One of Them

September 2006 - Did you ever do something that you don't remember doing? And, then, when you realize what you've done, you can't for the life of you remember when you did it. Or how. Or why.

Well, that's what happened to me about six-weeks ago. That's when I became one of "them."

Who are "they?" I think you know. I'm sure you've seen them. You've been behind them on the highway wondering, "Will they or won't they?" In daring but decisive moves, you've passed them, possibly even flipping them the bird on the way by. Yes, you know who "they" are. "They" are the people who drive for miles and miles in a straight line - all while a turn signal blinks merrily away.

I hang my head in shame, for I am now one of "them."

I drove for approximately three miles, totally unaware that everyone behind me expected me, at some point, to make a right turn.

To be fair, I don't know exactly how it happened. I'm actually pretty much convinced that it was inadvertent and, therefore, I can't really be held accountable. I mean, if I didn't know that I turned on the turn signal, how would I know that I needed to turn it off?

Anyway, here's how I suspect that it happened. I was stopped at the light on River Street in Wilkes-Barre, just before the hospital. I was about two or three cars back. In the rearview mirror, I saw an ambulance coming up from behind. When the light changed, I pulled off onto the curb to let the ambulance pass. I either intentionally put on the right turn signal to let the driver behind me know what I was doing. Or, I inadvertently hit the signal as I maneuvered onto the curb.

I tend to believe the latter because I don't recall doing the former. If I actually had turned the turn signal on on purpose, I would have managed to turn it off before approximately three miles had passed. I'm SURE I would have. Wouldn't I?

But, as disturbing as that anecdote is, I'm more disturbed by the fact that on the following day, I did it again! Yes, for a second day in a row, I drove and drove and drove while drivers behind me wondered just when the hell I was going to turn.

On this occasion, I was on Birney Avenue in Moosic. That's when I noticed that the left turn signal was blinking. How? When? Why? I had no answers. All I can figure is that it must have been some kind of subliminal attempt to keep order and balance in my life. Right turn signal one day; left turn signal the next. I'm nothing if not fair.

As far as excuses go, all I can come up with is that I'm now middle-aged. I've hit the Big Four-Oh. Let's hope these errant signals are not a sign of things to come.