Old Skool Mofo: Road Rage, Dutch Style.

(Note this is a reader-contributed story. Yes, we actually read what you guys send to us, and are more than likely to post it here. So if you have a great story to tell about the good ole days, then send your submissions in.)

I’d only had my drivers’ license for half a year and with every little ounce of money I’d picked up a neat little Honda Civic Coupe. This is in the Netherlands, where you don’t get a license until you’re 18 and if you can buy and maintain anything beyond a piece of scrap on wheels you’ve saved up a LOT of money. It wasn’t too good as a racer or anything (103 hp, 0 to 60 in 10 seconds or so), but it was a sweet looking mode of transportation.

Now after driving for 6 months I was pretty decent, but not a great driver. Okay, truth be told, I was pretty crappy. Not soccer-mom style, but you wouldn’t see me doing handbrake turns or anything. I was driving along the A1, the main two-lane highway running east-west in the Netherlands, and found a truck in my path a fair bit ahead of me. Traffic was non-existent so I moved to the left and accelerated while the truck was still quite far away.

In my rear view mirror however, I see a silver BMW, with German plates even (the Dutch hate Germans on their roads. Don’t ask why. It just is that way), cruise forward at least 40 km/h faster than me and slip into the right lane. He’s trying to pass me on the right and slip into the left lane just before he hits the truck. No way he’s going to get away with that. I drop down a gear and floor the gas and hurtle forward, while the BMW is quickly catching up to me.

By the time he’s driving next to me we’re only 4 meters away from the truck. He starts to pass me, we close to 3 meters. 2 meters. There’s only a 1 meter gap between my nose and the truck now and I’m sure I’ve won, there’s no way he can get through that.

He tries it anyway.

I hit the brakes and find myself missing the BMW by maybe an inch. This really pisses me off. If I had any worse reaction time, I’d be dead. He tried to kill me. I’m not too violent a guy in real life; I do several martial arts but I’ve never used them in any way but defensively. It’s just not me to be like that. But the car is, well, power. I’m pissed off and I’m going to make him pay for it and I have the means to do it, and that’s the only thing that counts. So while the adrenaline rushes into me I drop down two gears and rev my way back up to some speed to gain on him, going 180km/h in a 120km/h zone (in a country where 40 over the speed limit is instant loss of license).

Seemingly oblivious to the fact that he just did his best to kill me, he’s driving merrily along on the right side of the road a trait common to BMW drivers. Arrogant little pricks. It takes a little while (like I said, the Civic is not a racer) but I come up driving next to him and then equal speed. He’s starting to notice this, but doesn’t react yet. Well, then I’d better give him something to react to. So I honk a few times until he looks over to me and I know I have his attention. I smile, and then swerve to the right.

To his credit, he was most definitely a better driver than I was. He reacted immediately and steered into the shoulder and stepped on his brakes, shooting away from me faster then I could compensate for. To the car’s credit, it did so without doing anything spectactularly destructive you know, slipping, rolling over, blowing up; that kind of thing. I’m not sure yet if this is good or bad 😉 Well, yeah, killing someone would have been bad. But he was a German in the Netherlands, so it could’ve been seen as righteous justice.

A klick later the adrenaline rush died down and I realized what a complete idiot I had been. It’s still a really neat story to tell other people though 🙂


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