Saturday, May 7, 2011

Terror on the Cross Bronx Expressway

Several years ago, when I was still living with my wife, I commuted from Rockland County to Floral Park, Long Island to a job I absolutely abhorred. All told, it cost me $600 a month in tolls alone because I had to cross two bridges and go through a toll booth. But the worst of it was always the dreaded Cross Bronx Expressway, which was choked with traffic from tractor trailers and cars trying to squeeze through a stretch of road that was so narrow and filled with potholes that if your tires were not ripped to shreds, you were constantly terrorized by truckers who loved to bully people who drove old, beat up cars.

I drive a 93 Toyota Corolla that’s beat to hell and looks like a rusty tin can. Once I tried to change lanes in slow-going traffic to inch my way toward the Throgs Neck Bridge. A trucker took umbrage at my getting in front of him, and he nudged my rear end. At first I thought he did it accidently and brushed it off, but then he inched forward ever so slowly, pushing the rear end of my car around until I was nearly horizontal. The whole time this was happening I was in sheer terror and leaned on the horn.

Nobody paid attention, and in desperation I dialed 911, but the traffic was so thick there was no time for the cops to get there to stop what this guy did. When he had me perfectly positioned so that my car was perpendicular to the front of his truck, he crushed my front door to the point where the window shattered, and then got out of the truck and asked me if I was okay. I wanted to beat the crap out of the guy but I was trapped in the car.

When the cops arrived he told them I had cut him off and he hit me by accident—a complete and total lie. The cops believed his story over mine, despite my 911 call, and let him go. They had to pry my door open, and then jam it shut so I could drive out of there. My nerves were so shot I could barely work the rest of the day, and ever since then I have been terrified of truckers.

Since that day there have been two incidents where a trucker has gotten behind me and gave my bumper a good nudge forward, letting me know he is there. Being on the Cross Bronx Expressway during rush hour there is no place to go, so I just prayed that the son-of-a-bitch was just bored and wanted to have a little sport with a piece a junk in front of him that wouldn’t matter if it sustained a few more dents and scratches.

On the other hand, there are times I wished I carried .50 Desert Eagle gas-powered semi-automatic that would be sure to penetrate their engine blocks and leave them stranded for hours on end while I find a way to skedaddle the hell out of there.  
Love to all!

James M. Weil

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