So I’m riding my bike down the Kenilworth Boulevard, a broad double-laned highway that runs right through the middle of the compact, little suburb of Kenilworth, New Jersey. Up ahead are two SUVs, one in the left lane, a white Ford, moving slowly, the other, a black Cadillac Escalade, about 2 feet behind, aggressively tailgating. Even though the traffic is surprisingly heavy for a state under a “shelter in place” order in the middle of a pandemic, there’s still there’s plenty of room to pass. I suppose the driver of the Escalade simply wants to teach the driver of the Ford a lesson before he goes on his way.
At some point, the Escalade passes the Ford in the right lane, gunning his engine as if to say “I’m faster than you and frustrated with your behavior,” before he swerves back into the left lane and slows to what seems 5 or 10 MPH. The tables are now turned. The driver of the Ford has made the transition from “lazily driving along” mode to “Death Race 2000” mode. He steps on the gas and pulls to within about 6 inches of the Escalade’s bumper. He leans on his horn, a steady “honk” without any pauses. After the driver of the Escalade, admitting defeat, switches into the right lane to let his beaten adversary pass — the Virgin Cadillac Escalade and the Chad Ford Explorer — the driver of the Ford, still leaning on his horn, follows into the right lane him and continues to tailgate.
At this point, I’m starting to get worried. I’m a vulnerable 178.5 pounds of flesh against 6 tons of Detroit metal coming my way. They never make it that far. The driver of the Ford guns his engine and hits the Escalade in the rear bumper, pushing them both up against the curb before they finally come to a stop on the shoulder. Fortunately for the driver of the Escalade he spins clockwise and takes his adversary’s blow in the passenger’s side door. There is no passenger, and, praise Jesus, nobody is hurt except the door of the Escalade, which has a big dent, and the front end of the Ford, which iss half caved in. I stop, desperately trying to swing my backpack around to get my camera before I realize I have forgotten it. The two men — of course men — get out of their respective vehicles and face off in front of each other on the sidewalk.
They are both wearing N95 surgical masks.