Sunday, July 05, 2015

Another reason to put off driving lessons

I know very little about driving and traffic regulations, because I neither own a car nor know how to drive. But I know when someone's being an asshole on the road simply because they can.

It was around 11 last Friday night and my friends and I had just come from Mad Mark's in Kapitolyo. We were passing through Lanuza Ave. on our way to Manggahan and were only a few meters away from E. Rodriguez Ave. when we came across a gray Mercedes Benz headed straight in our direction. Lanuza Ave.'s two lanes had become three that night, with two exiting to E. Rodriguez, and we had been in the middle lane for quite a ways already so naturally there was a long trail of cars behind us. The Benz had only entered Lanuza with not even one car following him, because anyone approaching him from behind could see the opening to their right (our left) and just take it. Whether it was to protest the existence of a third lane or defend his supposed route going opposite us, the Benz stayed in its place facing us, leaving no space for us to maneuver out of our spot.

You can see how the Benz could easily just back up and take the opening to its right.

The Mercedes Benz's windows were not tinted so we could see the driver clearly despite the drizzle. He had short hair, a fair complexion and bespectacled Chinese eyes. When he got out of the car to take a photo of my friend Jam's car on his iPhone, we noticed how tall and portly he was. He was wearing a white golf shirt that had "Sonex" printed on it. He had time to waste, and he showed it by feigning drowsiness and pretending to nap for several seconds. The few cabs and private cars that passed us by and eyed him were met with a confident "the-nerve-of-these-kids-they-made-a-mistake-and-should-be-taught-a-lesson" raise of his eyebrows and cock of his head. The only mistake I knew we had made was being at the wrong place at the wrong time. And maybe not having a Taser handy.

We were all hesitant to get out of the car to confront the Benz driver or even check his license plate which was hidden from our view. Trapped as we were and there being no traffic enforcers nearby, even at the security outpost a few meters to our left, we only had one thing we could do: call the police. Jam did so and despite not being able to provide the Benz's license plate number, the police agreed to send a patrol vehicle to our location. One green light later, Jam got a call back from them, urging us to take a quick peek at the Benz's license plate, but we knew better than to make a move which may be interpreted by a possibly deranged person as an act of aggression.

The police told us to stay put and while waiting we devised theories as to what the Benz driver's deal could be. The most logical was that he simply wanted to prove a point, not caring if he inconvenienced a lot of motorists in the process. We also thought he might have gotten drunk or high after squandering his inheritance at the casino, or he could have gotten fired from his job or dumped by his girlfriend and he was merely projecting his anger at us. The whole situation could have been a new criminal MO, the Benz driver in cahoots with the driver of the car behind us, though we quickly dismissed that theory after noticing the white van behind us back up and overtake us on our left. The next car in line didn't follow its lead, unfortunately, so we were still trapped.

FER818, with an MD emblem. You give Benz-driving doctors a bad name.

Several more theories and green lights later, we finally had enough space at the rear to back up and move past the Benz, allowing us a look at its license plate. The Benz didn't advance to prevent us from going anywhere, as we had feared, but it found its next victim in the car immediately behind us. At this point, Jam placed a follow-up call to the police who encouraged us to file a report against the Benz driver now that we had his license plate number. She passed the phone to NiƱa who was basically told that that call meant zilch, and that to make a formal complaint we still had to go to the Pasig police precinct. We gave up on that plan of action and decided to investigate the identity of the Benz driver on our own (sleuthing still in progress).

A story had just gone viral also last Friday about how an Atenean doctor, whose name on Facebook is Jay Bee, had gotten a P200 discount from Jollibee by intentionally delaying the arrival of the delivery guy to his place. I remembered the MD emblem above the Benz's license plate and decided to check if both doctors are one and the same person. Sadly, they are not. I found something else on the Jay Bee guy's Facebook timeline, though, that made me cringe even more.

The Atenean doctor seems to be reveling in the 15 seconds of fame Filipino netizens are giving him by circulating his Facebook post and its comments online. As of this writing, he has updated his Facebook timeline thrice, expressing his hopes to be featured by Ellen Degeneres on her show, thanking his "fans" and "bashers" and inviting them to meet with him in person, even quoting a message from a supposed friend who says they understand Jay Bee because they have known him for his "kamalditahan" (bitchiness) all along. To top it off, all three posts have a photo of him giving the reader the dirty finger. Part of me is hoping that this is all just a social experiment, but if this guy is real, he deserves to be in the hole he doesn't seem to want to stop digging.



UPDATE: Got the feeling that the Jay Bee guy couldn't possibly be a medical professional, from Ateneo or otherwise, by his Facebook photos and posts. And apparently, he's a professional swindler, not a doctor.

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