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Road Rage, Crazy People & the Perils of Watching Too Much Television

by Ilana Angel

September 5, 2011 | 8:19 am

I got a message from my little sister that she was at a police station by her house, filing a report against a man who assaulted her while driving home. She was driving to the store when she saw a man run a stop sign. As he went past her and through the intersection, she honked at him as a warning to slow down and pay attention.

When he ran the sign she copied down his license plate number.  She is in Toronto where they have a program called “Road Watch” where you call in and give the license plate number of people you see breaking the law in their cars, and if they get more than 2 anonymous reports, they get a ticket.  I freaking love Canada.

She proceeded to drive home and he followed her.  She noticed he was behind her and she tried to lose him as she did not want to go to her house because her kids were there.  She drove around as if in a maze trying to lose him, but he kept following her.  When she stopped at a red light, he got out of his car and tried to get into hers. 

He was on the driver’s side, pounding and spitting on the window. He was yelling that she should not have honked at him, and he did not deserve it. My sister, crying, shaking and fearful, left him on the street and drove directly to a police station.  She gave them the license number and she was put in a waiting area while they brought the guy in.

The man is in his 30’s, was going through a stressful day, and lost it. Thank God her door was locked, as who knows what his anger would have driven him to do had he been able to get into her car.  It’s too scary to think about, and I am grateful she is okay.  The police assured her she was safe, and it was a random act from this man.

She was shaken, but brave, and I am proud of her. My little sister is about 5 feet tall, weighs about around 100 pounds, and looks very young. When she is tooling around town i her minivan, with her three daughters, people often think she is the babysitter, not the mother.  The schmuck who followed her must have thought she was a child, which makes it worse.

When the police came to talk to her, she asked what was happening with the “perp” and wanted to know if he was “packing heat” or if a “narc” checked out his car for traces of “blow”.  My adorable little sister watches a little too much Law & Order. I have a serious addiction to reality television in the same way my sister watches police shows.

The police told my sister they did not think her pressing charges was necessary, so she did not.  They also suggested that perhaps she not watch so much television.  They thought she was brave, smart, cute, and a little delusional in terms of how she saw the “case going down”.  They even told her, “this is not Hollywood ma’am.”

My sister was crying hysterically, and very upset, but when she asked the policeman handling the situation if he was going to “beat the truth out of him”, he could not help but chuckle, just a little.  He wanted so much to comfort her, but at the same time had to not laugh.  I’m sure it didn’t help that he was smoking hot and could actually have been on television.

I love my sister, am happy she is safe, and able to look back on her day and laugh.  We will never know what happened to the man to trigger such a violent reaction to a horn being honked, but we can learn from it.  You never know who you are dealing with, so it’s better to just drive, be careful, and mind your own business on the road.

I’m not making light of a serious situation, just keeping it light for my shaken sister.  We really must be careful, and aware that people are on the edge.  In an instant someone can make a decision that they regret.  If you are blessed, like my sister, you can walk away from their mistake.  There are many people who are not as lucky.

If we see a reckless driver, call the police and report it, do not honk, or be aggressive with that person.  It’s just not worth it.  In a time when people are stressed about money, work, and the state of the world, the smallest thing can set someone off, so look after you and be careful. To my beautiful sister, don’t honk, and keep the faith.

** I will be guest hosting the Keeping It Real Radio Show today, September 5th,  at 4:00 PST and 7:00 EST, so listen on the radio or online, and call in if you’d like to chat.  It will be a fun hour of talking about anything, and everything.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

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Ilana Angel writes two blogs for JewishJournal.com. KEEPING THE FAITH is about her worldview as a single Jewish mother, and KEEPING IT REAL is all about reality television....

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