Writing is like being able to put life into a snow globe. It takes the things that are too big and scary and reduces them into a form that I can put away when I want and look at from a distance. It also takes all that’s good in life and captures it into something I can take out when I want and look at close up and keep forever. It makes the bad things into something I can hold…and the good things into something I can hold onto. Both help so much that I need that little souvenir of life.
Sunday, May 6, 2012
Improper Poll: Road Rage
Last week I also mentioned my Sad Head Shaking gesture that I use in traffic and how it once almost got me attacked. I realized the effectiveness of the Sad Head Shake when I was a teenaged driver and did something stupid in traffic. I don’t remember what it was, but I do remember the way a man sadly shook his head at it.
It was a shaming gesture, and I was much more horrified than if he’d behaved angrily.
From then on I promised myself I would A.) drive more carefully, and B.) use the Sad Head Shake myself whenever the opportunity arose.
That opportunity has arisen many times since then. One of those times was when I was taking my son to pick out college bedding and supplies. We had to make a left into the bedding store, so I was in the left lane and driving exactly the speed limit. My son later corroborated this. But it was clear by the way the guy behind me was riding my bumper that he wanted me to go faster.
Normally I’d just let him pass, but I don’t usually drive in the left lane without a reason, and my turn was coming up. So the kid—who was somewhere around my son’s age or early twenties—screeched into the slow lane, passed me on the right, then angrily swung back in front of me.
I did the Sad Head Shake. I might have laughed a little, too, because my son made a funny comment about people who drive like idjuts.
It was right at that point that I pulled into the left turn lane, and so did Screeching Guy just ahead of me. And then this boy who was so anxious to get somewhere slammed on his brakes, parked his car right there in the turn lane, and got out and started heading toward my car.
Have I ever mentioned that I seem to attract crazies? I do. Always have. And this was not the first time a crazy guy has come after me in a car, so I’ve had some practice. I put my hand on the horn and left it there. It was the middle of the day and traffic was fairly heavy, so we were attracting a lot of attention. But it was when my son was obviously calling police on his cell that the kid thought the better of it and went back to his car and left. At least he didn’t appear to have any weapons that we could see.
So we opted not to call police. In the big picture, it was almost worth the bonding experience with my son; we talked about it for ages. “Remember that crazy guy…?”
Powerful stuff, the Sad Head Shake. Do you have a favorite traffic gesture? And have you ever experience road rage?