Hello and welcome back from the long weekend, everybody. While the world was off getting the final sunburn of the season and trying to eke out the last vestiges of summer before winter takes hold, the inevitable march of news soldiered on. There was McCain's funeral, that New Yorker festival drama, and a bunch of grumpy conservatives ruining their Nike gear to protest Colin Kaepernick. But before you dive into all that, something more important demands your focus. Something else needs to be addressed right now.
Please, stop everything and direct your attention to the biggest news item to make the rounds over Labor Day weekend—the most absolutely bonkers road rage video ever.
The basic premise of the bizarre incident is as follows: Last Thursday, a woman reportedly swerved in front of a Greyhound on a DC roadway, getting sideswiped by the bus in the process, NBC Washington reports. When the bus driver got out to talk to the woman, things, uh, took a violent turn. In the video, she starts smashing the bus windows with a car jack, and then repeatedly runs into a man who's reportedly the bus driver as he tries to block her car while he calls 911. Eventually, she drives right into the guy and speeds off with him still on her hood, sending him spinning off in the middle of an intersection and hitting the pavement hard.
It's a truly wild spectacle, filmed from the POV of one of the Greyhound passengers as the whole thing unravels around him like a kitchen-sink Cloverfield. But what makes this video particularly compelling is not the action itself—the real magic comes from the cast of characters.
First, there is the woman herself. Furious at the Greyhound, she takes out her rage on the inanimate vehicle with clear, calculated determination. She is not visibly angry or hostile—she is stone-faced and resolute, knowing what she needs to do and getting it done. Window smashed and sideview mirror ruined, she casually tosses the jack back into her trunk and climbs into her car.
But that's when she comes across the second major player in this tragedy: Her great foe, the bus driver. Balding and mustachioed and dressed in a blue polo, he too is calm and resolute, knowing his role and accepting it stoically. He is the captain of the bus and, like any good captain, he must go down with his ship—even if that means planting himself in front of her car so she can't drive away.
Unfortunately, the guy's noble quest to stop her doesn't exactly go as planned, because the woman just hits the gas and drives right into him.
That's when the video's brilliant assortment of supporting characters enters in the saga. The Greyhound passengers, mostly unseen behind one passenger's camera, spill out into the road. Enter the Greek chorus: One woman shrieks an ongoing stream of commentary. Another bellows incoherently. The man behind the camera tries to force himself between the woman and the driver to break it up.
At this point, the entire video dissolves into some kind of surreal mayhem, with no real rhyme or reason. Another bystander gets involved to try and diffuse the situation—asking the woman to "calm down, baby girl!" and pleading that the bus driver "just move from out the car so you don't get hurt!"—but only manages to make the whole scene more hectic and confusing.
All the while, the woman at the center of this whole thing continues her epic struggle against the immovable driver, repeatedly running into him as the chorus's screams build to a fever pitch.
And then, the video reaches its climax. Perhaps inspired by some strange martyrized urge or just at a loss for what else to do, the bus driver begins throwing himself down on the woman's hood over and over. It's unclear what exactly his rationale is here—is he trying to pile-drive the car into submission? Or put on a good show for all the witnesses? Or is he just a little confused after suffering a series of collisions already and not exactly thinking straight?
Again, though, this heroic act of supposed self-sacrifice does little to stop his foe, and the woman just speeds off with the man still on her hood, sending him spinning off in the middle of an intersection and hitting the pavement hard.
Our supporting cast of characters race over to him and help the man up, as the shrieking woman continues to shriek about what he was possibly thinking. But the driver offers only a cryptic hint to his motives. "She was going to get away with it," he says, simply and humbly, like the hero he is.
The woman may have successfully fled the scene, but she did not, in fact, get away with it. Though the driver's pseudo-heroic actions probably didn't have a lot to do with it, Mariana Silver, 20, was arrested on Friday for the incident and is currently facing assault charges, NBC Washington reports. The bus driver is reportedly in good shape, with only minor scratches and bruises—but why he felt the need to repeatedly bodyslam is a mystery best left to the ages. Until then, maybe just watch the whole thing again.
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This article originally appeared on VICE US.