I have a confession to make... I'm terrified of car flags.
You know, those flags that people insert over their windows to support their favorite sports team? They may think it's harmless but they never give a second thought to the fact that they could totally poke an innocent bystander's eye out. It's all in fun until someone ruptures their spleen!
I've found I can't follow a vehicle with one of those flags for more than 30 seconds before I'm judging whether I can pass them or take an alternate route to my destination. I envision the flag tearing off their car, becoming a projectile missile, piercing my windshield before poking a hole in my brain.
Yes, I do realize this is probably what some would refer to as an irrational fear. But for me, it's all too real.
Which leads me to the most horrifying local news story of 2008. Our hockey team decided it would be awesome to give away car flags this year - first to all of the season ticket holders, and then to everyone attending opening night. Total distribution was probably around 25,000 flags. This resulted in car flags everywhere locally - often multiple flags on the same car! But it gets worse. The team went with a cheap vendor and the quality of the flags was poor. Causing them to break and fly off vehicles at speeds over 40 mph. Oh, how I wish I was making this up.
My worst nightmare - flags on every car, knowing my fright was now justified. And rather than feel vindicated that I was right all along, I was too busy being terrorized to issue I told you so's. Driving around town took on the vibe of a bad video game of dodging these eye-gouging team spirit spears.
Thankfully, most of the flags didn't even make it home from opening night before they were littering the highways. By the time Monday came around, most flags were long gone or removed by the owners. But for me, that first weekend in October was a very special kind of hell - with the silver lining of knowing that my fear is not unjustified. At least I was spared losing anyone close to me due to car flag-related injury.