So in all my years living in the hustle-and-bustle city, I never had anyone get nutty on the roads — at least not in my presence. Though I was present for the guy that shut down the DC area with his “I’m going to jump, I’m not kidding!” act on the Wilson Bridge. The police eventually shot him off the bridge, because you can only take so much bad traffic before someone snaps!
Well since moving to the tranquil ‘burbs last winter, I’ve had not one but two incidents of traffic-related craziness personally involving me:
1.) About three weeks ago, I’m at the head of the line in a left turn lane. The moment the light turns, the lady behind me leans on her horn (yep, one of those). It had been a crappy day and I was in a bad mood so I flipped her off as I drove away. You guessed it — the little old lady from Pasadena (well, more like the middle-aged DINK from Burke) chased me to the carside-to-go window, blocked me in and got out of her car to come over and yell at me. Apparently not in too much of a hurry to take time out for all that — and with the carside waitress as a witness, no less.
2.) This afternoon I was practicing one of the perks of motorcycling — using the shoulder to “extend” the turning lane so I don’t have to wait two extra cycles of the light to get into my neighborhood. I hear someone tapping their horn at me as I go by, think nothing of it. As I pause at the foot of my driveway to trigger the garage door, I hear …the same horn again. It’s a gold Chevy Cavalier with a blond guy behind the wheel. He slows down as he passes by, then makes a U-turn and comes by again, still honking.
Two observations. First, where the f–k did I move to?? Second, what kind of idiot chases down a random vehicle that, for all they know, is piloted by a heavily-armed psycho? Or a perfectly normal human who will react accordingly to such a threatening gesture… just something to keep in mind.
I almost got taken out this afternoon by a vehicle that was definitely not where it should have been. I was doing what I often do on the way home from the office–driving eastbound on Pennsylvania Ave, trying to find someplace to legally make a left and a right to turn around and go west, towards the river. Because there was a lot of traffic, I got pushed past where I usually turn, and reached a spot I’ve only seen once before. In this spot, at this time of day, there is virtually never any oncoming traffic. The last time I came past it, traveling in the left lane, someone pulled out and passed me on the left …yes, in the oncoming lane.
Today when I finally located a good turning spot and put my signal on, guess what. Yep, some asshat pulls out on my left. I spotted him, said wtf and hit the brakes, and heard a scary-yet-satisfying sound of squealing tires from behind me. I finished my turn and went on my way without incident, but I have rarely been that angry at someone else on the road. Amused, blown away, smugly satisfied in my own superiority, yes. But angry–this is a first. I guess I have to just assume people will do something reckless and stupid like that, since that’s 100% of the times I’ve been in that spot and seen them do it.