It usually takes about three minutes of driving before obscenities and globs of spit shower my windshield. In that short time I have been cutoff twice by over-aggressive dinks, stop signs have been blown, turn signals went unused, and at least a dozen people swerved into the wrong lane because their heads were down, looking at their phones. The roads are bad, but the people driving them are worse. Add natural elements to their general negligence, and a quick trip to the convenience store can turn into a death race. Over 1.35 million people die in auto-accidents every year, so I think it’s time for a new hero to arise from the asphalt and protect us from the treacherous hazards of the road. That hero is Steering Wheel Man.
The idea for Steering Wheel Man came to me in a fit of rage over a driver who nearly pinned me against a construction barrier on the highway. She was not paying attention to the new lane-shift markings because her neck was bent in a ninety-degree angle, her face illuminated white and blue. I thought, If only my car were made of an indestructible, elastic-y rubber, I could gently bump/guide her vehicle into its rightful place. Unfortunately, my car cannot do that and if I tried to nudge her, it would likely send both of us spinning out of control. Steering Wheel Man’s vehicle, however, can do that safely!
There was another incident recently when a large white truck, the kind with really loud exhausts and tires you have to climb to get in, was riding my ass on the highway. I tend to have a bit of a lead foot on the freeway which is why I stick to the left lane, but this guy had to be an inch from my bumper while I was pushing eighty. It was very uncomfortable with him back there and my options were limited. I accelerated a little bit but he kept creeping closer. Getting out of his way wasn’t possible as there were other cars next to me, and I don’t like going any faster than I was.
My fingers gripped the wheel tighter and I held my breath. I had been in this scenario before and see this kind of driver on the highway all the time. He’s the guy that switches lanes very fast and rides people’s tails because going under a hundred is too slow for him. I try not to say I hate people, but I hate the pressure and stress they inflict on other motorists. They cause major hazards and are one wrong move away from killing a bunch of people and themselves. My wish in the moment was to have a detachable wheel, one with a homing device that I could flick out the window and smash into the driver’s face. While the wheel is in the air my car would go into auto-pilot and after the damage was done it would return itself to its original position where I could resume control.
I don’t have this ability, but you can guess who does…Steering Wheel Man.
SWM (Steering Wheel Man) would stand up to the bullies of the road. He would stop road crime, hold the police accountable when they break the laws they’re sworn to uphold, reduce the amount of traffic deaths, force the person going too slow in the left lane out of faster motorist’s way, and remind people that operating a two-ton metallic machine at high speeds is dangerous and needs to be used with the utmost caution and respect.
Okay, I know that last part sounds lame but you have to envision it how I do: high speed chases, a car that defies the laws of physics (including gravity), the ability to periodically slow time, super villains with driving skills similar to our hero’s, romance, and a killer origin story that will make Bruce Wayne look like a crybaby. Combine the Batmobile with modernized Speed Racer gadgets, Elastigirl’s powers, and some supernatural abilities of his own, and SWM will be able to kick some serious ass!
He’ll need these tools and abilities to fight villains like The Tankard, who drives a tank down public roads while inebriated (get it?), or The City Slicker who wreaks havoc on cities by leaving trails of flaming oil in his wake. Then there’s The Drifter, a once kindhearted homeless man who was driven (see what I did there) to seek vengeance on our hero because of a perceived injustice done to him.
All of this is in the development stages, but I think it could be a hero people can get behind. The reason I wrote this article is to see what my readers think of the idea. I know the name of the hero isn’t great yet, but I’ll keep trying to develop a new one! Let me know what you think of this character in the ‘Comments’ section below!
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