More Evidence Supporting the Decline of the West

photo taking idiot in car

Some people seem to take great glee in coming up with fresh, creative ways to be complete jackasses.

This past week, I experienced something new. Something new, infuriating, but mostly unsettling.

I was driving south on Smoketown Road in Woodbridge in Northern Virginia, and I needed to get into one of two left-hand turn lanes to make a left onto Prince William Parkway. Traffic was heavy, and the turn lanes were entirely filled with cars, leaving me no room in which to change lanes to the left.

So, while we were all stopped at a red light, before the left turn arrows turned green, I paused alongside a set of cars in the rightmost left-hand turn lane and put on my left turn signal. I then attempted to acquire the attention of a driver who would pause long enough (when the left turn arrow changed to green) to allow me to merge.

I caught the eye of one young male driver and smiled and waved at him, hoping he would let me merge. He paused for a second, just long enough to allow me to start to begin my merge. Then he speeded up, cutting me off.

Here’s the unique part — or at least unfamiliar to me until now. As he passed me, expecting to see an angry, disgusted look on my face, he had out his smart phone and took a picture of my face through my driver’s side window.

I don’t think I gave him exactly the expression he was hoping for. I found myself more amazed that he’d had foresight and seconds to whip out his camera in time to immortalize my expression and (undoubtedly) upload my photo to Tumbler or Facebook with a suitably snarky comment posted below it, along the lines of, “Here’s some idiot I really pissed off by pretending to let him merge into the turn lane, but then cut him off at the last second.”

This was a guy in his early twenties, not some young teen who had just passed his driving exam. This must’ve been a practiced bit of behavior for him, because his planning and execution were so precise.

And thus, to paraphrase Pink Floyd, I’ve just witnessed “another brick in the wall” added to the rampart of anarchy and barbarism which seems to be eating away at the edges of our society.

On the good side of the ledger, Levi came home from the hospital last week and enjoyed an excellent (fit-free) first week back home. He has been very loving and in turn has been abundantly loved by his parents, brothers, and dog.

Also, I took the boys to see Walking with Dinosaurs, and unlike the execrable Free Birds, I place it on my list of the year’s best films.


  1. When I was in Canada over Christmas, I was shocked to find that drivers there still give the “courtesy wave” when you let them merge. I can’t remember the last time I got that from someone here in the States, especially out here in LA sprawl.

    Great news about Levi, too.

    • Andrew says:

      Wesley, I always give the “courtesy wave” when someone lets me merge. I’ve been doing that as long as I can remember. Maybe I’m just a freak, though.

      Thanks much for your kind wishes regarding Levi. Take really good care, and enjoy this new (and very COLD) year!

  2. walkerhound says:

    the astounding thing is how easily this sort of action could lead to a very bad outcome. leaving aside the chances of provoking a “road rage” type of incident the possibility of causing some sort of traffic accident is absurdly high.

    • Andrew says:

      Matthew, I agree completely. That’s why I was so astounded that this dude pulled the nonsense he did. How did he know I wouldn’t have a gun in my glove compartment? I don’t, but plenty of people in Virginia do.

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