Friday the 13th, people…

So I’m driving home from work. I’m stopped at a three-way stop, one of these funky triangular intersections where there’s no real way to go straight. Visibility is poor, so there are regular squabbles over who has the right of way.

So anyway, in typical fashion, the car in front of me and a giant black pickup truck get into a skirmish in the middle of the intersection. Car in front of me maneuvers around the truck, but the truck dude is furious that he’s been cut off. He pulls into a driveway that slopes seriously upward and leaps from his car to scream at the driver who cut him off. But unfortunately, he has not put his car in park. And it quickly starts rolling backwards through the intersection.

In one of the most hilarious emotional turnarounds I’ve ever seen, the driver’s anger turns into panic in the space of a millisecond. He runs after the truck, but it’s too late. It slams into a parked car across the street from the driveway.

Freaking out, he jumps into the truck and peels out, looking around him to make sure no one saw him, just like you see in the movies. But of course I saw him, as did a few other drivers and residents of nearby houses (including a woman from the house he pulled into).

I manage to get four characters of the license plate, but I have no idea what to do with this information. I drive home and look up the number for that neighborhood’s police department. Much to my surprise, the officer who answers the phone doesn’t know what to do either. I’m put on hold for about 10 minutes until he finally comes back on the line and tells me that since no one has filed a report, I should leave a note on the car, and the cops will contact me later for a statement.

I drive back to the scene of the crime. Eventually a woman from across the street comes out and we swap stories. She heard the yelling, the crash, and the maniac driving away. Finally the car’s owner comes down, and to my surprise she’s not that angry, just disappointed. She says the driver is a “jerk.” And I agree. I give her the info, tell her what happened, and I’m on my way.

So now I’m wondering: Does the good karma of telling this woman who hit her car outweigh the bad karma of being a rat?

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Christopher Null

Christopher Null is a veteran technology journalist and the owner of Null Media, a custom blogging company.