Then I started fuming.

I just knew it was some teenaged boy who just got out of high school and was texting all his friends while driving erratically. So, me — being, well, me — decided it was my civic and maternal duty to shout at him as he drove past my car. I moved into the right lane and the Jeep began to go by on my left.

“You might want to get off your cell phone, *#%hole!,” I yelled out the window with all my self-righteousness proudly displaying its peacock feathers for the world to see.

“I’ve got a dog who was hit by a car!” the pony-tailed wearing woman shouted back at me with tears in her eyes. “I’m trying to find a vet!”

Oh, my God! My heart sunk. I am the worst person in the whole wide world. It wasn’t a silly kid posting on social media while driving. It was a frantic woman with a hurt dog trying to get help. As we approached the next intersection, I was able to pull to her left-hand side, since she was now turning right onto Garland Road. I loudly, but humbly, said, “I am sooooooo sorry,” to her before she turned. She responded with an understanding, “It’s OK,” and made her way down the road. I was so sure it was some careless teenager behind me. I absolutely judged a situation just by looking at it.

And I somehow felt entitled to shout out my opinion to a perfect stranger without knowing the truth of the situation. Shame on me. Shame on anyone who jumps to conclusions without knowing the facts. You don’t have to be a journalist to know the truth lies in the facts. And the facts in this situation are clear: I was a real *#%hole! That said, please don’t text and drive.