Saturday, September 26, 2009

Obsessed with a big bad black truck

Yesterday I was the victim or road rage (or was it road insanity?) and I reacted accordingly. You can easily see how these things happen.

My husband and I were driving the old Volvo wagon up I-395, going into the city to haul off our son’s old mattress. As I took the exit at the Pentagon toward Memorial Bridge at 55 mph, a hulkin’ black truck appeared on my tail and began HONKING his horn. There was absolutely no reason for this because the exit quickly becomes 2 lanes. As this most obnoxious truck shot around us, I couldn’t see into the cab because it was darkly tinted, but I could see a gun rack and a ‘4 x 4’ insignia. The ensuing dialog between us went something like:

Me: Shoot him a bird.
H: You really don’t want to do that to an NRA nutcase.
Me: Then write down his license plate: Va XRT8244.
H: On my iPhone.
Me: I’m going to follow him.
H: Don’t get us killed!

So we headed into DC at a much faster clip than usual. I could hear the truck’s driver honking madly every time he came up behind another vehicle. I gave up the chase when we turned right onto F St. from 23rd and the truck from hell headed on toward Washington Circle.

On the way home with a twin mattress stuffed into the back of the car, I determined to try to learn more about the driver of that black truck. I wanted in the worst way to report him to some higher authority.

Back home I spent 16 minutes waiting to talk to someone at the DMV, to ultimately learn they are only interested in licensing drivers, not making sure people don’t abuse their driving privileges.

I called the Virginia State Police using the number listed on their website only to find out it didn’t work. Neither did the one they offered as a means to provide “tips on terrorists.” I guess we’re no longer on high alert here in the Old Dominion.

I called the Arlington Police, since the incident began in Arlington County, and got a recorded message.

At that point, I decided to give up on official means and I Googled “reverse license plate lookup.” Sure enough up popped several possibilities. Like most unwary consumers, I took the one I saw most frequently, which happened to be Net Detective. If I had read this first, I would have known it was a scam. As it turned out, I ultimately got my money refunded when I got them to admit they could not provide this service.

Then I signed up for the one recommended in the above link. Within 5 minutes of paying my $39 and hitting enter, I had a phone call from a man who was ready to submit my search after I told him the MAKE of the vehicle, which is for whatever reason required by the state of Virginia. I had to concede I knew only that it was a big black 4 x 4 truck, but they come in many makes and models. He immediately refunded my money.

I then learned more than I ever wanted to know about trucks, finally settling on the picture I posted yesterday as the perp. My friend Steve’s brother said it was a Chevy Silverado 1500 and he was quite correct.

But then this morning, my husband insisted that ‘4 x 4’ was on the back of the truck, not the side, the way it is on Chevy trucks.

He even called me outside later this morning to look at a truck parked across the street where a guy is doing some lawn work. It’s a similar looking Ford, but no ‘4 x 4’ on the back.

After calling a few truck dealers and talking to some really slimy salesmen, I concluded the bad black truck was a Dodge.

I’ve just resubmitted my search to and already received “ORDER CONFIRMATION - Requestor # 09 0926003.”

The reality of my obsession with this truck has just begin to hit me. Exactly what will I do if I actually learn the identity of the owner? Do some racial profiling if his name gives clues? Figure out where he lives and drive by looking for the truck? And then what? This is a guy with a gun for God’s sake.

Sometimes it would seem it’s the hunt that’s important, not the conquest.


Blogger lacochran said...

It's possible* that he had a genuine emergency and was trying to rush a loved one to a hospital.

Glad you're all right.

*though doubtful. :)

12:11 PM  
Blogger Barbara said...

LA -- Don't think this was an emergency run, but just plain obnoxiousness. If he was in such a hurry, he simply needed to change lanes, not sit on his horn!

12:15 PM  
Blogger Kellyann Brown said...

wow, you are willing to spend forty bucks to track down a guy that hasn't given you a second thought. Hmmmmnnn.. Sometimes when I get really hept up (is that a word, it is in Colorado), I think about the person and try to send opposite energy into the universe (for example, a 40 dollar contribution to Victims Rights or toward banning assault rifles). This person was obviously driving recklessly, maybe a letter to your governor/congressman about the results of you trying to report him. Whatever you do... stay safe, please.

3:15 PM  
Blogger Barbara said...

Kelly -- If my search fails to find a match (which well it might since I'm still not too convinced about Dodge), I promise to donate the $39 to a worthy cause.

Jake's advice to me is to chill out and just look forward to dinner.

3:28 PM  
Blogger Steve said...

I'm impressed with your tenacity in this case, but my advice is, give it up! There's not really anything productive to be gained from learning the identity of the driver. I thought the same thing lacochran did -- that maybe he had a legitimate reason for driving crazy. Let's just assume that and move on! :)

4:25 PM  
Blogger Merle Sneed said...

Seems a bit "stalky".

4:59 PM  
Blogger Barbara said...

Steve, Merle -- Maybe I'm a wanna-be detective. For the most part, this is not me at all. But somehow I felt really violated by this guy who was probably just showing off his big new fast truck, but in doing so was a menace to everyone on the road.

Part of me would just love to write him an anonymous note with a reminder that horns are better used to warn drivers about to run into you instead of those you are about to hit! But I won't do it, I promise. And yes, Merle, it is a bit stalky.

6:14 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Don't I-phones have a camera? Could you have taken a pic of the truck while in the car? T

9:44 AM  
Blogger dennis said...

Dennis likes to hunt moles--they are tasty!

8:14 PM  
Anonymous Fuso Trucks said...

He may have honked you because you had your lights on during the day, or perhaps your Tyre had a bubble, lucky you didn't overreact

11:24 PM  

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