… Even When Traffic Stops
By Jeff Salter
Unlike Micki, I have not had — or can’t remember — any significant experience at a traffic light. [Hers — see Monday’s post — had to do with a career change, for Heaven’s sake.] But I do watch people … those to my left, to my right, in front of me, and (thru my mirror) directly behind.
For one thing (in the mirror), I often catch the eyes of the person behind me. That makes me wonder if he/she has already been watching ME. And then I wonder WHY? So I usually act nonchalant and make a point of looking all other directions, so that spy behind me won’t think I was looking at him/her. But of course, I WAS. LOL
I recall one time I pulled up to the rear of a car (at a light) and couldn’t see a driver! For an instant I wondered if the car had been abandoned or something, since I had not noticed it in front of me prior to the light. So when the light changed and that car took off, I was naturally VERY curious to see what robotic (or remote control) device was piloting it.
When I was able, I switched lanes and pulled up beside that sedan. Yep, there was a driver after all. Little ole lady — seriously, folks — so short that the top of her head could not be seen because of the seat-back head rest. [You’d have thought I could see her arms or hands on the steering wheel, but this woman was TINY!] I still wonder how on earth she could SEE the road!
I also recall being intrigued as I followed a car for several lights down Highway 27 (our main thoroughfare here). At each light, the female driver would lean WAAAYY over and fiddle with something either on the seat near the passenger door … or possibly on the floor of that footwell. I never could see WHAT she was fiddling with, but it occupied a lot of her time and attention. I began to suspect she was dressing a small child or feeding a pet. If the latter, for some reason, I figured it must be something like a ferret. Not sure why.
They’re Watching ME
But I guess the strangest experience at a light was not what I observed about someone else … but, rather, what they seemingly observed about me.
Yeah, me. After my work shift one afternoon, I was driving home from the library in downtown Shreveport. As I sometimes did, I had a bag of M&M Peanuts which I ripped open and placed between my thighs, in the safest position (to keep from spilling) … next to my crotch.
Well, I’d started eating the M&Ms as I left the parking lot, so by the time I reached the light at the foot of the Texas St. Bridge, I had only a few M&Ms left. You probably already know this, but the ones way down in the bottom of that little bag are sometimes very difficult to retrieve. So I my hand was angled oddly and I even had my shoulder in the act, to dig down there and clutch those final one or two morsels.
It was then that I became aware of a city bus in the lane right next to me. Buses, of course, are much higher than a Chevy Impala, which is what I had at the time. So the people on the right side of that bus were looking down into the front seat of my car … intently watching my hand digging around in the area of my crotch.
It actually took me a moment to imagine what they must have thought I was doing, but you can be certain nobody guessed I was digging for M&Ms.
Had the bus not taken off at that instant (because the light had changed), I’m pretty sure I would have held up the empty M&M bag to SHOW those eaves-dropping spectators what my hand was doing around my crotch. But, alas, I never had that chance.
I’m sure in the lore of bus-riders in Shreveport, there are still some who swear they saw a guy in a Chevy (at a light near the bridge) … and it sure did look like he was playing with himself.
What was YOUR strangest experience at a traffic light? Was it something you saw someone else doing? or were you — like me — trapped in incriminating-looking circumstances?