Saturday, April 29, 2006

Don’t Want No Scrub

Vehicular Creepiness. It’s a disease. A very serious disease. And I am a magnet for people who have it.

I was 20 when I made my very first solo drive from Provo to Renton. I was mid-Idaho. I had already had to make a very long detour when I missed a 100-car pile up by just minutes due to a sand storm and was barely recovering on a new stretch of highway when I “met” him. He was old. And driving a semi truck. With red, orange and yellow flames painted on the front. He drove up to my right side and paced me for a while. When I finally noticed that the semi wasn’t passing me, I looked up into the cab and saw the wrinkled man suffering from Vehicular Creepitus. He licked his lips at me, pointed to me then himself then at an upcoming exit. I ignored him and drove faster. He sped up too and I looked up at him, shocked that he was able to get his truck to catch up with me and saw him repeat the gross gestures. I looked down at my speedometer, realizing with horror that I was stuck in the middle of nowhere with a creepy man in a semi and I was already pushing 95. I decided to let him pass me. Not a good choice looking back at it now but that’s what I did. I pretty abruptly slowed down to the speed limit and watched as he kept on. But then he slowed down too. And wouldn’t let me pass. I’d change lanes and he’d change in front of me over and over. All the exits we came to led to farmland with no homes or stores in sight. I was going to die in Idaho.

But then I looked up and saw hope. One of those “How’s My Driving?” stickers was plastered on the back of his truck, just above his pornographic wheel covers. And I had just recently gotten a cell phone. So I pulled it out and, seeing two small bars of reception, dialed the number.

“Hi. This is Dora from Such and Such Trucking. How may I help you?”
“Um. My name is Emily and I’m Northbound on 1-15 in Idaho and one of your truckers is trying to kill me.”
“I’m sorry to hear that. What do you mean by trying to kill you?”
“I mean he gestured for me to get off at the next exit and when I shook my head no and sped off, he sped up behind me going 95 MPH and gestured some more and was swerving a bit. And then I slowed down and then he did too and now he won’t let me pass him. He’s driving right down the middle of both lanes. I’m in the middle of nowhere! I’m going to die in Idaho! I don’t want to die in Idaho!”
“I’m sorry, ma’am. Can you see the number on his license plate?”
“Yes. It’s (insert Satan’s license plate here).”
“Yes, I can see him on my screen. I’ll call him and give him a warning.”
“A warning?”
“He’ll leave me alone?”
“I would think so.”
“OK. But if there’s a 20 year-old female driving a Toyota Tercel reported missing you know who did it and I’ll haunt you until you tell the police what you know.”
“Alright, ma’am. I’ll keep that in mind.”

I hung up, took a deep breath, swerved to the left, sped past the truck going 90MPH, got ahead of him and shot forward going as fast as my car would go. I didn’t slow down until my car started to shake (I was going 115MPH) and the truck could no longer be seen in my rearview mirror.

There have been other encounters like this as well. The nasty leather-faced mustache man that made grotesque gestures with his tongue amongst other body parts at the stop light and then followed me half-way home. The jeep full of guys on the freeway that mooned me and then gestured for me to pull over. The other older guy that paced my car through the city one night, doing disgusting things then pointing at me and himself. I’m a complete magnet for this crap.

And then the other night. Lisa asked for a ride home from school. I was on State Street and a white truck pulled up next to me at a stoplight. It had those stupid fake bullet holes on the side and a gross giant window sticker of a woman with a bleeding gash in her face. In my peripheral vision I could see hands waving frantically. Maybe I knew the freak. So I looked over and this very large man in his very large truck had very large and wrong intentions. I looked away and became very focused on my radio and cell phone. He paced me for seven more blocks before finally turning left and leaving me with the chills.

It’s interesting because I’m not the kind of girl that guys often flirt with. Creepy guys or not. They just usually leave me alone. But when I’m behind the wheel of my old ’95 Tercel, suddenly I’m every creepy, trashy man’s dream.

Maybe I need a new car.