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Flipping off a driver

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

McHenry County, Illinois

Flipping off a driver

Gus Philpott
Woodstock Advocate
March 20, 2009


Mercury Grand Marquis


There was a young woman in Crystal Lake today who just about earned herself at least two tickets this afternoon. For a good look at the license plate, click on the photo (then click on the Back button on your browser to come back here).

She tailgated me from about Pingree Road to Keith Avenue. By tailgating, I mean 1/2-car length behind me at 30-35MPH. Traffic was fairly heavy and I was in the right-hand lane, not in any particular hurry but maintaining a steady distance behind the car in front of me. Right-turning traffic caused the right lane to slow fairly often.

For many blocks this young woman could have safely passed. Instead, she got right on my bumper and stayed there. Nothing worked to get her off my bumper. I slowed a little and increased my distance a little from the car in front of me, but she stayed right there. I even hit the four-way flashers to alert her to her unsafe following distance. Tapping the brakes without slowing abruptly didn't work, either.

When the second car in front of me slowed to turn into a shopping center, I slowed and she threw up her arms, as if to say, "What the h- - -?" Where was I supposed to go?

When we approached the red light at Keith Avenue, she drove into the parking lot in front of Fannie May's and "waved" at me with that funny middle-finger salute; then she continued to an exit and drove north on Keith and into the parking lot by TJ Maxx. Cutting through commercial property to avoid a traffic signal was her second violation.

I already had her license plate (Illinois 885 3634, on a four-door, beige, Mercury Grand Marquis LS sedan) and was thinking about siccing the Crystal Lake Police on her, so I turned on Keith and drove into the TJ Maxx parking lot, making sure not to follow her within about half a block.

After she parked and left her car, I drove by it for this picture, for the record. I wonder how she would have explained her driving to a judge. "But, your honor, he should have gone faster." Yeah, sure...



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