about the talking fish

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Writer. Wheelman. Occasional DIY mechanic. Walking collection of hang-ups. Hopeless romantic. Old-school. Analog soul in a digital world. I am all of these things and more.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Keeping a leash on my inner boyracer

7:15pm. I had just passed the Kalayaan Avenue intersection on C5 southbound. Eager to avoid the slower traffic, I moved to the rightmost lanes to try to pass the slower traffic. Suddenly there was this bright yellow glare shooting into my rear-view mirror. The car which was the origin of this glare was still a few car-lengths away from my Jazz, but was closing in.

I shifted left, passing more cars, trying to keep a speedy pace of 90-100 km/h as I rounded the long left-hand bend that marked Petron C5 southbound. A lot of slower traffic was around, but there were enough gaps to overtake with. The insulting yellow glare burned brighter now; I would have been blinded if the light were scattershot HID from a no-projector headlamp assembly. The car was closing on my Jazz's tail until it was just three feet away---at 100 km/h.

Moving to the middle as I approached the bridge area, I made use of the large gaps between slower cars to keep my speed up. I braked first, signalled my maneuvers in advance, stepped down a gear and went past. The yellow light stuck to my tail, following me at a dangerously close distance because I had chosen the only free path through the slower traffic. It was seemingly intent on either racing me or crashing into my rear.

My right foot was almost instinctively burying itself deeper into the throttle as my speedometer read 115 km/h and climbing. I wanted to get away from this tailgating idiot.

Past the pedestrian footbridge, before the Heritage Park off-ramp, C5 finally became decongested of slower cars for a margin worth a good five car-lengths. The only other vehicle in front of me was a six-wheeler truck on the leftmost lane. Driving in the middle of the road with a car inches off my rear, I decided to put this to an end.

Aiming my steering wheel to the left, I fell in behind the light truck and gently pressed the brakes. The yellow light flashed past on my right. It came from a white ES-series Civic, with what looked like 17" black five-spoke wheels, full black tinting and a tinted plate holder. It revved its engine spitefully as it passed. As soon as it was clear, I moved back to the middle.

I watched this Civic deal with the slower traffic that awaited us as we made the final 500 meters to the SLEX on-ramp. Letting him pass was a blow to my pride, but when I watched the ES swerve maliciously around the slower cars I was almost happy to let him pass.

The mid-evening traffic awaited all of us as we merged into SLEX. I noticed the white ES forced its way into the middle of the road. Sticking to the rightmost lane anticipating an exit to Bicutan, I realized I had a chance to catch this tailgating boyracer in the act. Knowing it was unsafe, I whipped out my phone anyway and attempted to take photos of the ES' rear end twice. My phone's camera was simply too slow to process the image despite shooting in walking-pace traffic. I decided to key in the ES Civic's plate number instead.

The ES' rear plate read "XJJ 548" through the tinted plate holder.

If you encounter this moron on the road, steer clear. My blood is still boiling with frustration because the proud part of me thinks I lost our duel. But when I think about where exactly we were duking it out, on the open road, shared with many other motorists...maybe I was correct in letting the jerk pass.

Caveat emptor.

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