The devil made me do it, or a story about driving |

The devil made me do it, or a story about driving

RICH MAYFIELDspecial to the daily

While cleaning out my office for the next occupant, I came across this article I wrote eight years ago this very week. Not so humbly, I have to admit I not only received pleasure from recalling the incident and the writing about it but re-reading it as well. It brought me such delight, I decided to tell it again. Since I am convinced that God has a great sense of humor or at least a great deal of patience, I will share what might be construed by some as proof for the existence of a divine being.A week ago, driving between Summit Cove and the town of Dillon in a section of highway marked at 50 mph, I was accosted by an out-of-state van that seemed intent on merging with the rear end of my vehicle. I glanced at my speedometer and checked to see if I was within legal limits. Indeed, I was traveling 3 mph above the clearly posted sign. Still, the van was unrelenting, edging ever closer to my back bumper. Through my rear-view mirror I could make out, what appeared to me as, the sneering visage of a power-hungry maniac whose horsepower exceeded his IQ by, I could only guess, something to the 10th power.A car behind the right lane forbade his getting by me and so he sat behind the wheel and clearly seethed. I, meanwhile, wondered what I could do to make his life better. I considered accelerating well beyond the speed limit but, law-abiding local that I am, I quickly dismissed that idea and replaced it with another. Perhaps I could employ the universal sign for peace that has been suggested by some as a reminder to let go of some of that pent-up road rage that is so destructive to both character and cars? But then I reasoned that this fellow was in no mood to let go of anything and further he might misinterpret my pacific gesture for something far more aggressive and less pacifying.

I continued on, determined not to be swayed to either anger or appeasement by the vehicular tormentor who tailed me. Suddenly a spot opened up in the right lane that offered the slight chance that this Parnelli from Podunk might swing by and free himself from the prison that he had languished in for at least five seconds or so.Some of you will remember the comedian, Flip Wilson, who, on needed occasions when caught in some semi-evil act, would exclaim, “The devil made me do it!” and thus exonerate himself from all personal responsibility.I thanked Flip at that very moment and then, ever so subtly, I increased my own speed thus disallowing this, by now, furious fellow from passing me on the right, and thus the wrong, side.I confess this small indiscretion to you because of what happened next and my own personal belief that one should be as close to spiritually clean as one can be when God makes an appearance. Twirling lights behind me announced the divine arrival. Like the archangel Michael in battle with the devil, the state trooper swooped down behind the tailgating villain and gestured to him in a manner far more effective than any I could come up with.

The driver was, not to put too fine a point on it, really upset.Sadistically, I slowed down in order to fully enjoy the bully’s comeuppance. If this was sinful, so be it. My theology allows for a little sinfulness now and then just to relieve the pressure.Driving on, I couldn’t help but reflect on the meaning of what I just experienced. It came out looking something like this:1. That fellow was a real meany but … 2. So was I (albeit in a little less demonstrative way) even though …3. I was in the right (mostly) and while …

4. The arrival of the state trooper was a real blessing …5. It really isn’t proof of the existence of God but then …6. I didn’t need proof anyway. Still …7. It’s nice to know it’s there if you need it.Rich Mayfield writes a Saturday column. Visit his website at

Support Local Journalism

Support Local Journalism

As a Summit Daily News reader, you make our work possible.

Now more than ever, your financial support is critical to help us keep our communities informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having on our residents and businesses. Every contribution, no matter the size, will make a difference.

Your donation will be used exclusively to support quality, local journalism.

For tax deductible donations, click here.

Start a dialogue, stay on topic and be civil.
If you don't follow the rules, your comment may be deleted.

User Legend: iconModerator iconTrusted User