The Case Against What I Refer To As “Good Christian Driving”

14 12 2010

First of all, this isn’t me railing on Christianity less than two weeks before the Big, Divine, Birthday Party. No, this is about bad driving habits, particularly those of people who feel it necessary to immediately slam on the brakes and allow any vehicle that wishes to cross the road or merge into traffic no manner what is going on around them in an effort to be a nice, good, sweet person. (Incidentally, I’ve included directions so that my explanations make more sense. It might sound a little like algebra, but I promise it’s not.) I happen call this process “good Christian driving” because it reminds me of all of those small, selfless actions that the teachers of the religious instruction classes I took as a child would ask us to do around Advent and Lent. See, it’s nothing derogatory, just me reminiscing of my angelic, child-self. Ok, I’m stretching the term “angelic”, but you get my point.

The image to the left is what can, and often does, result from “good Christian driving”. Even if you’ve never been in an accident because of someone in front of you trying to get one random act of kindness closer to a spot on Heaven’s reservation list, I’m sure you can think of time that this has almost happened. Up until today, the closest I’d come to being an unintended consequence of someone’s goodwill toward others came when I was helping one of my aunts move and someone who had been given a chance to cut across into my lane of traffic drove out and nearly t-boned me because at this particular point on the road, if there is heavy traffic in the lane in front of you (northbound), you can’t see the lane you’re trying to merge into(southbound). Essentially you trust the person letting you cross in front of them and drive blindly into the southbound lane. Not good! The only thing that saved my butt, both from the car suddenly appearing in front of me and from my aunt who was following couple cars behind me was that my chronic “leadfoot-itis” had been tempered by the fact that I had all of my aunt’s glassware rather shoddily packed in the back of my car. The sound of it rattling around back there and knowing that if anything got broken in transit there would be no escape from my aunt once we got to my house for dinner clipped a good 5-10 mph off my average speed.

Today I officially became a “good Christian driving” victim. There was I nice fellow in front of me in a large pickup truck. How do I know he was nice? Well, he let several people (going east) cut through rush hour traffic on a main road (westbound) to get to a side street (northbound). He did so even after the light turned green. How kind! The issue came when, with two cars stacked up behind me now, someone missed the memo that everyone was still stopping even though the light was green and hit the gas instead of the brake. That SUV hit a car, that hit a car, that hit my car. At least one car was towed and at least one person went to the hospital. My mother, my dog, and I are all ok. My pink chariot is too, aside from a messed up back bumper which I’m not too phased by. The car drove home fine and, since I was in no way at fault, I got no ticket. On an unfortunate note, as a result of the traffic backing up from our accident, at least one more collision was caused by a similar chain of events. That’s a minimum of six cars messed up in one way or another and at least one hospitalization all because somebody thought holding up everyone on a busy road when they’re impatient to get home was a good idea.

And what happened to Saint Pickup Truck? Once I got hit – I’m certain he got to watch my mother and me whip forward and my 25 lbs dog bounce off the back of the seats – he was gone. Hell of a good Samaritan, right?

This is for you, Saint Pickup Truck, wherever you are. I have another symbolic gesture for you, but I’ll leave that to your imagination.

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