Reporting on pedestrian life in the D.C. area

'Tailgating is one thing I cannot tolerate': David Lynch decries a driving sin

January 10, 2012 - 12:41 PM
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Don't tailgate Mr. Eddy. (Photo: Courtesy of CiBy 2000)

Filmmaker David Lynch is a puzzling man. The folksy son of Montana has created many surreal, disturbing films, which over the past few decades have included Blue Velvet, Mulholland Drive, Eraserhead, and the cult '90s series Twin Peaks.

Lynch also offers us a dispatch on transportation in his 1997 film Lost Highway. The mysterious movie features such talent as Bill Pullman, Patricia Arquette, and Balthazar Getty in a confusing whirl of murder, romance, and the open road. I watched Lost Highway for the first time not long ago and while riding on the highway myself — in total darkness on a Megabus back from New York City the other week.

Among the many Lynchian set pieces and the arch dialogue is an important message for all drivers. Tailgating, Lynch cautions, is a dangerous sin in the world of transportation. Few could articulate this thought better than the character of Mr. Eddy (Robert Loggia), a smoothly intimidating pornographer who encounters a tailgater and has more than a few choice words about the importance of traffic safety in a brutal, bewildering, wry scene that's a classic in its own right. D.C., with its narrow streets and constant gridlock, could benefit from these words as much as any city. Watch Mr. Eddy's memorable driving lesson here:

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