I support all kinds of animal causes. I would throw myself in harm’s way to protect a child, and I am generally a good wife, friend and neighbor. However, when alone in my car, I can become a seething, frothing animal.
Even though I am lucky enough to have a short commute to my day job, I am on the roads often enough to join Joe in a fairly regular festering case of road rage. I have tried everything possible to make the short morning commute less rage-inducing, but nothing seems to work.
For example, if I leave early, there are the schools to contend with. I am old enough to remember having to walk to school every day, or heaven forbid, ride my bicycle. Apparently, if you let a child walk alone to school, they are more likely to be snatched away by a sexual predator than you are likely to get laid tonight, so that is right out. Every child is chauffeured to school by an endless parade of parents who drive like they are ferrying Faberge eggs balancing on top of pencils wedged into the car seats – meaning, very, very slowly indeed. Getting stuck behind a line of drop-off Mommies is annoying, but it’s not just being in a line that gets the blood boiling. It’s the clueless driving that accompanies it that makes me crazy. Stopping short, no turn-signals, blocking traffic needlessly…all the hallmarks of the Precious Cargo Committee. I find myself getting the urge to jump out of my car and run down the line keying their doors, scrape the stick figure families off of their back windows, and pouring their lattes to go onto their carpeted floors. MOVE!
It’s almost worse if I leave late enough to miss the school traffic, but leave just barely enough time. That’s when the folks who don’t have to be somewhere at an appointed time seem to come out and mosey along, and it’s also the time when the less savvy drivers make their move. More and more, I see that suburban drivers seem to have no idea what to do in certain circumstances, such as when a large truck has to navigate a tight turn. Invariably, the cars keep moving up, making it less and less possible for the truck to make its turn. I know that the average jane is not a long-haul trucker and might not be thinking about the geometry needed to make such turns, but it still amazes me. The ultimate Dr. Seuss “Push Me, Pull You” scenario goes on until someone finally gets out of someone’s way. In the meantime, I have to wipe the inside of my windshield because I have spewed so much venom there, I can hardly see.
Now, there are appropriate reasons to drive slowly or stop, but this is when everyone turns into a Nascar driver on meth. People, we live in the suburbs. There are ponds, and with ponds, there are geese. Do we have to attempt Canada goose genocide every time the poor bastards try to cross the street? Recently, I had someone drive around me cursing and screaming, nearly hitting the pair of turkeys I had stopped for. Waiting two more seconds would have killed you, you knob? Unless you are bleeding profusely, there is no reason for that. Also, do you have to cut it so close crossing the railroad tracks when a train is coming? Oh, wait a minute, go right ahead, be my stupid guest. You could end up a Darwin Award and that would clear one more idiot off of the road.
Fast or slow, if you are being a moron on the road, I am probably behind you, mentally placing a curse on your entire family and saying extremely rude things about your mother. For your own sake, use your brain when you drive. Don’t make me come up there.