If you would, I’d like you to participate in a small experiment of my own design. The requirements are simple, you’ll need: a sturdy wall (most any will do) and yourself.Now, please follow these steps precisely (you do so at your own risk).
- Stand about fifteen feet (5 meters for you European freaks) from the wall you’ve chosen.
- Run toward the wall as fast as you possibly can. No cheating.
- Stop when you get exactly 1 foot (30cm) away from the wall.
That’s it. Simple, no? Thanks for participating… Oh, you didn’t manage to stop?You smashed into the wall?That can’t possibly be. You mean that it’s physically impossible to stop that quickly? That can’t be. You see, everyday, on my way to work, you drive three feet behind me at 70 mph. That’s a lot faster than you can run and your car is much heavier. You’d never do that if it were unsafe, would you? You have more brains than that; to put your life and mine at risk to shave a few seconds off your commute would be unthinkable. Surely you’ve found a way to alter the laws of physics so that, if say somebody ran out of gas just around that next bend and I have to stop all of a sudden, you too will be able to stop despite the fact that you probably wouldn’t even notice in time to hit the brakes. You’ve got some sort of time-continuum thing going that prevents you plowing a ton of metal (and a few pounds of flesh and guts, yours mainly) into me at high velocity. It always seemed to save Jean Luc from imminent death, and his car was much bigger.Listen, you can’t possibly stop from that distance even if I decelerate sharply, much less if I come to a sudden stop. You risk killing me, yourself, and anybody else that is in the way. And, if your behavior caused somebody’s death, then isn’t that tantamount to murder? Talk about being late. Imagine being 20 years late because you killed somebody on the way to work, or never getting there at all, ever.I want to say that I understand why you do it, but I don’t. Every time I see someone tailgating it’s because they want to go faster than everybody else. People that drive slowly just don’t go in the fast lane (and if they do, that’s because they’re idiots and tailgating and honking at them will do nothing). If you want to go 90 mph and somebody is going 70 mph and you’re stuck behind them, tough luck.And no, arguing that people shouldn’t drive in the passing lane doesn’t help you, for two reasons. First, that’s what you want to do, drive in the passing lane. If you’re going fast, then does it become okay to drive there? No. Second, I get tailgated whatever lane I drive in, however many lanes the road has. People are always trying to go faster than everybody else. It’s not going to happen. Not without endangering yourself and everybody around you.Life may suck, but at least you have one.