In Loving Memory

This combination of stickers works much better for me. Go Steelers! (deadspin.com)

This combination of stickers works much better for me. Go Steelers! (deadspin.com)

Despite finding them rather tacky, I once had at least a sliver of respect for people who put stickers in the back windows of their cars to memorialize loved ones they’ve lost. It could be a father, mother, sibling, close personal friend… whatever the case may be. I may find their medium rather kitschy, but their messages always seem heartfelt.

The example in this photo is an obvious exception, of course, but I’m sure most of you know what I’m talking about.

And I do love those Pittsburgh Steelers. Go team!

Yesterday, however, I encountered such a sticker on my way home from work. It was attached to some run-of-the-mill vehicle—a Toyota Camry or something, I think—and sadly, it now seems as if I’ve lost all respect for these “In Loving Memory” sticker folks.

Present company excluded, of course.

I can’t recall exactly who the sticker memorialized, but whoever was behind the wheel certainly tarnished his good name—I do remember it being a male. Jimmy something? It’s not important, but that’s as good a name to use as any.

A sticker this size blocking the rear view might be part of the problem (eBay)

A sticker this size blocking the rear view might be part of the problem (eBay)

I never knew Jimmy—at least I don’t think I knew him (it’s a small town and I’ve lived here for most of my life, so it is possible we crossed paths before)—but if he was buried in the ground after he died, I’m sure he was turning over in his grave when he saw how this relative was driving. It was one for the record books, let me tell you.

The encounter began as I approached the Camry, which was several hundred yards ahead waiting to pull out from a side street. Ten seconds more and I would have passed right by, leaving nothing but clear road for the Camry behind me. Apparently, this was too long for the impatient driver because rather than waiting, she let me get closer and then pulled out in front of me.

Yes, I just remembered the driver was female. And no, this doesn’t mean all women drivers are terrible. Stereotypes aren’t my bag, baby, but back to the story.

I was obviously pissed at this point, but I quickly got over it because people pull out in front of me all the time. I’ve worked hard to contain my road rage, so snapping on all of them would undoubtedly punch my stress ticket to the afterlife. Best to just take these things in stride.

Of course, pulling out in front of me was only the beginning. For the three or four miles I was behind this idiot, she swerved onto the shoulder multiple times, lowered the speed limit from 55 m.p.h. to 35—sometimes as low as 20 in places—and proved once again that for some people, multitasking simply isn’t an option.

In other words, she got a call on her cell phone, answered it and immediately experienced a deterioration in her driving skills—which were already shitty, as you can see. Talking and driving was simply too much for her, so hopefully no one ever asks her to walk and chew gum at the same time.

She might need to take some kind of class or acquire some specialized training before tackling that daunting task.

Finally, we reached the turn for my neighborhood and in spite of being agnostic, I found myself praying that she would continue on her way and find some other poor bastard to irritate—this poor bastard had enough and his fuse was getting shorter by the minute. I prayed to God—supposing there really is one out there (sorry for the gratuitous agnosticism plug)—and for a moment there, I even prayed to Jimmy… or whatever his name was.

This seems a little excessive, don't you think, Stinky? (Real Deal Auto Blog)

This seems a little excessive, don’t you think, Stinky? (Real Deal Auto Blog)

Maybe there really is a God, or at least the spirit of Jimmy intervening on behalf of his kin, but she kept on driving and I was soon home safe and sound.

I know it wasn’t the “In Loving Memory” sticker that made this woman such a “horror on the highway.” It’s like those pine tree air fresheners that people hang from their rear view mirrors. Every one that I have encountered has been in the car of a driver like Jimmy’s loved one—some maniac who put his life and the lives of everyone around him in danger—and I even theorized that some chemical in the freshener caused those who inhaled it to suddenly regress to a second-grade intellect. I was wrong, of course… at least I hope I was wrong.

On this particular day, though, “in loving memory” turned into “in your face trying to seriously f-up your day.” I just hate that poor Jimmy had to get dragged into it.

Posted on September 5, 2013, in Life, Perspectives and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.

  1. Well at least we know why he’s a steelers fan… Go Bears! 😉

  2. Holy crap….that sticker just made me laugh hysterically. My ex’s favorite joke was – I had a circumcision once, I couldn’t walk for a year.

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