Saturday, May 15, 2010

Road Rage

I have a little road rage problem. When I sit my fat butt in the driver's seat and put my hands on the steering wheel, I instantly become an impatient, immature, asshole. On a side note here, I think "asshole" is the most politically correct slur to use on any given occasion should you feel the need to be politically correct which even I, at times, am forced to do. You can even preface it with "effing" and it's still gender neutral, racially neutral, politically neutral and since I am certain that every faith in the world has their fair share of assholes as members it is religiously neutral as well. If you preface it with the "eff" word, though, be prepared to be on the receiving end of many a raised eyebrow. Happens to me all the time.

Anyway, for some unknown reason, as soon as I get in the car, I'm in a hurry. When I get in the car my main goal is to get from Point A to Point B in the shortest amount of time. My son would argue this because he says I take the long way everywhere. It's my opinion while that may be true, I'm avoiding stop lights, stop signs, and heavily trafficked areas so even though I may be traveling a longer distance I get there quicker. That's my story and I'm stickin' to it. Not only do I hate being politically correct, I hate waiting.

So here's the way it goes. I start out fat, dumb, and happy, going to the store for ice cream (which I'm convinced is the most wonderful food on the planet), which is on my shopping list, which is sitting on the table where I wrote it, which is what I do every effing time I go grocery shopping. Unknowingly list-less, I get in the car and head out. I always try to get these chores done either in the morning or evening. Why? So I don't have to deal with traffic, lines at the store, or any of the gazillion things that easily annoy me. Since I live in a fairly rural area, there's not a lot of traffic starting out. Occasionally you get behind a cement truck or some other slow moving equipment hauling apparatus but I can usually make pretty snappy time en route to the "main" road. Here I confess yet another of my many, many, many faults...I drive too fast everywhere (except when I'm hauling horses and/or someone else's kids).

Now after five or six miles of blissful rage free travel, I'm at the "main" road and my first of many potential annoyances. A stop sign where I'm forced to make the dreaded "left had turn into oncoming traffic". I know this is truly stoopid but I have, on occasion, planned my daily stops around right hand turns in order to avoid the dreaded "left hand turn into oncoming traffic". I know, I can't help it.

You see, I don't judge distance well. It's another little "problem" of mine. So I know I incur the wrath of many a poor schmuck whose misfortune it is to be stuck behind me at stop signs while waiting a seeming eternity for me to make the dreaded "left hand turn into oncoming traffic". I know this because I can see them in my rear view mirror throwing their hands up off their steering wheel mouthing "Jeez lady, WTF are you waiting for?" Fellow schmucks of the world, I apologize. We are kindred spirits.

"Mouthing" is that thing you do when you're in the car and want to talk to another driver knowing there's not a chance in hell they can hear you but you still feel the need to communicate. I use "mouthing" frequently. Usually to mouth the words "I'm sorry" after making the dreaded "left hand turn into oncoming traffic", misjudging the distance, and forcing the guy in the blue Dodge Ram pickup to slam on his brakes and lay long black skid marks on the road in order to avoid t-boning me. I also try to accompany this "mouthing" with an appropriately sheepish look. Sort of, my bad, I know. It is, after all, the polite thing to do.

Next on my journey is another left hand turn, however this one is from a designated left hand turn lane so I only need to worry about traffic coming one way, hence, this is different from the dreaded turn. As fate would allow, now I'm the schmuck mouthing obscenities, stuck behind a little old lady in a beige Cadillac who is waiting patiently, hands on the wheel at ten and two, for the oncoming car that is CLEARLY two miles down the road. Another kindred spirit of sorts, this blue headed, pin curled, old lady (whom I would resemble without the constant attention of Crazy D, my hairdresser), but it's only in the recalling that I notice this. At the time I'm Impatient Patty because, dammit, I'm driving and I'm in a hurry. And it is all about me.Finally after years of waiting, she goes. About fucking time, lady (I mouth)...I don't think she noticed.

On my way again and clear sailing. One more left hand turn at where I'm delighted to be the only soul on the road and I now have a straight shot of roadway punctuated by a couple of stop lights, which have their place in my love/hate catalog of traffic annoyances, followed by the always welcomed right hand turns.

Say what you will but I love Walmart. They're cheaper than anywhere else and they always have an entertaining, albeit annoying at times, group of customers and employees. I get what I need and go.

Now I'm at a stop light to make a right hand turn. The light is red but I can still turn right as soon as Mr. Crappy Brown Ford P/U gets through the intersection. Oh, nice one Mr. Crappy Brown Ford P/U, no turn signal to let me know that you weren't going through the intersection but planned all along to turn right...I waited for nothing. Now I'm stuck, thanks to you, you moron, waiting for everyone across the intersection to take advantage of their now green left turn only light. In truth, my exact words were, "nice blinker you fucking moron". Which is actually pretty mild...for me.

Onward I travel. The next stop is blissfully uneventful. I get my groceries and head home. Now I'm on a mission. Since I now have ice cream it's full steam ahead, lest the ice cream start to thaw. If you're a true ice cream lover, that is the last thing you put in your cart before checkout. Partial thawing and re-freezing results in those horrible ice crystals. Take heart though, should find yourself stuck with crystallized ice cream, you can still use it to make milkshakes.

All in all, not a bad start to the day. There was one lady in a white Toyota who pulled out in front of me causing me to slam on my brakes, but since I didn't have an open soda at my lips ready to take a swig, there wasn't much drama. But the real reason I didn't get upset is because she had the common courtesy to mouth "I'm sorry" and look sheepish, to which I mouthed "It's okay" and waived.

Now, while I'm aware that my behavior is totally ridiculous, I kind of don't really care because I'm in the privacy of my own vehicle. I don't shout out the windows or make rude hand gestures of the middle finger variety, so for all anyone really knows, I'm just singing along with the radio. I may be turning the air blue inside my car with my verbal assaults on unsuspecting motorists but NOBODY KNOWS BUT ME. Okay, I'm probably offending God, but I bet He understands. It's the stoopidist thing...