Thinker : Telling Stories : True Story
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Get in my car. Turn the corner. Check out the woman walking down the sidewalk. Notice that I am falling behind the car in front of me. Speed up. Get close to the intersection, hear a siren. The light turns yellow. Make a decision: run the light or stop? Hard stop a little in the pedestrian cross-walk. Put car in reverse. See a large brown car speeding through the red light. It hits a silver car moving through the green light. Accelerate my car in reverse. Brown car is damaged in front driver's corner and leaking water. Silver car is damaged in rear driver's corner. Silver car pulls over. Brown car continues. Brown car misses my car by a few feet. (The same few feet that I just reversed!) Still reversing, the brown car is swerving into my lane behind me. It might hit me if I stay in reverse. Brake. Brown car moves on. Police follow for two red lights. If I had run the yellow, that would make me worse than the silver car that ran a green with police sirens audible. But I wouldn't have been in any danger if I had run the light. If I hadn't backed up (because I was in the pedestrian zone) I probably would have been hit by the brown car. If the silver car hadn't run the green, the brown car wouldn't have been slowed down and I might have been hit whether or not I backed up.
First written Tue, Jul 22, 1997
Last published Wed, Jun 2, 1999