16 August 2007

You've got to park if we're going to chat

Didn't get up for the gym this morning, and didn't leave early enough to avoid some of the nastier traffic (and multiple school zones) on the drive to work. Now, having lived in places with actual congestion, I'm not really complaining, but I do hate spending my life behind lap traffic. So I'm doing my best to bob and weave, but having limited success. Then, I pick a right lane at a light (about 10 or 12 cars back) expecting a few people to peel off on the turn. They do, but something (pedestrian, old person) causes the lane to start quite late and I lose ground. So much, that I almost don't make the light and have to cut back to the left lane to get out as it's about to turn red.

About 100 meters down the road we come to a grinding halt for school zone #2 and a d-bag in a GMC truck comes up on my ass. I mean right up on my ass. I'd left this guy in the right lane and seen him run the red in my rear-view, but I've got no idea what he wants. I assume he wants to know what my car is; that's a pretty common occurrence. But no. He thinks I cut him off, so now he's cursing and flipping me off.

Um, yah. While I have cut cars off in my life, it's a pretty rare occurrence. What usually happens is that I make a move at high speed and some dimwitted slow driver thinks I was close to hitting him. Or thinks he needed to slam his brakes to avoid hitting me, despite the fact that when his tiny lizard brains finally gets the signal to his foot (left, I'm guessing...that's the kind of drivers these are - left-foot brakers) I'm already gone. There was only one way in which I could have cut him off, and that's if he thought he'd make the lane change from right to left without signaling or checking to see if it was clear. Even then, he was still firmly in the right lane when I was through the light.

Now, I'd point out that his daughter was in the car for his diatribe. The little Lohan-in-training's even getting into it, flipping me off along with dear old dad. I was not pleasant in response, though I wasn't a ball of rage. I merely responded with a few choice bon mots intended to point out his lack of masculinity and preferred forms of lovemaking, then suggested he follow me. About a mile up the road we'd come across a shopping center where we could "talk".

I got behind him for a moment, but of course he thought he could trick me into rear-ending him. This is pretty typical of people who drive quite poorly. They think everyone's reflexes and judgment are as poor as their own. So I pull back alongside and pass - getting the daddy-daughter-double-flipoff on the way. He swerves. Again, like I didn't see that coming? My car gets crushed and it has to go back to the factory in Georgia...do you think I'm going pass a moron like you without leaving space?

Back in front, I start waving him to follow.

Poor lad actually did. I mean, it would have been fine if the daughter hadn't been in the car. But first he teaches her how to be a skank, then he teaches her how to blame everyone else for his inattention to the road, and then...

...I pull over when I enter the lot and he blows by. So I follow him. Mind you, this sort of sucks for me what with all the speed bumps, but I manage. He stops his car - conveniently in front of a place with a really good breakfast burrito; I might be hungry after this. He opens his door. I park. I get out. He closes his door.

Sidebar: this guy's built like Lance Armstrong. I'm built like...a fat muscular soccer player. I'm certainly not huge, but I've got about 70 ell bees and three inches on Mr. Flippyfinger (see, funny names ARE funny...just not this one). I walk up to the truck, he's still yelling and screaming, but his foot's hovering over the accelerator. I tell him he's gotta park if we're gonna chat, but he peels off.

Didn't work out this morning, and didn't work up an appetite chatting with my new friend, so I skipped the burrito. Very depressed about that. It's a really tasty egg-white scramble with veggies and salsa.

Now, if his daughter were smart - ie: adopted - she'd realize what an incredible pansy daddy is. Unfortunately, she's probably super-proud of her daddy this morning. No shame, no lessons learned about humility or keeping your mouth shut or watching the road. Just pride that daddy ran away from a fight that he tried to instigate.

I've got nothing but respect for people who don't fight on principle. If I weren't such an angry guy, I'd aspire to that level of enlightenment/peacefulness. But this guy was clearly itching for a fight. He couldn't stop screaming and cursing even as he was driving away with his tail between his off-road tires. He nearly slammed into me from behind, jammed his brakes trying to get me to do the same, and tried to swerve into me. He used his car as a weapon; he was anything but peaceful. All he was was a big-mouthed, scared little boy trying to act tough who ran away when someone actually called him on it.