Thursday, February 28, 2008

Road Rage


Did I mention that there are a lot of assholes in the world? I had an encounter with one this very day.

Driving on the interstate, bumper-to-bumper traffic. Warm spring day, the sun shining, top down, music playing, I was fine. Save that I was in the right lane and need to be in the middle one. So, I waited for a gap, put my turn indicator on, looked and saw I was clear, and moved over.

Came the horn. Seems a guy in a Dodge Ram pickup wanted to move from the left lane into the center, and was unhappy that I beat him to it.

No big deal, it's rush hour, there's a lot of doh-si-doh, and you made it anyhow, so what's the problem?

Didn't like a convertible getting ahead of him, it seemed. Turns into the artery-blowing version of Marcel Marceau, goes into a pissed-off trio of gestures: First, of course, The Finger. Then, a c'mon-let's-get-it-on wave -- as if he really expected me to park my car in the middle of I-5 and walk back to discuss it with him. Then, the pointing-an-imaginary gun and shooting me. Probably I would have been more nervous at this last had he had a real gun, and the thought crossed my mind that there might be one on the seat next to Goofy back there. Never know. Which is a good reason not to give somebody The Finger. I might have had a gun on the seat next to me, mightn't I?

I wanted to laugh. I didn't offer any return hand signals, just shook my head, and that set him off again. Limited vocabulary, alas, he only had the three moves. Finger. Come hither wave. Imaginary gun.

Part of me wanted to point to the shoulder and nod: Okay, Goofy, let's go dance -- show me what what you got. But, of course, part of being an adult is realizing that chastising the world's assholes would be a job entailing much overtime for no pay, so I resisted the urge.

Sometimes being the grown-up isn't as much fun, but, hey ... somebody's got to do it.

8 comments:

Dan Moran said...

"somebody's got to do it"

Technically this isn't true. And it explains a lot about the world, doesn't it?

Bobbe Edmonds said...

I go through this all the time here in Seattle. People weave in and out of traffic like a traffic-weavy thing. I try REAL hard not to cut people off, but you can't spot everyone. I've had my share of assholes, and there's a reason I don't carry a gun in my car: I don't have my anger in check that well. Finger boy would have gotten a profound argument from my German-made friend had I been carrying and accompanying you.

Which backs up my long-standing argument: There needs to be a more austere test for drivers to acquire licenses.

Steve Perry said...

Well, the world doesn't run very well unless the adults step up now and then and take care of business.

Look what happened when we failed to put a grown-up into the White House, as view Current Occupant.

Fortunately, my anger-control is pretty good these days. Much as I might have felt justified in pounding the guy into the pavement like a steel tent-peg, I know that's not a good idea generally ...

Dan Gambiera said...

"If I shot every sumbitch who needed shooting I'd need to buy stock in the Union Metallic Cartridge company, and I'd have carpal tunnel in my trigger finger."

Irene said...

's probably just that he didn't think a gimpy old fogie should be driving such a totally hot car.

Steve Perry said...

Well, he couldn't tell I was gimpy, being that I was sitting down and all, only that I was an old fogie.

Guy was probably thirty, wearing a baseball cap, bearded, and when he raised his arm, fairly fit-looking, at least his arm was. I figured the jacked-up Dodge Ram was compensation for areas in which he felt a certain lack. Bigger the wheels, smaller the weenie ...

I wrote down his license plate number, just in case.

He was right on my tail until we passed a Portland cop who had pulled over somebody illegally using the diamond lane, and then he backed off.

I could have laid on the horn, gotten the cop's attention, and then pointed at the guy behind me. I could have mimed a gun, and then I expect the cop would have had a few words with the guy, but then I'd have been all day getting across the river.

Michael B. said...

He'd draw a straight blank down here in Tejas with me...more than likely the gun is right on my hip or lying on the seat covered by a newspaper...a dog fall surely not!

Steve Perry said...

Yeah, well, down in steer-land, you can get away with shootin' somebody 'cause they needed shootin'.

Up here, like Dan said, that would run into some money for the ammo ...