Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Learn to Drive, Jackass

Here's why I don't like road rage: if you're in the car with the ragist it kills the mood. If I'm in the passenger seat and the driver is reacting every 8 seconds to minor infractions outside our cab, I don't know what to say or do with myself. I'm at a loss for words. I try to respond with a "yeah" or "that guy is seriously dumb" to show some solidarity, but it feels awkward and forced. When I think about it I suppose that that other guy shouldn't be cutting over two lanes while leaving oil slicks behind and throwing pennies at other cars, but to be honest I don't care in the least. I'm generally wanting to ride and chat but a conversation interruption makes me have to pause against my will. Bull.

When my driver is mad I generally find something within the next 5 or so minutes that he/she should not have done. Not because ragists are bad drivers. It's just impossible not to f*** up while driving in some minor way all the time. And a little less often, bigger mistakes are inevitable too. Hell, I'm sure Aak's been rear ended on his bike a few times by some perfectly conscientious vehicle operators. But if I point such things out right after a flip out, I'm jeopardizing later ride offers. My roommate tells a story once about how her ultra-logical android friend made such a comment to her after a rage. This friend is no longer alive.

I suppose post-rage awkwardness goes for raging in general, not just while driving. I've been the awkward observer before, but I've been the flip-out artist as well. If I'm watching, say, super bowl XXXIX and Donovan McNabb is moseying up to the line taking his sweet-ass time while the clock is ticking, I'm going to explode. I don't care if he's sick and vomiting on the field. When I do flip out and see awkward silence in anyone around me I feel terrible. I want to crack a joke and break the tension, but it's too late. It's a very unfortunate feeling. Fortunately all my experiences with such things have been minor because I do not have an especially rough temper.

Really, the friend is fine, btw. She's out in California getting her PhD in Physics. Don't even get me started on California drivers.

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