Monday, December 15, 2008

The Legacy of Lot's Wife

Rubbernecking is not a new phenomenon.

Of all the wicked things the world may have learned from Lot and his wife, this has gotta be the most wicked. I mean, think about it; a man is on his way home from work. His boss yelled at him. His pen leaked on his brand new designer shirt. The coffee machine was broken and he had to drink instant coffee.

Basically, his day played out in true spirit of our old friend Murphy. Yet he didn't expect it to get this bad. He's driving down the garden state parkway, eager to get home so he can vent his frustrations on his poor unsuspecting wife. His mind is on the clever retort he should have said to the VP of sales, when the car in front of him slowed way down. He noticed it. But not in time.

Suddenly, he finds himself and his fancy new lexus SUV in the midst of a four car pileup. The embarrassment he feels as he waits for the police to come down and assess the damage he caused with his daydreaming, is painful. It is not made any better by the fact that the other three cars involved in the crash contained drivers who were in just slightly worse moods than he was.

But you know what is worst of all? The entire commuters force of north jersey has to slow down for a look at his dumb mistake. They need to try and figure out exactly who was responsible, and how badly damaged the lexus is. They each have to slow down to a point that they are able to pat themselves on the back and say "I witnessed a terrible accident today". Yet, what those same people need to realize is that they should also smack themselves across the face and say "I caused a traffic jam today."

While no, I don't know this guy personally, and in fact, I made the entire story up (as I am likely to do when I am stuck in traffic-make up very detailed stories about the other drivers). Also, I wouldn't know if it was a shiny new lexus SUV involved or an old banger of an oldsmobile.

Because I don't look. I mean, yes, perhaps if Lot's wife had managed to resist her urge to look back at the misfortunes of others, the world would be rather devoid of salt. But you must also realize that rubbernecking is wrong. Both for the parties involved in the accident, and for the millions of people who are forced to slow down because you needed a front row view of the action. So as I speed by the scene of an accident, for more reasons than one, I think of Lot's wife, and the awful misdeed she committed, which has carried on for generations.

(Next time I'm in traffic, think I should avoid philosophy?;)

1 comment:

Child Ish Behavior said...

Great point, philosophize away! It makes life fun, but while your at it make sure to watch out for all the cars in front of you; who wants to end up in a pile up over philosophy?