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Road Rage


I don’t see why people are going nutso on the roads. Where did all this road rage come from? Maybe we’ve gotten so crowded with overpopulation that we’re losing our personal space and getting upset about it. Me, I rent my personal space out. Hey, it’s a living, ok? Besides, nature abhors a vacuum, right? Maybe the car companies should install force fields around their products. It works for the USS Enterprise. You never heard Captain Kirk screaming “They’re getting too close!” I’d like for us to keep a respectable distance from each other – some of us just aren’t into the ‘up-close-and-personal’ thing – but humans, being the way they are with free will and all, they sometimes want to break the rules of courtesy. Try eating at a diner between two bikers. You’re lucky if you’ve got room to even look at your plate.

Sometimes we get behind on our schedule and try to make it up while on the road. This is a perfect formula for disaster. One of Murphy’s laws is that the hurrier you go, the behinder you get. Folks tend to forget that gem of logic and get all bent out of shape when the Clampetts decide to pick the precise moment you’re in a rush to go sightseeing on a two lane road. I’ve overslept, and on the way to work encountered tractors, herds of sheep, funerals and washed out bridges (I even got behind the original little old lady from Pasedena once). If I leave five minutes early on my schedule I could get to my destination blind and not hit anything. Believe me, I’ve done it. Blind driving can be so fun.

My wife gets steamed up whenever someone gets too close to her back bumper. She swears at them while doing her death gaze in the rearview mirror, immediately slows down to about 2 miles per hour, and even threatens to slam on her brakes (which is somehow a form of justice to her, but would end up really complicating her day). She gets so angry I feel sorry for the poor guy behind us. Ignorant fool has no idea he’s driving close behind Godzilla. I’ve been known to turn around and beg them in sign language to back off, trying to save their life. Never works. Now for myself, I could care less how close someone drives behind me. Heck, I’d appreciate it if they went ahead and pushed me. I’d put it in neutral and let them do all the work. I figure if someone’s willing to pay for personal space, they can have all they want.

Most road rage is caused by someone getting cut off in traffic. There’s no law saying a complete bimbo can’t drive, so we just have to watch out for them. They’re always in the wrong lane until the last possible second, or they can’t read the huge orange sign saying MERGE, or they’re lost and aren’t aware of the other thousand and twelve drivers around them. When I first got married in the seventies, being cut off meant something entirely different, but that’s the subject of a completely different essay. Back then, the bimbo switching lanes two inches in front of you were simply plowed over by traffic. Our cars were built for demolition derbies, made with thick steel and sharp edges. Bimbos didn’t last too long back in the day. Now cars are made of paper mache and tape. If some idiot cuts you off in traffic, don’t get angry. Get a ’57 Chevy Bel Air.

There is one thing that drives me nuts, though. It never fails that when I’m in a line in the turning lane and the green light is only on for 30 seconds, the bozo in front is either doing an inventory of their glove box or tying their shoes or taking a nap, and when they finally hear the forty three guys behind them honking their horns and giving them the middle finger salute, they get through the light as it’s turning yellow. I’ve been known to outflank a turn signal by driving through pastures and warehouses.

So hey, I guess what I’m trying to say here is that it doesn’t do any good getting irate with someone’s careless, thoughtless, bubbleheaded, insane, idiotic driving. Wait. You know, now that I think about it, it might be better if we could install machineguns and rocket launchers on the front of our cars. The heat from the weapons would probably catch our paper mache cars on fire, but at least we’d feel better knowing there’s one less bimbo on the road.

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