The adventures of Miss Super Samaritan
The stupidity of all this was highlighted by that fact that there were still no cars behind her, while a seemingly endless line of traffic continued to whoosh by coming from the right. The cars in front of me were stuck, no matter how much waving Miss Super Samaritan did.
But all that was about to change: Because now, from behind Miss Super Samaritan, came a line of fast-moving traffic, rushing up the hill and around the curve she was blocking only to confront a car stopped dead in the middle of the road and a bunch of people all sitting there waving at each other like idiots.
From my vantage point farther back, I watched with my jaw in my lap as the drivers in this on-coming line stood on their brakes, nosed the front ends of their cars over and tried desperately to keep from running into one another, going out in the oncoming lane or smashing into the back end of Miss Super Samaritan – who was still sitting there blithely, waving at the cars in front of me saying, Don’t be shy! Come on out! I’m here to help! Really!
It was a close, close call. But nobody hit anybody else – although I’ll bet there was a lot of spilled coffee and jangled nerves amongst the new drivers who’d just joined the party.
Amazingly, Miss Super Samaritan was not deterred by the line of about six cars filled with totally pissed-off drivers that had just appeared out of nowhere behind her. She insisted on sitting there until two of the cars in front of me finally managed to pull out onto the road. The third car couldn’t make it. But then, even Miss Super Samaritan realized she couldn’t hold back the dam any longer. She gave the third guy a wave that said, I’m sorry! I did the best I could! But I’ve got to go now!
And finally – mercifully – she went on her way down the road while the rest of us mopped our brows and breathed a sigh of relief.
Now, I’m all for helping people out. We all need to do to so whenever we can – and we probably all ought to do it more often than we do now. But as Mr. Spock once said on Star Trek, “The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few.”
I’m sure Miss Super Samaritan went on about her day with an imaginary halo glowing around her head, patting herself on the back and reveling in how great and wonderful a person she is.
And there’s no doubt she had good intentions.
But she created a far bigger mess than any good she did. In fact, you could argue she did no good at all: In any event, she “helped” two drivers out.
But in doing so, she came perilously close to causing a multi-car pileup that would have involved at least six vehicles. Injuries would’ve been a given. Deaths? Maybe. Damaged cars? A major road shut down for a couple of hours while the authorities tried to sort out and clean up the mess? The mind boggles at the sheer scale of the misery, chaos, disruption and frustration she almost caused this morning.
The morale of the story: By all means, help people out if you can. But make sure you’re not putting others at risk or creating a bigger problem by doing so.