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Old 08-01-2018, 11:31 PM   #1
The future is unwritten
Join Date: Oct 2002
Posts: 64,175
I never got used to the smell

This was written and posted online by a friend of mine Mike Firesmith in GA.
I have his permission to copy it here.

The accident, if you want to call it that, happened in 2006, or maybe 2007, I canít remember which, really, but I do remember when someone called me to tell me there had been a death on the highway, and that a seven-year-old boy had been burned to death, as well as three other people. I knew the man who had to work the wreck, and he and his crew set up barrels and cones to guide traffic around the wreck scene while law enforcement investigated.

The way this played out was the car with the kid in it was going South on I-75 in Valdosta and came to Exit 18. In Georgia, exits are numbered by their distance from the state line, with the lowest number, Exit 2 being two miles north of Florida, and that means that Exit 18 is eighteen miles from the state line. At Exit 18 a car was trying to get onto I-75, the car with the kid in it didnít get over, so the driver trying to get onto the interstate gets right up on the bumper of the car with the kid in it and eventually rams the car just short of Exit 16. It burst into flames on impact. Two miles. Less even. This happened at about three in the morning where traffic is very light. The guy could have done just about anything and just kept going on his way, but no.

There was a burned spot on the Interstate where this happened, and it stayed there until 2010 when they resurfaced about eighteen miles of I-75, and then there was this nice smooth highway without a burn mark, but I can walk out there right now and tell you where it was. I remember the man who worked the wreck telling me about it one day, he was going to retire and it was things like that guy killing those people that pushed him towards it. Not that one incident, but over the period of almost three decades, the things he had seen finally got to him.
He told me it was getting worse or he was just getting old, but it was getting to the point he dreaded the sun going down. We were standing out beside his truck and he stopped talking and I did too, and we stood there for a few minutes. I knew he wanted to say something, I had known the man for well over a decade and finally, he said, ďI never got used to the smellĒ and I never asked him what he meant.

Your sense of entitlement, of possession, or territory, on the road, will get you into more trouble than anything else short of tequila. You think that anyone cutting you off in traffic has endangered you, and thatís true, but that wasnít your space to begin with. The person might be an idiot, but you knew that coming in. You knew there would be stupid people. You have no right to anger on the road. You donít have an obligation to retaliate.

There, in the space of a pair of minutes, perhaps, maybe less, a man changed the lives of a lot of people. The family of those killed in the car, the people in the car, and then the people who have to go out and clean up the bodies and the mess. The suffering lessens, yes, as the circle widens outward, it also draws in more people.
People like you.

Slow down. Back off. Just let it go, whatever it was, and remember that what you do at speed has consequences that might end in fire, and death, and misery.
ďI never got used to the smell.Ē
Take Care,
Everything is interesting... look closer.
xoxoxoBruce is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-04-2018, 12:19 AM   #2
Join Date: Oct 2013
Location: Dallas, TX
Posts: 742
Amen! Very true words.

Should be in every drivers' manual.
Pamela is offline   Reply With Quote

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