Tuesday, September 17, 2013

road rage

We went into the city yesterday to do two small quick little jobs. The two of them took about four hours and the people came and picked them up all on the same day and we packed up to skedaddle back home. Then I remembered that I needed to find some previous art work for the full size drawing I have to do this week before we head back next week to do that job so it took me about half an hour to rummage through years of drawings until I found the one I wanted.

Of course, that put us leaving at rush hour but it's really not so bad as we get on the HOV lane and generally whiz right by the main lanes. Until we get to the Brazos River that is.

The HOV lane peters out, dumping us into the far left lane and before we get to the bridge over the river, the 5 lane highway narrows down to two lanes. We merge into what then becomes the left lane, cross the river and continue on our way.

There are two entrances onto the highway after the river and before the exit for Rosenburg/Richmond, two towns that have merged and will soon be butted up to Sugar Land (so named because there used to be a big sugar factory there) which used to be a small town until it became a chichi suburb of Houston.

Once past Rosenburg, it's another 30 minutes to home in Wharton.

So we are in the left lane, going faster than the traffic in the right lane, which is pretty full because of the merging from the two entrance ramps and because a lot of commuters exit there at Rosenburg, maintaining our speed when this guy in a white pick-up truck comes up behind us, tailgating us, and gesturing for us to move over, move over into the slow lane where there was another truck next to us.

Since we are still moving faster than the traffic on the right and moving as fast as the traffic in front of us, we stay put. When a gap opens up, he whips in, sticks his head out his window yelling and cursing at us as he passes, and then whips back right in front of us in the left lane and hits his brake.

He's angrily waving his arm out the window and finally lifts it up in the international gesture of 'fuck you', hits the gas, passes a couple of cars on the right and then moves into the right hand lane and about a half mile later he slows to a crawl joining the long line of cars exiting for Rosenburg and it's his exit. Because of the light there, and the time of day, he is barely off the highway when we pass him honking and waving.

The guy had a freaking peace sign on his rear windshield.

OK. Maybe he had a hard day and just wanted to get home, I get that. But really, what was the point of all that anger and childishness when his exit was a half mile down the road and our getting out of his way, even if we could have, would have made zero difference.


  1. i hope he just had a helluva day and that's not his normal way of commuting. :)

  2. I'm sure you interpreted his gestures accurately, but it got me thinking how I can't come up with a gesture that means "my bad" that doesn't look sort of aggressive. I'm gesture-challenged. Once I tried the both-hands-clapping-on-my-mouth apology, and knocked my glasses off.

    This is one reason I shouldn't eat ice cream cones.

  3. Maybe he was having a heart attack. Or someone he knows was having a heart attack.

    It IS interesting how merely being in a car makes us feel hurried and protected enough to display outrage at the people around us -- something we would probably never do if we were on foot.

  4. Although I do get damn frustrated with slow pedestrians, let me just say...

  5. I have seen Mr. Man turn from docile to insane as soon as he gets in his car. He becomes - that guy! Everyone is an idiot and "I don't have time for this..." From behind the wheel I, too, have called somebody a " fuggin twinkie dude!" - feeling as though I am right and they are wrong and they should be chastised! There was a cartoon in the way back- Goofy driving- it was to be an educational film about rules of the road and was right on! Goofy lost his temper HARD! the consequences- instant karma! and Goofy looked...well, GOOFY!
    Your crazed dude had to get nowhere fast, by god!!!

  6. This is why I listen to audio books - because I can get pretty darn cranky otherwise. Although I do try to have good sense & not rage at people who can't really get out of my way :)

  7. I really try to think "they must have an emergency" or some such thought when someone is in a major, fervent hurry to get by, and I can settle ill thoughts about them with that. But when he turns and gestures to you.. all bets are off. He's just a jerk. That's not what someone does when they're in a stressful situation and rushing to get somewhere important. There's no explaining such a jerk. He just is. Don't let him take any more from your day and thoughts than he already has.

  8. I usually try to imagine that they've gotta poop or something...

    But some people are rude -- and once they are behind the wheel of something much larger than themselves, dangerous.


  9. A peace sign in his window? Good lord.

    My acupuncturist would say he suffered from liver fire. He was out of control for sure. I'm glad you weren't injured.

  10. I love the peace sign part. I used to have a neighbor that way. I forgot to tell you--in response to your latest post--that I share your love of ornamental grass. I have five clumps of miscanthus sinensis, a grass that is beautiful for eight months of the year, and, sad to say, dead to the ground, the other four.

  11. Road rage is beyond me. It is totally inexcusable and I cannot fathom why those drivers (who behave so erratically themselves) actually believe they are better/saner drivers than anyone else.


I opened my big mouth, now it's your turn.