Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Now I Understand Road Rage


I’ve never experienced true road rage. Sure I’ve experienced road mild irritation, even full out road irritation, but never road rage. I’ve flipped off other motorists, and I’ve been flipped off. I’ve blown kisses at other drivers who have flipped me off, in an act of “Yeah, you’re mad, and I am going to kill you with faux kindness because it will be hilarious to see the confusion on your face after I’ve just pretended to be affectionate toward you.”I’ve heard the stories in the news about people who do crazy things on the highway and blame it on road rage. There was a case in the 90s about a man who shot another man with a crossbow in Attleboro, Massachusetts in the name of road rage. I’ve heard of people deliberately crashing into another car while traveling at highway speed because of road rage. I hear these stories and think to myself “Man, what the hell is wrong with these people? What is so important about what another driver has done that makes someone that mad?”

Then this morning a sour-pussed old lady made me understand why people get so mad on the highway, because she made me mad, though I turned it around because I didn't want to start my day being angry. I was driving into work this morning, and left early so I could stop at the BJ’s to full up the gas tank on the jeep. I got back on the highway and saw a few cars coming up the onramp, in reverse. I drove around the bend in the onramp and saw that traffic had come to a stand-still on the highway. I knew that I would only be on the highway for two more miles so I didn’t bother to kick it into reverse and join the other backwards drivers. I drove along the right side of the highway until the merging area ended, and stopped at the cluster of cars trying to merge.

There was an 18-wheeler that had been in an accident, its hood was tilted forward, front grill parts were strewn on the highway, and it blocked both lanes of the highway. All the cars from the two lanes were merging into one, and going around the truck on the breakdown lane at precisely the spot where the cars from the onramp (that I was on) were merging into the highway too.

The sour-pussed old woman was in the car to the left of me, and she was hell-bent on not letting me merge. She nosed her car up, aggressively, and barely left inches between her front bumper and the back of the car in front of her. The car in front of her moved, and she sped to immediately close the gap so I wouldn’t have the opportunity to even think about merging. This went on for a few minutes until I was beginning to run out of road.

I saw that her window was rolled down, so I rolled down my own, and hollered over to her, “Hi, will you please let me in?”

“No,” she bitterly responded, and glared at me.

“Oh, well thanks anyway. Have a nice day,” I smiled at her with my best passive-aggressive smile that really said “I hope the highway opens up and swallows your car and sends you right to hell where you belong.”

Then karma did her thing. Sourpuss and I jockeyed for position, my car remained ahead of hers yet she still kept me from merging, until we got to the point where all of the lanes of cars had to merge into the breakdown lane, where I was, to get around the smashed up truck. Sourpuss then tried to merge into the breakdown lane, in front of me—despite the fact that the nose of my car was well ahead of hers. So she had to speed up and try to jam her front end before my car to get into the break down lane. I inched up; blocking her access, then turned to her and gave her the smile and shrug, as if to say “Whoopsie! Did I do that?” She glared at me again as I kept the smile plastered to my face.

But I gripped the wheel as I smiled, bracing for her to pull some sort of crazy road rage attack on me like shouting “Tawanda!” and plowing into my car repeatedly. Because that’s the thing about road rage, you never know what somebody else is going to do.



Blogger ME said...

Love your tactics! Kill 'em with kindness.. or smiles!

July 15, 2008 at 12:39 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey, she got what she gave. She can eat it an' smile.

July 15, 2008 at 3:20 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

I love that you smiled at her...that probably just pissed her off even more!

July 15, 2008 at 4:54 PM  
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