There are some days when, while we are driving to and from our daily lives, we may see someone stranded on the side of the road, or sitting with his or her broken down car waiting for a tow truck to arrive, or dealing with the aftermath of a car collision. We may even actually witness car accidents happen in front or around us, and most of us, myself included, usually keep going on with our lives, hoping that it works out for the best with those who were involved and grateful that it wasn't our car or our lives that were disrupted.
My mom doesn't do that.
Visiting my family for dinner last Saturday night, because there is no place I'd really rather be on a Saturday night then eating fantastic food and spending it with the people I care about most in this world, my brothers turn to me and kind of nod towards my mother.
"Did she tell you what she did?" one asks. I raise my eyebrow at my mom.
And my mom gets this look on her face, the kind of look that I know well, because it's the look I give my friends when I have already executed a crazy idea that I just thought up two minutes beforehand because I know I couldn't have done anything otherwise, and I'm begging them not to kill me a lot. It's kind of a half guilty, half totally-justified, yes-I'd-do-that-again-in-a-heartbeat kind of look -- the kind of look that most of my circle of friends yell at me for, because I just bought a homeless person coffee or rolled down my car window to tell another driver their trunk was open when I wasn't sure if they'd be grateful or flip me off. Or throw something at me.
"Mom," I say. "What did you do?"
Everyone at the table kind of laughs, and my mom gets that sheepish look on her face again. "I sort of..."
"I chased down a hit and run driver."
Here's the story. My family lives off two main streets, both known for having long stretches of mostly straight road, which drivers that are into racing have come to know and love. So my mom is driving behind these two cars that are obviously racing, just trying to get home, and because there are two left turn lanes, the drivers decide to continue their race, dodging and weaving in and out of traffic and across lanes. The left turn arrow turns green, both cars gun it, and that's when one unsuspecting driver pulls out of a parking lot, and, IF the car that had been racing had been going at a normal speed, would have avoided being scraped on the side as the racing car tried to maneuver around it. Hey, it totally worked in The Fast and the Furious, so.....
But what happened instead is just that: the racing car tried to move around the other car at the last minute, and the car ended up being scraped and banged up on the side as the racing car totally and utterly failed to get out of the way on time. And to continue on the trend of Epic Fail, the racing car that hit the other car? Yeah, he decided to keep driving. As in, away from the accident.
My mom has been in two serious car accidents in her life, both of which landed her in the hospital, one of which landed her and her car crashed into the side of a house, so she takes car accidents fairly seriously. I can only imagine her reaction at watching this collision happen, and then seeing the offending car take off, and I can imagine the words going through her head, most of which probably involved the word NO and some swear words.
And off she goes. My mom followed the speeding car that thought it could make a clean getaway for a couple more intersections, leaning on her horn to get the driver's attention until the driver finally turned his car around, probably thinking she had his license plate number by then, drove BACK to the scene of the accident, got out, and gave the driver of the car that had been hit his information. My mother sat in her car a few yards away and glared. Sorry, let me rephrase that. She sat in her MINI-VAN and glared. How freakin' awesome is that?!
So my mom finishes her story and looks to check my reaction, as I lean forward across the table and say, quite earnestly, "Mom, that is one of the coolest things you have ever done." And as she smiles back, glad that I'm not going to lecture her on how dangerous what she did was, I add, in the same breath, "But please don't ever do that in Los Angeles."
Love you, Mom!
3 months ago