Phyllis Buell, September Journeys

Syracuse Journal-Democrat

HEADLINE for this week's Column: Haste Still Makes Waste

I decided to run a few errands last Thursday morning while it was still fairly cool. Traffic was light and my trip was going well until I was waiting to make a right turn onto 27th St. from A.

Pulling up to the intersection, I noticed a pickup truck coming up very fast behind me. I probably could have beat the yellow and pulled out. Apparently, that was what the driver of that truck thought I should have done. He screeched to a stop just short of hitting me. I breathed a sigh of relief and thought that was the end of the situation.

As the flow of traffic passing in front of me began to slow, the vehicle behind me started to honk.

At first, I didn’t catch on to the fact it was honking at me! Yes, I know you can make a right turn on red in some intersections if there isn’t any traffic coming. I didn’t have a good sight line of oncoming traffic and decided to wait for the green.

I will admit the light did seem unusually long perhaps because the honking behind me continued. Maybe it just seemed that way.

Finally, the light turned green and I pulled out as quickly as I could. The pickup behind me pulled alongside into the left lane and gave me a friendly wave of his hand that I saw via peripheral vision. I did not look at him. Then as he pulled in front of me, he slowed temporarily, tapped his brakes - and then floored it!

I was a farmer’s daughter and been a farmer’s wife entirely too long not to know what was going to happen next!

Sticking many feet out of the back of the truck, resting on the raised end gate were several new 2 x 4’s, along with some other wrapped pieces of metal. Apparently, they hadn’t been secured in any way and didn’t have a warning flag tied to the end. Those 2 x 4’s were slip-sliding away as quickly as they could.

“Oh, no,” I thought. “Can I miss them?” I knew it would be too dangerous to try to come to a complete stop.

Those expensive 2 x 4’s were in a cooperative mood. They laid themselves smack down in the center of the lane. My little old Escape went over them with ease. I glanced in my rear view mirror and saw the van behind me already had his hazard lights on and had stopped. The driver hopped out and quickly put them in his vehicle.

“Mr. Speedy” apparently didn’t have a clue he had lost part of his load. He was too busy weaving in and out of traffic, apparently in a very big hurry to get wherever he was going.

I’m pretty sure when he discovers his loss, he will think it was my fault!

I kept it “together” until I parked my car. Then – the shaking began when I realized I had just been in a version of serious road rage.

In this day and age of violence and no respect for anyone, I count myself very fortunate I came through the experience with nothing more than a scare. We truly don’t have any notion of the problems or concerns the operator of any other vehicle is facing.

Whatever the driver of that truck was personally dealing with, he wasn’t handling it well, at least according to me. He probably told his friends about the old lady that got in his way and caused him problems.

After all, there are always two sides to any situation, aren’t there?