Monday, April 30, 2007

Saying Goodbye to Road Rage

Just today I was reminded about how very angry some people are in the morning. On three different occasions as I was coming to work, I experienced honking and obscene gestures that spoke to the road rage that is always just below the surface.

I ended up behind a very slow-moving cab as I drove to meditation at 6:30 AM. I wasn’t in such a hurry, but apparently the guy behind me was. He honked his horn and sped by me on the right, turning into the Senate garage. Oh well, I guess I can understand why a Senate staffer might feel the stress.

Then as I made my way on to work, as I was traveling down Barracks Row, once again someone was in a bigger hurry than I was. He honked his horn, passed me (this time on the left), only to have to have to stop at a red light. Then he turned left onto the ramp to I-295 in the face of oncoming traffic. By the time I did the same thing, he was long gone.

As I was merging onto I-295, I looked to my right to see a prominent middle finger and a red-faced guy mouthing words I was glad I couldn’t hear. He was in the lane that was supposed to be merging into mine. I guess he didn’t read the sign. As I passed him a few seconds later, his finger was still waving at me. I just had to return the gesture. It felt good.

I realized that I will not miss dealing with angry drivers in the early morning. I may not even be up at 6:30 AM. But if I am, I would rather be reading the Post while drinking my morning coffee or taking Jake for a leisurely morning walk.

Road rage in the morning will soon be a thing of the past.

9 Comments:

Blogger steve said...

"Road Rage? I don't have time for Road rage...
I'm too busy SCREAMING!"
george carlin

1:27 PM  
Blogger Pauline said...

When I read your remark..."the road rage that is always just below the surface..." I immediately thought, it's not just road rage. It's rage at everything - a sort of generic rage that seems to be part of our makeup - we hide it under a veneer of civilized behaviour but it's lurking there, ready to surface whenever something doesn't go our way. I've seen it in small children and teenagers, in young parents and older people. You can see it in the eyes, that flash of pure rage before the brain chooses just how to react. What would we be like, I wonder, if we hadn't domesticated ourselves?

5:49 PM  
Blogger Reya Mellicker said...

Driving brings out the worst in almost everyone. That's one reason I try as hard as I can to stay out of cars. Driving or riding, I am so uncomfortable in cars (though i always appreciate it immensely when you ferry me around).

I'm glad that when you flipped that guy off, he didn't have a gun. Don't do that! People are crazy.

9:33 PM  
Blogger Barbara said...

Steve -- This is the real George Carlin!

Pauline -- We're only a little better than wild animals sometimes. I suppose there are degrees of domestication in the human species.

The potential is always there, but some of us hide it better than others.

Reya -- I admit that I did some careful profiling and decided he was unarmed before returning the flip-off. The thought definitely crossed my mind though. I'll be good and not do it again. Promise...

10:17 PM  
Blogger Mother of Invention said...

Yes, your road rage days are numbered now! Single digits too!

Here's to quiet morning coffees!

11:39 PM  
Blogger Ulysses said...

I can't understand how many people honk and shout at me when I'm on my bike. I'm hardly ever on small roads, leave plenty of room to pass... More than once, I've had people do that only to be stopped next to me at the next light, then they quiet down, look at me only out of the corner of their eye -- guess I must command more respect up close. I usually wave a two-fingered salute though...

7:47 AM  
Blogger Barbara said...

MOI -- Yes, 3 and counting!

Ulysses -- You are so vulnerable on a bike. I always love the ones that speed by me so close that I am almost knocked over by their side mirrors. I think there are people out there who take pleasure in scaring bikers to death instead of outright killing them!

10:09 AM  
Blogger Richard said...

I am not fond of driving (unlike most men it seems). I find far too many poor drivers on the road. Quebec has notoriously bad drivers.

Anger is a way of trying to assert control when we have none.

1:40 PM  
Blogger Old Lady said...

If one gets up early enough to be to work on time they don't need to kill you on their way to work. We mostly try to get to work in half the time it would take us on a good day. It is the reckless, careless ragers that slow traffic down

12:31 PM  

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