No good deed goes unpunished.

I know that helping stranded motorists is getting to be right up there with picking up sketchy looking hitchhikers, but sometimes I still feel bad when I swerve around someone who is broken down, or pass some old guy struggling with a bumper jack in a rainstorm. Most of the time, though, I don't stop. After all, if you listen to the media or read the internet, they're all murderers, robbers or rapists just waiting to lure you into their evil clutches.

Yesterday I'm driving home from my father's house just after dark, and it's starting to rain pretty hard. At that time of night, it's a pretty busy ride, and a lot of it is on smaller two-lane roads. You know the type -- one lane in each direction, with a double yellow line down the center. No shoulder, just a curb with sidewalks. People are constantly stopping for lights or left turns, slowing down for other people to pull into the parking lot of the video store... basically, I run through about 3 or 4 small villages like this on my way home, and a lot of it is stop and go.

Even so, I'm moving along pretty good, windshield wipers slapping back and forth, iPod cranking out some Sister Hazel, and as long as I'm moving I'm a happy guy. Put me in stopped traffic and I turn into an asshole.

Suddenly, my happiness is yanked out from under me as I see the long line of rain-blurred tail lights in front of me start lighting up in random order as people hit their brakes. I join the jerky train, and switch the iPod to the new Tool CD. (Tool helps the transformation along a little quicker.)

About a quarter mile down the road, I see the problem. There's a car stopped at a traffic light with its flashers on, and people are swerving around it. As I said before, it's a two lane road, so if there's someone coming in the other direction you have to wait to pass unless you're into playing chicken with an 18-wheeler. It's finally my turn, and I pass the stuck car. I can't see the driver, but the car is only about 50 feet or so from the entrance to a school parking lot.

I go about another half mile, and I'm feeling a little bad for them. They've got a bunch of pissed off strangers beeping at them non-stop, it's pouring out and it's not like I'm on any schedule or anything. I figure what the hell. I switch the music back, turn around, and prepare, in the face of almost certain death, to offer my assistance to the yet-to-be-determined rapist/murderer/robber. I'm silently hoping for robber, unless it's a hot chick then I'm hoping for rapist.

Anyway, I finally work my way back past the car, turn around *again* and pull into the school parking lot, because I don't want to add to the blocking of traffic. I jump out, splash over to the car and tap on the window. The window opens, and I see a guy on a cell phone. There are two other people in the car, an older guy, and a woman. He puts his hand over the phone and says, "Yes?"

"You want me to help you push the car around the corner?"

"Excuse me?" he says. Like he doesn't understand what I'm saying.

"Yeah," I say. "We can probably push you around the corner, it's only about 50 feet."

The guy looks at me and finally gets it. He says, "Oh no, I'm not broken down. I'm waiting for somebody."

It was my turn to not understand. "What? But..." I say, unable to comprehend what he just said to me.

"My car is fine," he says. "I'm just waiting for someone."

I was speechless.

"Thanks, though," he says. He gives me a dismissive little smile, and returns to his cellphone call as he closes the window.

I stand there in the pouring rain for a second, completely amazed, then walk back to my car.

It's just my luck. I don't get the murderer, robber or hot chick rapist.

I get the idiot who has his head so far up his own ass he shouldn't be allowed to own a car -- the prick on a cellphone who single-handedly put Tool back on my playlist.

I took a left out of the parking lot and turned around just so I could pass him again. I leaned on the horn as I swerved around him.

That Tool CD works damn fast.


  1. Anonymous7:53 AM

    I need a Tool CD after reading this.

  2. Anonymous9:26 AM

    WTF?? I hope you made that up...
    Those types need to be culled from the herd.

  3. No..not made up, unfortunately. There was no place to pull over, so he just......stopped. Unbelievable to me.

  4. Anonymous7:46 AM

    Meeting stupidity face to face must have been scarey.

  5. Oblivious.

    Hopefully, a future Darwin Awards winner.

  6. I would have been incapable of restraining myself. This guy's larynx would have met my teeth going about 30 miles an hour in the opposite direction from where God intended his larynx to be.

    Then his cell phone would have been given an intimate, and thorough, tour of his internal biology.

  7. Nessa, remind me never to piss you off.

  8. WTF? That's why god created the Taser X26c

  9. Anonymous2:11 AM

    I would've taken it upon myself give him a broke down car.

    "Ramming speed Number One!"

  10. Anonymous11:41 AM

    Okay. If there is karma, this guy is definitely headed for total car die-age, probably in the worst possible part of town.

    My transmission went out last weekend. I did my best to get the car to a "safe" place but I could not - and no one stepped up to help. (If someone had offered to push me out of the intersection I would have been all over that).

    as it was, I had to go off in search of help, leaving my stranded car (It was a town I didn't know well and my cell phone batteries were dead).

    I got help and my car is now fixed, but it enrages me to think that someone would pull a stunt like that when they weren't actually broken down.

  11. Anonymous10:13 AM

    I stopped once to help a guy that was pulled over on the side of the road. I figured I could at least offer him the use of my cell phone. When I walked up to his window he had already pulled out his own phone and was on it. I felt like an idiot for standing there but for some reason still felt the need to offer help or at least explain why I was standing outside his car door staring at him. He kept staring ahead and talking on his cell phone, and wouldn't even roll down his window. It took me a minute to realize that mr. asshole was IGNORING me, and by that time I had already stood there a while and wasn't just going to turn and walk back to my car. So I stood there because I was pissed and stubborn and at least wanted him to say thanx. Finnaly he stopped talking, rolled down his window, and acknowledged my presence. I explained I was just trying to offer assistance. He gave me a dirty look, told me that his car was fine and that he was just pulled over so he could talk on his phone. Gave me another dirty look and proceeded to roll up his window.

    Why the hell can't he talk and drive like the rest of us idiots? Why couldn't he have at least been cordial? I just don't get it.