401 Road Rage Rampage
Nova Scotia, if DET 332 is your ambassador, I suggest you find another. Perhaps someone with human decency. Someone less predisposed to fits of rage. Someone who isn't just plain stupid.
Suz and I, heading towards the Ottawa area for a wedding, were travelling east on the 401 when we decided to stop for fuel. Since the Insight gets, like, eighteen billion miles per gallon, the fuel was food - for us.
When we returned to our car we found the above scene; a minivan, with no handicap permit wedged between two handicap parking spaces. It was so close to the car next to it that the poor elderly woman was unable to enter her car to leave.
The female driver of the minivan, having a smoke right behind me, witnessed me photographing this and aggressively confronted me. "Excuse me! Do you mind telling me why you're taking a picture of my car?" is how the conversation started.
"You parked your van over top of TWO handicapped spaces. And you don't even have a handicap permit!" I replied.
She motioned into the distance, towards the half-empty parking lot, "I couldn't find any parking spaces back there."
"So that gives you the right to break the law?" I asked.
She ignored me and, with dozens of people walking past us, began yelling ridiculous things about the legality of taking photos in the public. She was furious. She scrambled into her purse for her camera, "threatening" to take my picture.
Not wanting the scene to escalate, I got into our car. But as we drove away, the angry woman was screaming that she did not give her permission to take pictures and silly things like, "how about I take YOUR picture?"
Almost laughing, I launched one final insult: "Go ahead. I'm not the one doing something illegal."
She jumped in her van and pursued us east on the 401, chasing us, tailgating us and trying to intimidate us by taking photos of us. She pulled in front of us and alarmingly slowed down, trying to force us to pass her.
There was nothing we could do. Her V6 heavily outweighed our 3-cylinder hybrid. We were no match for the lunatic. Our only option was to stay the course and hope she got bored.
Instead, the danger factor increased as she became fed up with our refusal to play her game. She pulled onto the shoulder allowing us to pass her, then immediately pulled in behind us to continue the harrassment. With every flash of her camera, I felt like a rock star being pursued by paparazzi. I posed provocatively.
We decided to end the chase before she hurt someone. We exited at the first O.P.P. (Ontario Provincial Police) sign and reported her to the O.P.P. Dispatch was concerned about her unacceptable driving behaviour and said they would stop her if they saw her. Another officer stated they would also have Nova Scotia police talk to her about her behaviour. We were satisfied that it was safe to continue travelling and said farewell to the officers.
Lying in bed later that night I thought about the insane driver. I wondered if I should forgive her. Because, after all, I don't know the hardships she has endured in her life which caused her to have no human decency and no regard for the law.
Perhaps it's not her fault at all that she refuses to take responsibility for her actions. Perhaps the Nova Scotia school system failed her, her community failed her, and her parents failed her. Do we blame them, or her? I'll tell you this: I blame her. And Batman. You know, for not throwing her in Arkham Asylum.