Ghost Cars!

That’s right: I used an exclamation mark in the title, so you know today’s post is going to be knock your fillings loose exciting.

The Electrician lives in a different city than me, but the total driving time door-to-door is about half an hour. It’s not so bad, largely because most of the trip is highway driving. Last night, we headed to his town for a friend’s engagement party with my overnight bag and dog loaded into the SUV. I drove, and the traffic was thick but manageable.

At one point, I merged onto the freeway that connects up with the big highway heading east toward The Electrician’s place, and traffic was fairly heavy despite the fact that it was well after 10 p.m. Assaulted by the headlights of the cars behind me, I scrunched down a little bit in my seat to get out of the glare and signaled into the appropriate lane for the next leg of the trip.

“Here, sweetie,” The Electrician said as he reached up and flipped that little tab on the bottom of my rear view mirror. Instantly, the sea of vehicles behind me transformed.

They became ghost cars!

Dim headlights floated on an invisible road behind me. The glare was gone. Truly, the whole thing was pretty creepy. It was like driving in the deepest part of the ocean, where the only light comes from the angler fish waiting to lure sweet little fishies into their treacherous jaws. I was pretty sure giant squid and pirate ship wreckage was scattered in the ditches around me.

I think I knew somewhere in the back of my head that my rear view mirror could be adjusted; I’d just never attempted to flip that little tab. My impression of the process was that it just tipped the mirror way up so that the glare was gone, taking with it any view of the road behind the vehicle. I like to see what’s going on behind me, since that’s where the pickup trucks with trailer hitch testicles going 147 kilometers an hour generally come from in Alberta, so adjusting my mirror at night never crossed my mind.

The Electrician seemed perplexed by my reaction to the effects of the mirror. I suppose riding along with an adult driver who looks up and exclaims, “Oooh, ghost cars!” every few minutes is unsettling.

Just think, though, how disconcerting it was to be me, though, chased along the highway, mile after mile by dozens of ghost cars.

copyright 2011:

4 Comments Add yours

  1. FL Liz says:

    That’s funny. When I read about you scrunching down, I thought, “Why didn’t she just flip the mirror thingie?” I love gadgets and gizmos, so within the first 24 hours of getting something I have tried all the levers/knobs/buttons. I use my mirror tab occasionally. It stymies me that with the expansion of the population street lights are the rule, not the exception, yet auto makers make cars with brighter and more numerous headlights. My older eyes ,coupled with the fact that drivers are more prone to tail-gate these days, appreciate the break in the blinding barrage of light right above my visual focal point. I’m glad you have a new tool for night driving and next time I use mine I will certainly think of your ghosts~~

    1. Kay at Blue Speckled Pup says:

      The tailgating is the worst; I agree with you about increased traffic and those awfully bright headlights. The blueish ones make me crazy! I think I’ll keep the tab flipping for on the highway at night, since it was very eerie to see those floating headlights.

      Also, “break in the blinding barrage” made a very nice alliterative effect and put a smile on my face. I guess I’m an English teacher, even on holidays.

  2. Janet says:

    I found that tab thing handy when my kids were little. When you flip it down you can instantly see the backseat (but also the ghost traffic), and then flip it back without moving the actual mirror position.

    1. Kay at Blue Speckled Pup says:

      You can see the backseat? Whoa. That tab is way more magical than I anticipated!

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