This morning on my way to work, I had a pretty big scare. The kind of scare that leaves you with a pounding heart, shaking sweaty hands and the urge to open your door and heave your guts out.
A little background - I travel westbound on Highway 40 in the mornings. Generally traffic isn't too heavy once I cross the bridge. However, there is an occasional slowdown just past the zoo. This morning it was a standstill.
As I'm sitting in traffic listening to KMOX (because I am apparently 80 years old), I hear a siren approaching. Of course at first it's always hard to tell exactly where the siren is in relation to your current location, but then I saw it - behind me. I am in the far left lane in stopped traffic, and although there is a shoulder, albeit a narrow one, there's really nowhere for me to go. There are also still "Construction Ahead" signs that have been laying on the shoulder since this highway was reopened in January - hey MODOT, what's up with that?
I see the ambulance coming toward me pretty quickly, considering traffic is stopped. I put on my blinker, look over my shoulder and start to try to cut over into the next lane of traffic to get out of the way - you know, like you're taught in driver's ed.
Let me take a moment to give a personal message to the stupid self-absorbed woman in the red car on the PHONE WHO WOULD NOT GIVE AN INCH - DO YOU NOT HEAR THE SIREN? DO YOU NOT SEE PEOPLE TRYING TO MERGE RIGHT? MOVE, DAMNIT!!
That's pretty much what I was hollering, although my exact message may have contained a few words that I don't use on this blog because my daughter reads it, although she probably might have already heard me use them a time or two.
So, here I am (and the car behind me as well) straddling the line between the two lanes, trying to get the attention of this driver who will not surrender. The ambulance is coming, I can hear it, I can see it, and I have nowhere to go. I'm simultaneously swearing, praying, and sending a mental message to the ambulance driver that I'm sorry I'm trying to move I am really but this woman won't let me over and please please don't hit me and to the person who is waiting on you I am so sorry please please please God watch over them until the EMTs can get to them because I'm so so so sorry not my fault not my fault MOVE YOU STUPID EFFING WENCH AND HANG UP THE EFFING PHONE OH MY SWEET BABY JEEBUS IN THE CRADLE I AM GOING TO GET HIT....
and the ambulance manages to squeeze between me and the concrete median. In the meantime, like the parting of the Red Sea, the drivers in front of me have heard the siren and have had time to clear out, so the ambulance is able to travel up the left lane with no further encumbrances.
And as I move back over to the left lane, the woman who was on the phone drives alongside me. I look over and her face is like "Oh, wow, did you see that? Where did that come from?"
At that moment, I took the high road so high my nose bled. I didn't flip her off, I didn't mouth obscenities, I just got out of there.
I managed to make it to work without throwing up. My heart stopped racing and I managed to hang onto the steering wheel in spite of my sweating hands.
So, how's your day?