Things That Go Bump

Alright. What the hell is it with people and the back end of my car anyway? And why does this shit always happen in August of all months?

So there I am, driving down Harbor Blvd this morning on the way to work when up ahead of me I spot some dufus in a black Mustang weaving across the center lane line. I passed him and kept an eye on him until I lost sight of him behind me in the sea of other headlights. I figured he was gone. So I'm sitting at the light at Harbor and 1st minding my own business waiting for it to turn green. Guess who came up out of nowhere, and slow-creeped into my rear bumper?

Yeah. You guessed it. The jackass in the black Mustang. He had managed to drift clean across to the left lane. He hit the car just hard enough to let me know he wasn't cleanly on his brake. When I looked up into the rear view mirror, he was sitting there - both hands off the wheel - waving his arms around and apparently barely even able to sit up straight. I put the window down and had motioned for him to pull off the road, but instead of agreeing, he ducked down to his right and looked like he was reaching for something.

I thought better of it and decided not to wait for the light to turn green and bolted across the intersection. He followed. But when he realized I had decided I wasn't pulling over, he panicked and cut in front of several other people I had caught up to and then disappeared around a corner. Somewhere around McFadden on the off chance anyone local is reading this.

Incidents like this make me wish I'd purchased a gun. He's lucky I don't have his plate number because even though he didn't damage the car I would have had to hunt him down and put 4 rounds into his tires as payback.
.........................
RIP United States of America

July 1776 - November 2012.

       
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Posted on Aug 29, 2007 1:12 pm by Samson in: | 24 comment(s) [Closed]
Comments
Ah yes. Give the those libs some more ammo for gun control laws, please!

       
You know, Samson, they call that road rage, and you're fairly lucky that he wasn't (hopefully) reaching for his gun when "he ducked down to his right and looked like he was reaching for something", but if you had a gun yourself and took that sort of revenge on him, you'd be the one going to jail over it and, as Whir pointed out, giving the anti-gun crowd yet more reason to scream. :(

As it is, there's reasonably equal odds that he was "reaching for" his insurance information thinking that you were a cop in an unmarked car, at least until you ran the red light. *L*

A better solution for this sort of incident, particularly given that he did no actual damage to the car would've been to use your cell phone and report his license plate numbers along with an account of his driving behavior and vehicle description to the police so they could use their guns to handle it thus keeping you safe from both liability and bullets. ;)

       
Conner. If I had shot the bastard I'd be giving the anti-murder people more reason to scream. Blaming it on guns is an abdication of responsibility for the act. A gun can no more decide to get up and fire on you than a knife can get up and go stab someone. Besides. He had a weapon, his car, and he'd already used it on me. Reasonable fear of bodily harm or death.

In California, when we as drivers see someone "reaching for his insurance" as you so naively assumed, we think of other things instead. Reaching for his gun being one of them. Reaching for a knife. A bat. Or some other weapon. Or in his case passing out in the passenger seat? Combine that with the behavior I observed in him just prior to this - weaving all over the road, barely able to sit straight, and then flailing his arms at me when I looked back to see what hit me. Can you honestly tell me that you'd feel comfortable surrendering the only weapon you had - the car - to get out and deal with this? I didn't. And when you're making decisions in seconds, you do what instinct says is right. So I floored it and crossed against the light. Surprised a few people but that's about all. When he followed, I interpreted that as a chase and kept on the gas. He took the hint soon enough.

See, the other scenario around here is what's known as "bump and run". Someone hits you at an intersection, or on the freeway, or anywhere really. They figure you'll do right and get out, exchange info, etc. What you don't see are the 4 other thugs hiding off the side of the road. In a parking lot. Behind a dumpster. Wherever. The ones who then jump you, take your money, and often your car too. Leaving you stranded. Again, no thanks. I'll take my chances elsewhere.

I can't report his plate number if I don't have it. He hit me from behind, remember? This was just short of 6am, so it was still somewhat dark out and his lights were on. Wasn't able to see the plate. The intersection is also located in Santa Ana and my prior experience with that department suggested to me they wouldn't give a shit. I also wasn't going to be counting on witnesses at the site to back me up. They'd be long gone by the time a cop bothered to show.

As it stands I checked it when I came out for lunch and there's no damage. So could you honestly tell me hassling with the cops and everything else would have been worth it? Even if none of the possible nightmare scenarios played out?

       
Clearly, you need to be driving one of these:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wiesel_1

I'd like one too, actually. Could've used it the other day when that guy going 60 in a 35 tried to run me down.

Also, remind me why you live where you do, again?

       
I live here because my parents brought me here against my will when I was 2. See, they didn't listen when I told them this place sucks :P

The dastardly hypocrites! They both moved away and left me here to fend for myself after realizing I was right. Alas, I lack the money they had and they're not sharing, so I have to scrape my own together for the great escape.

       
Samson, I hadn't said anything at all about the anti-murder folks and you're preaching to the choir on the gun control issues.

I also wasn't naively suggesting that he was going for his insurance, I was being optimistic. Personally, my first assumption would be exactly what I suggested at first, that he was probably going for his gun. Though, from the state you say he was in, you might've been safe even from his gun if he'd found it.

No, I certainly would not have advocated stopping and getting out to exchange insurance info with someone in that state.

I understand, it's too bad that conditions weren't better so that you could've gotten his plate number, and maybe the cops wouldn't have cared either way, but isn't the reason we pay them specifically so that they can take those risks instead of us?

