Saturday, June 6, 2015
a bump in the road
Sometimes I could weep for this country.
My sister and I were out yesterday going to a couple of estate sales, one of which was in Victoria, a small city about an hour's drive away, which is a post all in itself. Neither of us is familiar with Victoria and once turned off of our projected path, would be totally lost. We were well out of town on our way home, out in the country with corn fields all around on the very long business 59 road that would eventually carry us onto the actual freeway, and we were in fact finally parallel with the freeway and could see the merge point up ahead, when we came on a wreck at an intersection whose cross road lead only into a small neighborhood to our right.
The wreck must have just happened as there were no emergency vehicles on site yet. The demolished SUV in front of us was crosswise on the road we were on with an also damaged 4 door sedan pulled over further up on the left. Hard to tell who was at fault but there were two people, a man and a woman, standing in the road, waving frantically and directing traffic to turn off the road and into the little neighborhood instead of letting people go around on the shoulder and continuing on.
My sister and I were not so easily swayed, we could see that we could easily get around the damaged SUV so we ignored the frantic arm waving of the woman and proceeded on slowly at which point the woman and the man started yelling at us to STOP STOP. My sister stopped, rolled down her window, and the man approached and put his head in the window and being very loud and aggressive, told us we could not go forward and to back up and turn.
Now, usually, I am very laid back and bumps in the road generally roll off me, but we were not in a place where we could just turn off and not be totally lost without any indication of how we might be able to get back on the road ahead and for some reason this man's barking commands just pissed. me. off.
“Are you a cop?” I demanded across my sister to him. When he repeated that we not continue, I asked him again if he was a cop. “No”, finally, “I'm just a good christian man trying to help”. When we indicated that the road was clear, he said “We don't want you to get hurt, my wife got hurt.” When my sister told him that if his wife was injured then perhaps he should be over there ministering to her, this 'good christian man' strode off and stood in front of our car to physically prevent us from moving forward. Then the woman had to have her say and she came up to the window.
“There's radiation oil on the road”, she says as she gestures to the coolant leaking from the busted radiator of the SUV. “We're just trying to save your life”, she screams at us as we back up and turn onto the cross street.
So now we are turned off into this neighborhood and Siri is no help as she is telling us to turn around and continue on the way we had been going. We went around a block and came back to the same intersection with two cars ahead of us. In the few minutes it took us to go around the block, a sheriff had arrived and was directing the cars to turn, go around the wreck on the shoulder, and continue on but he stopped us and made us go forward under the freeway and in the opposite direction we wanted.
Why us? The other two cars were able to turn. OK, fine. A firetruck had pulled up maybe looking for the radiation oil spill.
Anyway, it was easy enough to get turned around and going in the right direction. In rural Texas there are cross-overs connected with farm roads and county roads that allow you to u-turn on the highway if you don't want to get off. So we came upon one quickly and that is what we did and passed over the ruckus and got home.
So why does this make me weep for this country?
Because in one moment I was faced with the sanctimonious and hypocritical, holier than thou self described 'good christian man' who was forcing us to bend to his will because he had decided what was best for us (while ignoring his injured wife) and to hell with how it would affect us and the astounding ignorance that is the result of our current majority political leadership with it's complete scorn of education, not to mention separation-of-church-and-state.
I know that both people must have still been in a form of shock, still absorbing the completely wrecked cars and whatever injuries the wife had, and their adrenaline and fear was probably making them act crazy, I've been in that situation. Still, it was a lesson in how ingrained the christian patriarchy is and the mindset that let's them think they have the right to control women (and men) and how uneducated some of our communities are.
I mean, really, radiation oil? I still can't get over that. I'd think it was just a mispronunciation in her stress, that she meant radiator and oil, if she hadn't followed it up with the screamed “we're trying to save your life!”. I'm pretty sure coolant and oil are not going to kill me if I drive past it in my car.