Not many of us are the philanthropist sons of wealthy businessmen in Gotham, and as such we lack the resources to become the crime-fighting superhero we want to be.
One woman in Montana, however, has shown us all how you shouldn’t let your circumstances hold you back. So what if you don’t live in a mansion above the Batcave and have unlimited access to military-grade equipment, grab your nearest utensil and get out on the streets!
A vigilante in an arm chair, a renegade with a radar gun, a pioneer with a hair dryer and a cup of coffee, Patti Baumgartner is fighting crime, the crime of dangerous driving, with nothing more than a household appliance and some dogged determination.
— Timmy B (@timmyb48) August 18, 2019
Fed up of people speeding and driving recklessly along her road, South Finley Point along the southeast shore of Flathead Lake, FYI, Patti took matters into her own hands and set about slowing people down by pointing a hairdryer at speeding motorists.
I know what you’re thinking, a blast of hot air from a hair dryer may be distracting, but it’s not going to stop a car, right? Well, it turns out it’s not the hot air, but the look of the thing (it looks just like a police traffic gun) that will act as a deterrent to dangerous drivers.
Speaking to KRTV, Patti said:
They forget to slow down and there are lots of people that are complaining about that, they can’t walk or ride their bikes. I wouldn’t even attempt riding my around.
We were talking about maybe something would slow the cars down. So we decided to put me in a chair and I guess use the hair dryer as a speed thing.
I was able to find Ms. Patti.
She was made an honorary Trooper with a campaign hat and sticker badge for her work to keep her grandkids safe. #SlowDown#KidsCrossing#KeepOurKidsSafe https://t.co/M2EYlDQlku pic.twitter.com/eaAh4s1It2
— Trooper N. Pesola (@TrooperPesola) August 20, 2019
And while we’ve all been taught impersonating a police officer can be a dangerous game, it seems the local patrol are on board with Patti’s rogue tactics.
As Montana Highway Patrol trooper Noah Pesola said:
I thought it was hilarious, I think that we have a speed issue in Montana and I thought it was a great creative idea for the public to try and combat that a little bit without making people too upset.
Pesola even gave Patti an honorary title, as he explained:
It’s not an official or anything like that for the honorary trooper, which is kind of what I called it. I didn’t know what else to do for her, when she’s doing something for the community, and like she says, she’s got grandkids in the area so she’s doing something for her grandkids’ benefits. The best thing I could think of was give her a trooper hat and a badge to make her look a little more official.
Patti said she’s going to continue using her hair dryer technique to combat reckless drivers in the area and help keep her grandchildren safe. Keep up the good work, Patti!
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Charlie Cocksedge is a journalist at UNILAD. He graduated from the University of Manchester with an MA in Creative Writing, where he learnt how to write in the third person, before getting his NCTJ. His work has also appeared in such places as The Guardian, PN Review and the bin.