Yes, I’m going to beat this dead horse. Because, apparently, it’s not dead.
Though, I’m not going to rail on about the risks and dangers. We all know about those—I hope. I had to help handle an incident last Friday where an acquaintance of mine tried to drive home while barely able to stand. You read that right: he could barely stand, and tried to drive himself home.
He wouldn’t relinquish his keys, so another friend and I followed/chased him out to his car. We tried to talk him out of it. He started the car and tried to leave with the door open and a conversation still happening. Words were clearly a failed option.
So I reached in over the door (and the steering wheel) and took the keys out of the ignition. For anyone who knows me, this is not my style. I really detest confronting people when it’s not necessary. But in this case, it was absolutely necessary. I wish he’d just listened, to avoid the anger and acrobatics, but that just wasn’t meant to be.
And looking back, I don’t regret it. Nobody should. I hate pissing people off (especially those I know), and this was no exception—he was furious. I figured he’d never speak to me or my friends again. Turns out he barely remembered any of it; he called back the next day and apologized.
So, even though I thought we’d pissed him off, that’s not the case. But even if it were, I wouldn’t care. Others may let this stuff happen, but NOT ON MY WATCH. That’s the point. It’s important to ALWAYS do the right thing in these cases. For all anyone knows, we saved lives. But I’m glad I’ll never know one way or the other.
And I expect the same of my friends. If you’re not going to step up when the pressure’s on, then what’s the point? If I ever try to do something that colossally stupid, I hope my friends do whatever it takes to stop me. DO WHATEVER IT TAKES.
I don’t plan on ever doing anything this dumb; I’m just saying that’s what I hope a friend would do. Also, after taking him and his car home, we did confiscate his keys for the night, just to make sure he didn’t try to go anywhere else.
Oh, and if it wasn’t obvious from this: don’t drink and drive. Thanks.
And a few closing comments. I hope he doesn’t read this, because the point is not to call him out for what happened. The point is that it’s crucial for people (particularly friends) to do “The Right Thing™.”
And, on a more narcissistic note… I always wonder if I’ll handle critical situations (crises, if you will) properly, or cave under the pressure. I’ve spent years of my life being trained/told/convined that I would. But until this, the notion had gone mostly “untested.” So hopefully this is an honest indication that, under pressure, I’ll do “The Right Thing™.”
I’ve failed some friends before, but hopefully I’ll stop doing that. Maybe this is where that changes.