Mack Williams: Stoplight ‘show’
We have all seen some strange sights while driving, particularly in relation to the drivers and passengers of other cars. From our vantage point behind the wheel, we judge what we see in other motorists as strange, almost as if, wheel-in-hand, each of us feels as if his own individual “captainship” outweighs that of all the other captains “sailing” on that an asphalt sea (too many of us think that).
I’ve also seen some “captains” practicing one-armed driving (nothing to do with Captain Hook), extended arm, cigarette-in-hand, the winds of the road “taking a drag” on that cigarette too.
Along the way, I’ve also seen a foot or two dangling out of a car window (nothing to do with “Fargo”(1996), or for that matter, the “Texas Chainsaw Massacre” (1974). This phenomenon is generally limited to the passenger windows of a vehicle, never observed in the driver’s window).
While we’re on body parts, in addition to hands and feet hanging out of car windows, I’ve seen many tongues, not human, but dog tongues “tasting” the breeze which a moving car generates (canine mouths even appearing to gobble it up). There’s an idea! In addition to using power-generating propellors to catch the wind on mountains and fields, maybe we can somehow place them to harness the car-generated “breeze” of the Interstate).
There are occasions, while stopped at a traffic light, we become aware of things being “played out” in the car beside us, sometimes a verbal altercation involving passengers and driver, the “mobile” nature of such an argument causing it to be transported from one end of town to the other, or even farther.
The other day I saw something occurring in a car which was the complete opposite of ill feelings (and no, I don’t mean “THAT”).
I pulled up behind a car stopped at a red light and immediately noticed the driver in front was violently gyrating from side to side, so violently in fact, that I supposed the car’s engine was running so irregularly that it was violently jerking her around. This early-on hypothesis was quickly disproved by the car’s completely motionless state with engine running.
I then figured the culprit must be the music on her car radio, and also wondered, if out of my sight, she were also tapping her foot (the one not involved with gas or brake pedal).
I, of course, am not opposed to gyrating to music in the car, sometimes having fallen prey to certain “neck motions” when hearing Haddaway’s “What is Love?” (theme song of “A Night at the Roxbury”(1998)).
This lady’s head was frequently arched upward in the direction of her rear-view mirror; and I almost found myself wondering if her “show” was meant for me.
At that moment, a tiny, raised, gyrating hand from a car seat directly behind the mother entered the picture, and I understood what was happening.
This sweet mother was providing some entertainment for her sweet, toddler-seat-strapped child while stopped at the light, such entertainment impossible, even dangerous while the car was in motion.
This “performance” was meant for someone nearer and dearer in her rear-view mirror than me!
All at once, the nature of this scene changed from that of being a bit strange to that of being extremely sweet, a sweetness of such magnitude that it was impossible not to write about it!