Dwip, nice vehicle choice, but given California prices (hell, even prices around here), would you really want to deal with that sort of fuel economy? ;)

Samson, It's a shame that they didn't see fit to bring them with you (or at least share enough funds for your own escape) when they left, but I suspect that part of your lack of funds is the ridiculously high cost of living out there rather than any real lacking of your income. :(

       
That IS something of an issue, to be sure (I imagine the ammunition costs for a 20mm cannon are fairly up there, too), though I suppose you could mod an extra tank on there, and your fuel economy may actually get better than listed as everyone gets the hell out of your way...

       
Given his state, yes, him having a gun might not have been that threatening. But he still had another weapon - his car - and his state meant he might have fired that in my direction again and I wasn't hanging around for that either.

I wonder if the makers of the Wiesel 1 have good credit plans :P

       
Oh dear god, Dwip, you're planning on arming the thing as well as driving it? *L*
I really would've thought just being able to drive over/through other drivers would be more than enough... but, yes, it'd probably not be too hard to add an extra fuel tank to that beast so that, even if your mileage sucked, you still wouldn't have to refuel as often.

Samson, yes, that's a fair enough statement. I wasn't condemning you for running the light, only saying that he knew for sure that you weren't a cop in a unmarked vehicle when you did so.

Re: Wiesel makers' credit plans: I'm sure they do, if you're running a government somewhere. :P

       
But of course I am. Because, hey, it's cool. And because there's always that one guy who, even though you're driving a tank, will STILL try and cut you off. And you have to be prepared for these things. :P

Or, if you're a redneck (says the Oregonian), hunting. Although 20mm may be a bit large for deer.

       
Um, I dare say a 20mm shell wouldn't likely leave you anything from said deer... especially if the shell had any extra features, like explosives...

       
Sometimes I'm honestly surprised Samson isn't already dead or at least in prison for some of the things that seem to cross his mind.

       
Samson said:

In California, when we as drivers see someone "reaching for his insurance" as you so naively assumed, we think of other things instead. Reaching for his gun being one of them. Reaching for a knife. A bat. Or some other weapon.


I'm not sure you should be generalizing to all of California. What you describe is certainly not the first assumption in the Bay Area, although I'm not sure I'd have assumed he was reaching for insurance, either. And yes, I know you're going to say this place is just an infestation of liberal pinko-commie-unpatriotic wackos anyhow, but I was just preaching against the dangers of generalization. :-)

       
Yep. California is infested with liberal pink-commie-unpatriotic wackos. But that's beside the point. Apparently folks in the Bay Area haven't heard of carjackings and bump and run scams? It's all too common down here in Mexico... er... Southern California.

       
I think you meant to say "don't see nearly as many of" instead of "haven't heard of". :-) At least as far as all this weapon talk is concerned. Because in fairness, bump and run scams aren't quite the same thing as reaching for a gun or other weapon, no?

       
True. A bump and run scam is entirely different from a carjacking or robbery or whatever, but often enough they're all conducted at the point of a gun around here. I don't think it's being overly dramatic or generalizing too much when it's so common they don't report them on the news anymore.

       
Yep. California is infested with liberal pink-commie-unpatriotic wackos.

And here I thought it was the Grape Nuts State - chock full of fruits, nuts, and flakes. :P

it's so common they don't report them on the news anymore.

*sigh* This is a problem with many things today, we get every murder reported as international major headlines, and every accusation of anything sexually related is treated as a conviction of a serial sex offender, but so many other crimes are treated entirely as commonplace. :(

       
A bump and run scam is entirely different from a carjacking or robbery or whatever, but often enough they're all conducted at the point of a gun around here.

But that's my point, Samson. In this area, bump-and-runs don't occur at gun-point. It's just that: I bumped your car, oops, now I'm going to dash away before you get my license plate number.

*sigh* This is a problem with many things today, we get every murder reported as international major headlines, and every accusation of anything sexually related is treated as a conviction of a serial sex offender, but so many other crimes are treated entirely as commonplace. :(

I guess that's the difference between local and national news. I don't expect to hear much about local events in the larger news outlets, so when I want to know what's happening around here I go to local papers that do actually discuss this sort of stuff a bit more.

       
I catch the news on the radio and the web/inews/email, mainly I catch national/international headlines only, but it still seems like I hear about an outrageous number of murders, sex crimes, and celebrity nonsense regularly compared to what I feel I probably should be hearing about. *shrug*

       
Oh, well, that's just human nature I suppose. It's just oh so much more exciting to hear about murders and celebrity insanity than oh-such-mundane things as carjacking. Sad but true.

       
And sex sells, even in the news industry, but it's not exactly journalism at it's finest. *sigh*

       
Well, it's what people want to hear, right? It's not just the news industry's fault: they are a business like any other, they need to make money, and if not peddling sex stories means not making money, they don't have much choice in the matter if they want to stay in business. To be honest it's as much the fault of the consumers as the industry. It's a general culture issue, really.

       
It's not journalism at all. News programs are in the business to make the station money just like any other programming they do. It's all about ratings. So when you live in a high crime metro region like LA, it's just not that entertaining to people to hear about it. Unless a celebrity is involved.

The same with sex stories. It usually won't matter who it is, but if it's a celebrity then people pay more attention. But they'll pay attention if it's priests, pedophiles, republicans, or conservatives as well. Their bias won't allow them to even report on it when liberals or democrats are involved though.

In California, earthquakes don't get ratings unless it's over 5.0 or something important got damaged. But get a cheesy rainstorm, and suddenly it's "Stormwatch '07" or some crazy shit. If a hurricane pops up, especially within 500 miles of us, we take notice. Mainly because it's not something we see a lot of. Volcanoes too, they get lots of attention.

God forbid there should be a political scandal, especially if a right-winger is part of it. You'll never hear the end. Or if troops die in Iraq. But gangs could murder 500 people and nobody cares.

       
So much for "Journalistic Integrity", eh? :(

       
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