Rubber-necker's Revenge

“I drove that stretch,” he often said
Then he’d square his shoulders and raise his head
And with a grin relate the tale
Of how he earned his spot in jail

The year was nineteen-ninety-nine
The season spring; the weather fine
The day was over. The work was done
The time had come to have some fun

And so commuting in my car alone
I watched the road but dreamed of home
When up ahead I saw the sight
That ruined my plans that fateful night

The freeway stood an endless still
Of rubber-neckers seeking thrills
Their heads were turned; their wonder fed
The radio said a man was dead

The crash had happened hours before
The mangled steel, the blood and gore
Had long been cleared from off the road
But still the traffic stopped and slowed

And as I watched the hours go by
Whining, wishing, and wondering why
A plan began to formulate
Revenge on those who’d made me late

That line of traffic slowing down
To view the carnage on the ground
Or see a drug bust, or watch a fight
Has never seen a full-moon night

They’ve never watched the sun go down
They’ve never seen the lights of town
They’ve never rolled the windows down
To smell the air or look around

And if I do, it’s safe to bet
They’ll slow down too in hope to get
A glimpse of what it is I see
Some crime or crash catastrophe

And when they find no wreck or fight
They’ll be ticked off and it’ll serve them right
For rubber-necking at tragedy
And disregarding majesty

And so on Monday I drove that route
Windows down and head half out
I watched the sunset fade to blue
And when I slowed the rest did too

They craned their necks and looked around
But never saw the sight I’d found
They crept for miles and miles and miles
With bated breath but fading smiles

On Tuesday I was there again
The center lane and doing ten
And cars were stopping left and right
To see what show I’d found that night

But no one saw the circling hawk
Though plenty stopped and plenty gawked
And still they followed close behind
In hope of seeing someone fined

By Friday folks were pretty mad
They couldn’t believe the luck they’d had
They’d leave the office by two or three
But always end up following me

They honked their horns and screamed and cussed
I got the finger from an entire bus
But I just kept on slow then stop
Until some cell phone called the cops

And now I’m here for two to five
Then three more years ‘til they let me drive
But when they do I’m going to go
Down that same old road and just as slow

“I drove that stretch,” he’d say again
Then he’d cock his head and flash a grin
“And I’ll drive it more; just wait and see
They never should have messed with me”