Headlights from Hell

by Ashish

The thirteenth year of the 21st century bids adieu to us in a little while, and it therefore behooves us to pause and take stock of where we are. I’m going for the big picture here, not the little one. This is not about which were the most popular belly buttons of 2013, or something equally deep and meaningful. This is about taking stock of humanity at large, over the last so many thousands of years.

And you know what? For the most part, I think we’ve done a pretty good job. Sure, we’ve tried to kill ourselves many times over, and sure we’re hell bent on using emitting enough carbon to enter the Earth as our nominee for the World’s Largest Oven in the Guinness Book of Lethal Records, but those little niggles aside, I think humanity can pat its collective back.

Consider the evidence. Science now knows enough to send crates of stuff to Mars. Social scientists are now fairly sure that all politicians are bound to be crooks. We live in a globalized world, and almost every major international city has at least one restaurant that serves up halfway decent Tom Yum Soup – a huge win, as far as I’m concerned. Economists still don’t know what’s up with the economy, but I think 2000 years is still too soon for so grandiose an aim. Overall, though, we live in a fairly advanced society.

Except, of course (and you knew the “except, of course’ was coming, didn’t you, you keen bloodhounds?), for certain sections of our own community who heed not the call to advance their mental faculties, and drive with the headlights on high beam.

I do not know if people afflicted with this terrible mental disease are unique to the Indian subcontinent, or whether these leftover dinosaurs from the Pliocene era are to be found the world over, but they are the biggest problem for Charles Darwin’s theory. For if it was to be a watertight case for evolution, these folks should have gone the way of the brontosauruses. The fact that they are still around lends credence to those who would dispute the theories of Monsieur Darwin.

Why do these folks insist on being so moronic? I have spent many a frustrated commute pondering over this vexed question, and a suitably satisfying answer has always eluded me. There you are, on your own side of the road, minding your own business, when on the horizon pops up a car with the lights on high. So bright are these headlights from hell that seeing anything else on the road becomes a problem. You take one hand of the steering wheel so as to shield your eyes from the glare, and you drive on so, until Satan’s Spawn is thankfully past your line of sight. Until of course, the next idiot shows up, and the next idiot is merely a question of when, not if.

Even worse are the Sebastian Vettels who come up behind you, and flash their fancy xenon lights in your rear view mirror. These vehicles are manned by drivers whose IQ is inversely proportional to the speed of their cars. They’ll pop up behind you, blind you and everybody else in your car, and then race on ahead, in their single minded quest to ruin every retina they can find.

I remember, back in the 1990’s, the police had launched a special drive to put up a little black blob of paint on the center of every headlamp of every vehicle. This, it was assumed, would make the problem a little more bearable. But it was akin to coating every bullet in a gun with a little antiseptic. The problem persisted, as did the habit.

And so we’re stuck with these moronic men and their magnificent machines. I, for one, can think of no solution to the problem. But if you, dear reader, can come up with one that works, you’ll be my nominee for the Nobel Peace Prize.

And a very worthy nominee you shall be.