Tuesday, September 22, 2009

If I owned a fragrance line, I'd call it "Schadenfreude."

As mentioned in my previous entry, Atlanta has received a biblical amount of rain. It started raining last Tuesday, and it rained every day since, until today. Today is the first day I've seen the sun since last Monday. Of course, another line of storms is on their way from Alabama. Proof that nothing good comes from Alabama (to further prove my point, Alabama has produced as many American Idol contestants as astronauts, according to Wikipedia).

I left the office at 3:30 yesterday after hearing reports on the radio that there were several bridges throughout the metro area that, if I didn't get across them now, they would not be there in a couple of hours. Or something like that. So, after wrapping up business, I got in my car and went home. Things went smooth until the last leg of my journey, which was about 2 miles of road on Highway 41, the main artery through Cobb County. Apparently, there was severe flooding north of my side road, so everyone at my side road had to either turn left or right. Thankfully, I had the good sense not to drink anything on the way home.

After about half a mile on Hwy 41, driving in the left lane, I was caught by surprise by a small Toyota 4WD pickup truck driving by me on the left. What shocked me was that there was no actual road to my left, just a grass and mud median with about a 20 degree sideways pitch to the left. I quickly surmised that he had to turn left at the next light, and was cutting in line to get to that left turn lane up ahead. I watched him bounce along for about a quarter of a mile, avoiding obstacles, the occasional drain pipe, things like that. But, after much bouncing along, he made it. For the last couple hundred feet, he was followed by a Jeep Cherokee that got the same idea, both of them going slow and bouncing up to the intersection.

They were about 20 feet from the additional left turn lane being added, when a police car passed them going south. Seeing 2 vehicles drive illegally on the grass median, the cop hit the brakes and turned on his lights. He then backed up on Hwy 41 (all the traffic was heading north....as the road was closed north of where we were, nobody was behind him). The cop pulled off to the side when he got near the intersection, and waved both vehicles over. A Toyota Camry was behind them and thought he got pulled over too, but as the Camry was not off-roading, he was waved past them.

The driver of the Toyota pickup obviously thought he had done nothing wrong, so he got out and started holding up his arms in a "WTF" gesture. I was still a few hundred yards away, but I clearly saw him stop, and turn around and get back in his truck. Clearly the cop was taking no shit on this day, and ordered him back into his vehicle (police in traffic stops do NOT want the occupants to leave the vehicle, and if necessary, a tasing will occur).

Traffic was going slowly enough that I was at first fearful that the cop would issue both tickets and have them on their way before I could get up to them. However, he was clearly taking his time. Probably because douchebags that cut in line in traffic have previous arrests to go through, to make sure there are no outstanding warrants. But, I was rewarded when I finally got to that intersection and they were still there. I was able to have my coveted moment of Schadenfreude by laughing, and saying, "Haha, fuckerrrr!!!" and giving them the "You're Number 1" sign. Oh, and I took their picture for posterity. It's not a good one, as it was raining and the raindrops obscured the view somewhat. But, this is what douchebags drive, apparently.

Here is the view of the scene as I passed them, from my side-view mirror. You can see the cop pulling over both douchenozzles, and the loooooong line of cars behind me.

Needless to say, I had my moment of Schadenfreude. Getting pleasure from the misery of others. This was tempered somewhat when I heard on the radio that about 7 people died in the floods throughout Atlanta. One of them was a 3 year old who was in a mobile home that got swept away in a flood, into a river, and broke in half. This was further encouragement to take it easy, drive carefully, make it home OK, and hug my kids.

Those thoughts, of course, went down the toilet when I got out of my car and saw the mud splatter all over the driver's side from the asshole in the white truck as he drove by me, and again I was thankful that a cop was driving by and ticketed that asshole.


  1. The time the pickup driver 'saved' by driving on the median was lost as he was sitting there being ticketed by a member of Georgia's Law Enforcement Community. Thus the balance of the universe is maintained.

    In addition the guy's $50 or better ligther in the wallet. Doesn't seem like a fair trade, but that's just me, maybe.

    How 'bout that Bears victory the other night? Not perfect or pretty, but it's a W.

  2. I have seen dickheads in 4wds drown other cars during floods.

    Imagine crawling along through water that is at about the limit of your car's capabilities and then being passed by a 4wd going 10km/h faster and pushing a bow wave you could surf on. Result one dead car.

    Sounds like the cops got one back for the rest of us.

  3. I don't think I've been happier to see the sun in my life.I was starting to develop rickets.

    Hooray for traffic bacon! I felt like all of our Emergency responders rocked the show through this crap.

    Everybody knows the only good thing that ever came outta Alabamey is an empty bus.

  4. These moments of beauty and happiness happen so rarely in our lives: they should be cherished. I hope you keep those photos in your family album, and, every few years, take them out and caress them fondly at this joyous memory.

  5. YD, the Bears are never perfect nor pretty. But I love them regardless, especially when there's a W. It kind of takes away the sting of losing to the Cheeseheads.

    Naut, I would have to beat somebody to death if that happened to me, and I bet I'd get away with it.

    Heidi, I agree, kudos to the emergency responders for getting us through this insanity. And the sun was welcome yesterday, let's hope it'll hold out today too. And one can say the same thing about Pennsylvania.

    Simon, I will tell this story to my grandkids.

  6. At least the Bears will be less predictable. It won't be, "The Bears might have won had (Kyle Orton/Jim Miller/Craig Krenzel/Rex Grossman/any other QB of the last 20 years) not been the QB." Now they will win and lose in a variety of ways.

    Did you hug your kids when you got home or did you make them wash your car?

  7. Ian, technically Kyle Orton never lost a game for us. He was amazingly level-headed and not prone to mistakes. He just couldn't throw the ball any farther than his center.

    I did not ask my kids to wash the car. The lazy you know what's wouldn't have taken me seriously.