Busy highway, patient trucker


You’ve been there – a busy highway at the finale of a long holiday weekend. Every four-wheeler is busting a move to get home about 10 minutes earlier and will attempt no shortage of death-defying driving tactics they’ve picked up from watching NASCAR – except that those guys know what they’re doing and get paid to do it.

Anyway, my family and I were on the interstate returning from a fantastic beach weekend and arrived at the rear of a long stretch of slow-moving traffic in both lanes. There literally was nowhere to go and nothing to do except go with the traffic and wait for our turn to see what was holding things up.

Well, some folks never mastered the art of waiting in line for their turn – by the way, you must have noticed that often when you’re behind the wheel and essentially unseen by all of the driving strangers around you, all decorum flies out the window, and it becomes every man for himself. So the long slow lines of traffic broke down into a rude dangerous game of “How many drivers can I cut off while switching lanes so that I can get out of this jam a few seconds faster?”

Soon, we saw the holdup was a pickup truck towing an open-top trailer full of who-knows-what, and it was being followed by an 18-wheeler dutifully waiting for all of the crazed four-wheelers to pass until it was his turn to get around the slowpoke. The truck driver never attempted to cram his way into the passing lane and calmly was waiting for his moment.

I respected that driver’s patience, and when it became my turn to pass, I realized I still had literally dozens of cars behind me and that the trucker probably never would be able to pass. So I flashed my lights at the trucker, got his attention, and he slowly made his way into the passing lane in front of me. We passed, he returned to the right lane, and I passed him. He flashed his lights in appreciation, and off we both went.

A few extra moments of delay, and good feelings all around. Drive safe, folks.