I was involved in a minor car accident a few weeks ago. Los Angeles is an impossible city to drive in. Not only are you constantly negotiating gridlock traffic at all hours (where are these people going on the 5 at ANY given time?) but you are also having to deal with rude, obnoxious drivers who become outraged if you obey the law.
I tend to drive safe, slowish; okay, like a grannie. I listen to music and enjoy myself.
When a red light turns green, I wait ONE second because people run lights all the time. Then: HONK! HONK! YOUR SECOND IS UP! For all that speed demon knew, I saved his life.
Then, here come the insults. I drive the speed limit. I actually make full stops at stop signs. This enrages drivers. Most of them are Vin Diesel types (or pick your beefy actor from The Expendables 1 or 2).
"What the **** is wrong with you, stupid woman!"
Often they will tailgate, keep honking, harassing me, delivering more obscenities, and eventually they weave their way around just to get in front of me with their giant S.U.V. and SLAM on the brakes to teach me a lesson for my good driving.
I asked myself: If this person is in such a hurry, why are they spending so much time wasting it on me?
On top of all that you have the crooks that try to trap you into an accident, forcing your car into another car, thus you are at fault. Then they sue, for their sad, sad pain, fraudulent injuries, and their inability to ever work again. Like they ever did before, even if just a fender bender.
I'd get a bike, but I have kids, and I simply refuse to get a three- wheeler and take it everywhere we go. And I just can't do the Croco bike. Can't do it.
Back to the recent incident. Once again, I come up against, essentially, a malingerer.
This took me by surprise because at first the girl seemed pleasant, like this wasn't any big deal. At first I thought it was Halle Berry, the resemblance was that striking. But wasn’t Halle pregnant? Sadly this was not a celebrity brush. But for the sake of this piece, we’ll refer to her as Halle.
After the initial denting, Halle took off in her Cadillac.
Red Flag # 1: Secret Preparation. The driver secretly makes a call and conspires their next moves. She must have been in her car, which was now out of view.
Halle: I swerved to avoid hitting a car then sped up to beat the light, but SHE HIT ME. That’s for sure!
Husband: Good. What kind of car?
Halle: Brand-new. No plates yet.
Husband: Awesome. What is she wearing?
Halle: Casual, but James Perse casual.
Husband: Perfect. Go start blaming her. I'll Google her. We'll get some money out of this. By the way, are you hurt?
Halle: No. But I missed my Pilates class, dammit.
I'm assessing my damage, a small scrape under the hood. Halle storms toward me, now in her battle gear mode, repeating over and over: "I had the right away. You are at fault."
Red Flag #2: Never stop blaming. She was in my face, towering over me with her stilettos, finger pointing and making me feel like a 5-year old. My face burned with shame.
By the way, later I would read this spot on and snappy description: "I used to get up and get excited to go to work, but now I'm happy being a malinger."
I go about my business.
Halle: Why are you taking pictures of my car?
Me: So you won't leave and kick in the door and headlamps. Maybe you'll hit a wall and get a brand new car. Who knows? All I know is my instincts are screaming here to not trust you.
I did not say this. No. I said nothing. She kept repeating her mantra, "I had the right of way. You are at fault."
She was getting worked up, putting on a show. Even angry, her skin was radiant.
In a coincidence, a police cruiser happened by. Suddenly Halle the wicked witch turns into Halle Berry the Make-A-Wish supporter. She instantly sprouts a halo, all smiles.
Halle: We're fine officers. No one is hurt. Just a small dent. We're all good friends here.
We are? O.K., maybe we are. Maybe we can be friends. I would like that.