*Names Have Been Changed to Protect the Mischievous*
Sitting in a long line of traffic, going 10 miles below the posted speed regulations, with drooping eyelids and blasting stereos, no one expected any variation from this daily trek into work.
George Edward Allan, an 81 year old man with a grouchy sense of humor and an out of date driver’s license, was returning home from his own daily outing to the local diner and found himself staring at a golden opportunity. Clutching his ‘to-go’ coffee tightly in an arthritic old hand and waiting for a slight break in the line (he wouldn’t want anyone hurt after all), Mr. Allan swerved into oncoming traffic.
Chuckling to himself as the poor little girl in the ‘smart car’ (SMART CAR, HUMPH!) scrambled to avoid the 1953 steel frame Chevy that had barreled toward her.
Twice more George carefully chose his spot and swerved to the opposite lane. Twice more he laughed at the reactions of his hapless victims. Twice more he crowed, “That oughta wake ‘em up!”
After his third swerve, George Edward Allan decided that he’d made the point and toodled on home to his bright kitchen and happy coffee making wife, never knowing the impact his actions had on those driving that day.
For the few young drivers, the wrinkled joy on his face read as malice and murderous intent so they drove more cautiously and complained about old ‘coots’ being allowed to drive at all.
The few older adults in that line of cars tensed up, took an extra blood pressure pill, and began to seriously consider bus tickets and carpools with those young kids that were always trying to take their jobs.
And then there was one middle aged and who witnessed every action, every reaction, and the light of real joy emanating from Mr. Allan’s cackling face and thought, “I want to BE that guy when I grow up!”