Friday, November 05, 2004


This morning, enroute to work, I had an encounter with a Stupid-Ass Driver.

There is an intersection near my house where a two-lane road (“Little Road”) intersects with a three-lane road (“Big Road”). Both lanes of Little Road may turn left; the right lane also has the option of going straight or turning right. Of course, this means that the cars in the left lane must turn onto Big Road so that they end up in the leftmost lane.

Confused? I hope not. It’s really pretty simple, if you can visualize it.

Now, when I’m turning left from the right lane, I should end up in the middle lane of Big Road. But I always keep a weather eye on the folks in the left lane, on the chance that one of them will turn wide and drift into my lane. I still have the right lane of Big Road if I’ve gotta bail.

But this morning, a lady in an SUV (natch) turning from the left lane of Little Road swung all the way over into the right lane of Big Road, a full two lanes to the right of where she belonged. Right into where I would have been if I were not a Paranoid Driver who saw it coming. It’s not like she was talking on a cellphone (which would have been another degree of assholery entirely) - she just wasn’t paying attention.

Now, by way of background, I’m the kind of driver who tends to deliver a running commentary on the intelligence of the other drivers with whom I am forced to share the highways. Even when I am alone in the car, I will rant out loud - because it feels good. And in these monologues, I am not kind or gentle. I am profane - because I do not suffer drivin’ fools gladly. (Also because I’m just a leetle bit obnoxious?)

One could, therefore, reasonably assume that I would, at the very least, extend a Middle-Finger Salute to Idiot Lady, once my heart settled back down to its normal position in my chest cavity. But no! This time, for once - for once! - I restrained myself.

When the opportunity presented itself, I pulled up beside her - and gave her the stroked index finger “shame, shame” signal with which any ten-year-old is familiar, along with a nice, happy smile. And she responded with the sheepish half-smile, half-grimace, partial shoulder shrug that is the Universal Acknowledgement of Having Screwed Up Royally, mouthing the words, “I’m sorry!”

How rare. How civilized.

But from now on, just stay the hell away from me in that stupid SUV of yours, OK, lady? Dumbass bitch.

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