It was Tuesday, Aug. 18. I’m quite certain this event will not go down in history like other Tuesday events. October 29, 1929 is known as black Tuesday. Uranus, the planet, was discovered on a Tuesday. Brave Americans stormed the beaches of Normandy on Tuesday, June 6, 1944. My father and brother were born on Tuesdays.
No, certainly not a Tuesday to be remembered from a historical point of view. It is, however, a Tuesday I may never forget.
I greeted the day at 3:20 in the morning like any other work day. I made a pot of coffee, watched an episode of “Taxi” on Hulu, and took the dog out. I was heading down the driveway around 4:25 for my place of employment in Wanamingo. Also known as Hometown USA if you believe the sign outside the C-Store. Work was fairly uneventful, but still had purpose and I left feeling as though I had accomplished something. After work, I drove to Zumbrota to see our daughter and her family.
I left their house a few minutes before 5 to drive to our home just south of Kenyon. Immediately after going through the roundabout (my father hated these, it may be a thing for people born on a Tuesday) at the intersection of highways 60 and 57, I noticed a vehicle a short distance ahead of me with their flashers on pulling some type of farm implement. I could see there was nothing coming from the west so I rather seamlessly passed the gold/brown Ford truck. Mr. Hagberg, my driver’s ed instructor in the 70s, would have been impressed. What I discovered while passing the vehicle gave me what I can only imagine is the same feeling William Herschel got when he discovered Uranus.
The driver of the vehicle was operating this vehicle with their leg draped out the driver’s window and a cell phone in their right hand. I had to take a second look! “Was that really a leg” I asked myself. Was it an arm with a shoe covering the hand? I looked again and it was definitely a leg. Shoe, ankle, stubble covered shin and calf hanging out the window.
Feeling a sense of responsibility to anyone who travels on any road, I pulled over and called the Goodhue County dispatcher to report what I had just witnessed. I believe there may have been a bit of disbelief when I shared my story with the person on the other end of the phone. I recall hearing the person say to me “You saw what?” So I was forced to repeat what I had seen. I didn’t mention the stubble as I don’t believe that’s a crime. By the time I finished speaking with the individual at the Sherriff’s office, the gold/brown truck had gone by me along with a number of other cars. As I continued on my way toward Kenyon, I noticed the gold/brown truck had turned and headed south on County Road 1.
Feeling a sense of, dare I say duty, (or maybe I just wanted to be a bit of a jerk) to let the law enforcement officials know where this vehicle currently was, I once again called the Goodhue County dispatcher. I reported the location of the gold/brown Ford truck and imagined that this might be the way one feels when following a white Ford Bronco.
I followed the vehicle for roughly 2 miles and continued as it turned and headed west on 480th Avenue. It suddenly dawned on me that I should have a hobby or should spend more time reading. After a mile or two of westward travel, the truck once again headed south on a gravel road. This is where I finally decided to let it go. As I watched it drive away in a cloud of dust I was reminded of the scene toward the end of “Indiana Jones, The Last Crusade,” when Sean Connery (born on a Monday), said to Harrison Ford (also born on a Monday…hmm…..) “Let it go.”
I got home a few minutes later and was still irritated by this act of selfishness. I was also irritated that after trying, I realized I was not able to position myself in my vehicle in a manner that my leg could be draped out the window while sitting in the driver’s seat. Not that I want to put my legs on display as I’ve always felt my calves were a bit disproportionate to the rest of my body and the socks I’ve worn for work over the years have rubbed the hair off the lower shin area of my legs…. Not a good look for anyone.
So to whomever you are, please, for the sake of drivers everywhere and out of respect for those of us unable to, and not foolish enough to hang our leg out the window while driving, feet on the floor and cell phone out of your hands.