Okay, let me start off by saying that I have never had road rage a single day in my entire life. I view driving like I view the chaos that is life: people make mistakes. It happens. I would never have the audacity to be mad at someone else for driving too slowly when it was my own fault that I neglected to leave in a timely fashion thus making the other driver seem like the biggest asshole on the planet. Does it suck? Oh, hell yes. Does my blood pressure skyrocket like an anger management dropout? Sure. But it happens. That’s life.
But lately? Oh, lately I have found myself precariously close to wanting to slam my car into drive and mow into other vehicles (and people alike). Like, more than once.
The reason is not the innocent mistakes that people tend to make without thinking…cutting me off, going too slow/fast, or failing to signal before a turn. It’s the fact that people lately have been openly chastising me while I am driving. First of all, I could literally teach a defensive driving class. I am exceedingly careful when driving because I -unlike most lunatics out there trolling around like they never read a safety manual- realize that driving a vehicle that is tons of metal and glass that is capable of causing grave bodily injury is a massive responsibility. Car accidents kill, people, keep your eyes on the road. I don’t cut people off, switch lanes without using a turn signal, or slam into my brakes because I wasn’t paying attention. I don’t put on makeup, fix my hair in the mirror, or check my Iphone.
So why all of the driving drama as of late? Allow me to elaborate.
Road rage situation number one: The dog that got away.
Me: sitting at a four-way stop at a busy intersection. I am patiently awaiting my turn while carefully keeping track of who is next. When it was my turn, I double checked to ensure that no one thought it could be their “go” (because that is what defensive driving is) and proceeded forward in a timely yet leisurely manner.
That’s when the dog darted across the road.
Now, I have a dog that is fond of darting out the front door with no regard for his own safety. Because he’s an asshole like that. I get it. I stopped -more abruptly than necessary just in case he zigged when he should have zagged like dogs tend to do- and looked to make sure there was a person chasing him because I was going to have to pull over and chase him if he didn’t. That dog was just begging (see the pun there?) to get hit by a car.
Luckily, there was a woman chasing right behind him. Thank goodness…I didn’t want to get out of the car. It was freaking freezing outside.
As she passed me, still sitting at a full stop in the middle of the intersection while this shit show went on, she turned to me and yelled, “SLOW THE FUCK DOWN! SLOW THE FUUUUUUUUUCK DOWN!” What? Did that just happen? No, “Thanks for not killing my dog that was just running around in middle of the road without a leash”? No, “I’m sorry that my dog nearly caused you to crash”? Nope. Just a loudly obnoxious heed that I needed to go slower than my less than 2 miles an hour coming from a dead stop. Hey, here’s an idea…pay attention to your crazy dog and not me. Ugggggggggh.
I wanted to plow into her. Save the dog that doesn’t know better. Let’s hit the bitchy owner instead. Ammiright?
Road Rage Situation Number Two: I will break that finger, dude.
Okay, this one is less than 48 hours after the chick with Tourettes at the intersection. After a chicken nugget lunch date with my little man, I was pulling out of the parking lot. Why? Because I have to go home. Where I live. So, here I am, innocently pulling out of a chicken shack parking lot when I got the mother of all “finger shakes”. What’s a finger shake, you ask? It’s that thing that you do to a child when they are being naughty. It is not what you to a full grown adult that is sitting in a parking lot.
Now you may be wondering what prompted the shake. Yeah, me, too. Maybe he thought I was pulled to close to the left (I wasn’t) or that I was blocking him in some way (again, not). Who knows? Who cares. The fact is that yet another person felt the need to try and tell me or motion that I wasn’t doing something correctly while driving.
So, in closing…
Road rage only begets more road rage. And you never know how crazy the other driver is…so put down your hand and shut your mouth. Especially if you live in Austin and notice the woman with blue hair and nerd-girl glasses is behind the wheel…’cause I’m on the edge! And this is Texas, so you know I’m packin’…
I'm just living minute to minute, hour to hour, day to day.