Strange Sightings from the Road

As someone who likes looking for unusual stories/sightings, I’m generally pretty aware of my surroundings. When I talk on my phone, I often park my car and walk around outside rather than sitting inside and talking. I want to see what’s going on in the outside world. I want to be where the action is, in places where I can observe the world around me. When I drive, I’m sometimes thankful for the extra time red lights give me to look around and breathe for a minute. Lately, I’ve made some red light observations that are more disturbing than they are funny.

On my way to St. Petersburg this morning, I sat in front of a stoplight and watched it turn from red to green, red to green and back again. None of the cars in front of me were moving, but the group of men surrounding them sure were. About four men had gotten out of their cars and were running around the road, snapping photographs of nearby cars, then getting back into their vehicles, only to wave their legs and feet out the window. They got back out and then started the process all over again. A game of musical cars, perhaps?

One of the men attempted to climb a telephone pole, his legs wrapped around its base. As the light turned green, the driver in front of me beeped his horn, as the woman sitting next to him twirled his index finger near the side of his head, indicating that the folks in front of her were “crazy.” The men eventually got in their cars and sped off. While I was at a stoplight next to them, they revved their engines, ready to race.

This is the third time I have seen an incident like this while driving in Clearwater and St. Petersburg. I’m not sure what to make of it, other than to say that some motorists should not be on the road. Acts like this can scare pedestrians and drivers, disrupt traffic and throw off people’s schedules. The last thing I want to be doing when I’m already running late is sit and watch a light flash from red to green, unable to move because a bunch of middle-aged men are running around their cars.

Some other strange sightings from the past couple of weeks:
–I was driving behind an old Pontiac GTO today. The car’s windshield was almost completely smashed. I’m not sure how the driver was able to see.

–A man stopped by my driver’s side door while I was at a stoplight and asked me if I had a pencil he could borrow.

–A passenger in a pick-up truck was sticking his head outside the passenger-side window, yelling profanities at passing cars. At one point, his entire torso was almost hanging outside the window.

Sounds like this could be the root of an interesting story. Has anyone else seen similar sightings recently?

Published by Mallary Tenore Tarpley

Mallary is a mom of two young kiddos -- Madelyn and Tucker. Mallary absolutely loves being a mom and often writes about the need to find harmony when juggling motherhood and work. Mallary is the Assistant Director of the Knight Center for Journalism in the Americas at the University of Texas at Austin, where she manages the Center's various programs related to distance learning, freedom of expression, and digital journalism. Previously, she was Executive Director of Images & Voices of Hope and Managing Editor of The Poynter Institute’s media news site, Mallary grew up outside of Boston and graduated from Providence College in Rhode Island. In 2015, she received a certificate in nonprofit management from Duke University. She now lives in beautiful Austin, Texas, with her kids, husband Troy and cat Clara. She's working on a memoir, slowly but surely. You can reach her at

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