Geek Culture, Writing and Other Junk from Writer C. A. Wilke
The Demon-Children of the 73rd Level of Hell on our Highways!

The Demon-Children of the 73rd Level of Hell on our Highways!

Okay, so I’ve spent most of my life not being particularly religious. We didn’t really say grace before meals when I was growing up and I’ve only been to church a few times. And as an adult, I think I’m a pretty normal, stable human being. (Aside from the bodies in my basement and the alien spacecraft parked next to my pool, that is.)

But I think I’ve found something that may actually force me to believe in… I don’t know, something beyond this mortal coil. No, it’s not rainbows or the complexity of life or the vastness of the universe, or even the beauty of a sunrise. 

It’s fucking tailgaters. 

Car chase from Duel movie

I’m not talking about people who have tailgating parties… While yes, people who have parties in the parking lot at a stadium do confuse me, I’m talking about the ones that stick their car’s front bumper right up your tailpipe in rush hour traffic. I think most people, at least the non-tailgating kind, can agree that tailgaters are some of the worst kind of assholes. But what if—and I’m just spitballing here—what if they’re something much worse… something far more insidious.

What if… They’re demons.  


Or some form of Hellspawn. I mean, they don’t have to be like Moloch or Abaddon or anything… They could be smaller mischievous bastards like gremlins or kobolds. Or maybe even a Tikoloshe. Every one of them are known to be little assholes who like to fuck with people on purpose.

Okay, maybe I sound a little crazy right now, but I think I’m justified. The other day while driving to work with the Evil-Fire-Breathing-Dragon-Lady, we got on the freeway and this car moved right up on our back end. I’m not talking a little close. This guy had his car’s nose so far up my ass I could feel the cold breeze from his air conditioning.

Normally, having a tailgater is just mildly annoying. That is, until the part where they hit you. But aside from the ramming-into-your-car-because-they-were-being-a-dumbass part, they’re just annoying. Unless you’ve just gotten your car back from being rear-ended.

Yes, that’s right. Not three damn-days before this, we got our car back from the shop. (I should preface—or suface?—this with the fact that the lady who rear-ended us wasn’t tailgating us. She just wasn’t paying attention. Even so, she was very nice and accepted responsibility.)

So there we were trying to drive across town in morning rush hour with this Duel/The Car wannabe asshat riding less than three feet from our brand-new rear bumper. Now, I couldn’t speed up or really get over. And this is the goddamn lane I wanted to be in anyway. So I swallowed my irritation and focused on the traffic in front of me. A few miles later, I got over and away from the asshat. 

But swear-to-god that if not five minutes later, another asshat got right up in my grill, yo. This guy rode my ass for a good four or five miles with me gritting my teeth, trying hard as hell not to slap my breaks. Now, as EFBDL suggested, I gave him the double-tap brake light flash. And did he understand it as a world-recognized signal to back-the-fuck-up off my ass? 


Mr. Humphries
Are You Being Served? Where I learned most of my expertise in British Culture. Second only to Dr. Who.

So at this point I decided to do what the British call a Go Slow. (Not exactly, because a Go Slow in Britain is a labor negotiating tactic where the workers don’t strike, but rather slow down their productivity to worse than a snail’s crawl. I learned this from Are You Being Served.)

ANYWHO… Understand that we were in the carpool lane, the one lane moving faster than all the others. Well… I just kind of let off the gas pedal. A little. 

EFBDL watched with a grin as the car in front of us drifted further and further away. We were still going at least as fast as the next lane over, but we sure as fuck weren’t going with the rest of our lane. Then the one thing happened that you NEVER want to happen in rush hour traffic. We watched as car after car got in front of us. Yep, we were letting everyone and their mothers go because I didn’t have any fucks left to give.

And—again—did Asshat-Part-Deux figure it out? 


Middle Finger CandleNo. He monkeyed my back all the way until the carpool lane exit, about another six or seven miles. And there he exited. Only then did I press down on the accelerator and zip away to my own off ramp.

Now this may sound like just a chance for me to rant about Asshat and Asshat The Second Coming, but it’s not. Okay, it is, but it’s more than that. As I said at the beginning, I think tailgaters are some form of Hell Spawn. A lower form, but still. Let’s consider the evidence.

See… They’re mischievous and dangerous. What they do can seem innocent enough, until they plow right into you 90 days after buying a brand-new SUV.

90. Days.

Under 4,500 miles. (No, it didn’t actually happen, but that’s not the point. I mean IT COULD HAVE!)

Sure, the accident is not your fault, but that’s not even the point. (Hint, most insurance companies still count no-fault accidents against you) If you get in an accident, you’re going to have to deal with the hassle of calling your insurance, then going through their insurance. Then getting the damage appraised, then finding time to take it into a shop.

Oh, and then you have to work out getting the rental that the other guy has to pay for. And when you do, they only want to give you some tiny little sedan when you normally drive a nice SUV. And when you call to get them to give you a better vehicle? 

“Oh, that’s not our policy, but maybe we can do on a special case-by-case basis if there is a specific need.”

Like… ma dude… my specific case is that your customer smashed my SUV. I’m not getting jammed into a tiny economy-class microsedan because he’s a dumbfuck tailgater. That is my specific need, mother fucker.

Then you drive the shitty SUV they give you, completely unhappy with this vehicle that is clearly more expensive than yours but really is just a heavier hunk of junk, for more than a week. And the body shop texts you to say it’s gonna be another eight days.

Fine, what-the-fuck-ever. But your rental is on E and you have to return it at a ¼ tank. So with 8 days left, you fill it up. Then the next god-damn day they call to say it’s done.

My point is, that only some creature birthed in the sulfuric pits of a fiery Hell would intentionally ride on your ass in rush hour traffic with the intent of causing this level of personal hell. So, pixie, leprechaun, Dokkaebi, or even little Lutin bastards… Stay the hell off my backside when driving or I’ll summon some Winchester brothers on your asses.

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