I've had more occasion to drive at night lately, so in addition to dealing with the usual Blind-spot Billy, Cell-phone Cindi, Double-lane Doug, Lane-weaver Lenny and Slow-merge Stella, I get to contend with another faceless freeway stereotype: Nova-beam Ned.
Now, I'm an engineer. I understand and appreciate that the task which falls to headlights is one of cruel difficulty. A car's headlight must illuminate (well into human-eye levels) a relatively flat surface (which is usually black), as great a distance as possible, without melting its surroundings (in fact, there's a nice hot internal combustion engine inches away), from an angle that's approaching zero degrees.
It's a ridiculous job. So, in many vehicles (see: status symbol pickups) the headlights play fast and loose with the low angle. Mount 'em higher, and the other problems shrink. Of course, it means that the driver of that car gets to see better, while the drivers of every other car on the road get two retinas full of blinding glare.
A second (and even more evil) tactic is to replace the light bulb with a dimensional portal, connected via space-time-bending wormhole to a massive star currently going supernova. ...Or maybe it's just a really powerful blue bulb, I guess that's possible. Whatever they are, I hate them, and if you have them in your car, I hate you, and you are a bad person.
Nova-beam Ned: To call you a heartless sociopath would be an insult to the heartless sociopath community. I want to mount a heavy and expensive adjustable parabolic mirror on my car, to reflect the torrent of angry light blasting from your evidently nuclear-powered car down to a fine point, focused like the sun through a magnifying glass, directly into your eyes. Once your irises are vaporized and your corneas aflame, I want to shatter those blue bulbs of death, and grind the resulting mess of broken glass and high-voltage wire right into the raw, bleeding cavities once home to your eyes, wreaking havoc on the remaining nerve tissue and sending unholy wattage into the optic center of your brain.
Do I want to do these things because I'm sadistic? Well maybe. But mainly, I want karma to balance. I want done unto you what you have done unto others. ...Actually, I just want you to use regular non-nova-beam headlights like a sane person. Would that work for you?
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