A strange looking car pulled out in front of me on Highway 128, making me brake more sharply than I wanted to. It was white, with black trim, so low it looked kind of flat from the back, a top-down convertible. It looked a little bit like a high-performance speedboat, and the name in gleaming chrome script across the back was long. It started with an L. The loud engine roared as I drifted up behind it close enough that I could read it.
Along the highway from Napa to St. Helena, the driver of the L engaged in antics that would have qualified him for “dumbass” status if he had been driving a Camry, things like using a left-turn storage lane as a passing lane, illegally, and passing on the right. For a few moments, the car found its mate, a black Lamborghini. I felt like I was watching an automotive version of Spy vs Spy. Soon, though, the black L turned off and the growling white car was alone with the more docile herd animals, Camrys, Lexii, SUVs and Civics.
Eventually it caught up with two more Lamborghinis, one black, again, and one guacamole green. They sat at a red light, three in a row, looking like the Lamborghini club or a trio of vehicular cool kids. Then the driver of the white Lamborghini, whose white car had largely inoculated him from judgment of his rudeness and his bad decisions – because, dude! It’s a Lamborghini! – lost his credibility in one minute. The light turned green. The green and black cars advanced, snarling their dominance, but not the white car. The white car waited, and we, behind him, waited too, because he couldn’t get it into gear. How sudden, and ignominious, is the fall from grace.