To the guy who tailgated me for 20 miles this morning
I get it. You wanted to go faster, and given that you drive a Mitsubishi Lancer maybe you are under the impression that you are fast and/or furious. I’m the guy who was in front of you for 20 miles from Alpine Junction to Ithaca, driving at various speeds with the constant being that you were so close to my rear end it felt like I was trapped in a changing room with Richard Simmons.
We met at 61 mph, a nice speed for Route 13 — fast enough to not take forever and slow enough to go unremarked by the many police who patrol that road. You were unsatisfied and expressed it by staying a cool 5 feet off my bumper. I slowed down gradually to 55 mph. This was one of several opportunities to pass me, but you just slowed down too and stayed back there like you wanted to turn on a Sting album and spoon me. So I sped up again hoping that you’d get the message and let me keep the distance I had won between us…but no, you are a jealous sharer of the road, Mitsubishi Lancer. You caught up. For 10 more miles we were like cellmates and you tried to make me your bitch, but all you succeeded in doing was going 13 miles an hour slower than when you started tailgating me. How did that work out for you?
Coming down the hill into Ithaca I sped up again, figuring you’d been punished enough. So when you tried to give me the Sneaky Pete again, I admit I lost my cool and touched the brake for the first time. I hope you spilled your coffee on what I imagine were your Faded Glory pleated khaki pants. Then, in the two-lane road in town you didn’t go around. You proceeded to follow me all the way to my parking place before giving me a look and going on your way to, I assume, the DMV where you work.
I offer you these common sense tips:
- Tailgating is a dick move, and it’s even more of a dick move if the guy in front of you is already well above the speed limit on a well-patrolled road.
- If you are tailgating someone and they slow down, that’s your cue to pass and if you can’t pass, well then screw you because you are being a dick anyway.
- It actually makes sense to leave some distance for you too. Have you seen all the deer carcasses on the road? That’s because cars hit them. If a deer jumps in front of me and I have to slam on the brakes, I don’t want you crashing into me. Based on your body, your reaction time is only fast in World of Warcraft.