because I'm a stupid hothead

I just came within about 30 seconds of getting my first-ever traffic ticket, and it definitely wouldn't have been just for speeding.

I popped over to D & D's to pick up some Christmas decorations that I'm storing in their basement. The whole trip was to take maybe 15-20 minutes. I was driving home and came to the stoplight by the Taco Bell. The road there is 2 lanes each way with a turn lane in each direction. About a block past the intersection, the road narrows to one lane--the lane I was in. It's no big surprise; there are signs about it posted prior to the intersection, but it's one of those places where people become absolutely stupid, in two ways. The people in the lane I was in get insanely defensive ("This is my lane and I'm not letting you in even if it kills me...or both of us!") and the people in the other lane get ridiculously aggressive ("I'll cut you off if it's the last thing I do! Must...be...first...!") I'm in my car. It's fucking cold (19°F, feels like 5°F, wind 19-25 mph). There's a guy behind me in a new-looking SUV with temporary (paper) plates. Oh, wait, now he's next to me.


Yeah, that's all it took. He was stopped--as in AT A COMPLETE STOP--behind me, but pulled into the lane next to me, which was empty, so that when the light turned green he could race to get ahead of me.

Did I mention that it's a 35 mph zone?

Thirty-five fucking miles per hour. A total distance of perhaps one-half mile. And this jackass, this idiot, has to be in front of me. There's not another car in sight. Why?! Why was it so goddamned important that he be in front of me? Did I look like I'd sit at that light for days?

I was torn between just laughing at him while he sped off...and squealing away from the light and watching him eat my dust.

As it turns out, the result was somewhere in between. We both nailed the gas when (or perhaps slightly before) the light turned green, but we both failed to compensate for the light dusting of snow on the pavement. After spinning (thankfully, in place and not sideways into each other--how embarrassing would that be?!) momentarily, we both shot ahead. His larger, heavier, gas-guzzling-i-er SUV kicked my little Civic's ass in the takeoff department. We were barely to Culver's before he was easily going 55 mph. I only know that because my speed was about 52 mph.

In a 35 mph zone.

Oh, yeah, I also had my high-beams on. I forgot that I sometimes use those as a weapon against people who cut me off.

'Cause he waited until his lane disappeared before he pulled into my lane, effectively cutting me off rather than just changing lanes. Dick. So I gassed him with my high-beams.

We sailed into Syc--and right there the speed limit drops to 30 mph--at roughly 25 mph over the speed limit. We pretty much coasted (it's downhill) all the way to the police/fire department, where the limit drops to 25 mph. I'd already pulled back from his bumper at this point, and dimmed my lights several blocks before. I was calming (and realizing that I'm an idiot hothead moron). He slowed waaay down right at the police station, though, and I couldn't tell why until I saw that there was a cop car in front of him. I only saw that when he--the cop--turned left onto a side street, and then executed a snazzy U-turn, as if to follow...me. Oh, fuck. I'm guessing someone, somewhere along that stupid route, saw something and notified someone. Damn.

Happily for me, though, my parking lot beckoned a mere 2 blocks ahead. I retained my Exactly At The Limit speed, used my turn signal, pulled into a spot, and cut the engine. The cop, on the other hand, tailed my new buddy in the SUV right past my place.

If the gods are smiling, the dude fucked up somewhere along the line and will get the ticket that I deserved.

That's the closest I've come in a very long time to doing something profusely stupid and getting caught. A wake-up call, I think.

Next time, I'll come back on Foxpointe instead.

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