Yes, it was a jerky thing to do, but it made me happy and she deserved it.

Perhaps you had to be there to enjoy this as much as I did, but this was the highlight of my day: I was returning home from the gym when I came to a stoplight. Several cars filled the lanes ahead of me, and I noticed that the woman driving the last car in the right lane was speaking on her phone. She had the actual phone jammed against her ear with her left hand while her right hand rested on the steering wheel.

I realize that it is never a good idea to speak on the phone when driving (and I rarely do so), but in this world in which every phone has speakerphone capabilities and Bluetooth devices are inexpensive and ubiquitous, I cannot remember the last time I actually saw someone using their phone in a car in this traditional, most dangerous way.

I decided to do something.

I pulled my car ahead into the left lane and crept forward until the hood of my car was even with the woman’s body. Then I blasted my horn for three solid seconds.

The horn startled the woman so badly that she dropped the phone onto the floor of her car as she spun around in order to see the source of the noise.

I was able to offer her a smile as I pulled past her and on my way. I watched as she fumbled around with one hand for her phone as the stoplight changed and she was forced to begin driving again.

Yeah, I know. It was a little jerky, and it was unlikely to change the woman’s behavior, but it felt good. It made me laugh. It made me feel like I did my part to make the roads a little less kind and a little less welcoming to those who would make them a slightly more dangerous place for the rest of us.

The world is a difficult place to change. Sometimes the best you can do is punish the wicked.

At least it’s oftentimes amusing when done right.