Thursday, August 31, 2006

Oops, I Did It Again, But Very Slowly And Intentionally This Time.

Sometime last year I may have briefly mentioned that I once flipped the bird at a cop in an unmarked police car. He waited until he could get behind me, then flipped his lights on and scared the shit out of me.

Then he let me go, and I vowed to relax already, no matter how hellish the DC are traffic may get.

And I did! Truly. For the past three years, commuting has been a much calmer exprerience. Sure, I still cried once or twice when people were nasty for no reason, but the general hatred was gone. And committing myself to books-on-CD really helped, I must say. Now when someone honks at me I'm all, "QUIET! Aron is just about to find out that his mother, Cathy/Catherine/Kate, is a total prostitute! And in despair he will join the army WITHOUT CAREFULLY THINKING ABOUT IT FIRST."*

But today, I slipped.

Time: 5:45 p.m.

Destination: Home sweet home.

I had just gotten off the highway. Soon after, I have to quickly merge two lanes to the left in order to make the next left turn. Traffic was backed up, but I saw an opportunity to merge. I put on my blinker, waved thanks to the guy who was letting me in, and started to move over.

But the traffic was backed up, and the car in front of me stopped two cars lengths away from the car in front of him, as many drivers inexplicably do.

(Why do they do this? WHY?)

(Oh, right. It's inexplicable.)

This meant that I couldn't complete my lane change. The rear of my car was partially blocking the right lane for oh, approximately three seconds, while the traffic up ahead started to move again.

One-one-thousand, two-one-thousand, three--

A huge SUV in the right lane hit the horn lengthily behind me. He whipped his car around mine, pulled up next to me, leaned out the window, and yelled,


So undeserved was this verbal assault, I turned slowly toward him with my mouth open in suprise.

"WHAT THE FUCK?" he screamed.

He was old enough to be my father. Expensive, shiny SUV. Shirt and tie. Graying hair and wire-rimmed glasses. Screaming obscenities at a woman with a DOG IS LOVE bumper sticker on her car.


Mouth still open, I very calmly cocked my head to the left, lifted my hand, and slowly extended my middle finger as far as it would go.

I thought his eyes were going to explode.

Traffic was moving again, so I again waved thanks to the car that let me in and continued down the road. This asshole crept along beside me so he could continue to scream at me, hanging out the window the entire time. Suffice it to say that the main themes were "fuck you" and "bitch".

Guess he wasn't in such a great big hurry after all.

Upon entering my neighborhood, even the sight of more young Mormons patrolling my street wasn't enough to wipe the grin off my face. I even hung around in front of the house for a few minutes, chatting with a neighbor and tempting fate, but the boys on bikes didn't approach me.

I took this as a sign.

A sign that God gave me a nice, long middle finger for a reason.

*one of my favorite books


Blogger Bearette24 said...

I was all, "Wow, what book is that?" until i got to the bottom. that did rock. i liked how cathy/catherine/kate/whatnot was so evil.

that guy sounds really scary! talk about venom.

11:19 PM  
Blogger Roxanne said...

Do you think the traffic is any better in Florida? ;)

11:35 PM  
Blogger Roxanne said...

I think the title of this post is what Brittney said when she found out she was pregnant again.

11:36 PM  
Blogger Liz said...

Bearette- I can't count the number of times I've read it. I also love Grapes of Wrath.

Roxanne- the traffic was better in Florida. People don't seem as angry there... must be all the orange juice they're drinking.

9:07 AM  
Blogger His suzy said...

I will never understand how someone can get so angry and worked up about something that, ultimately, doesn't matter.

Maybe he just needs to get laid. lol

9:21 AM  
Blogger Reighnie said...

When stuff like that happens,I used to get mad, now I just figure someone is having a bad day.

That is unless the person is truly an ass, then I just smile and wave and I just keep smiling or I laugh a little depending on how angry the other person is getting.

It's funny, you can really piss someone off by smiling and laughing more than if you were yelling back at them. Especially if they are really really angry.

10:15 AM  
Blogger Liz said...

Reighnie- I think you're right! I can ignore honking. But he was hanging out the window screaming at me, and I looked before I could stop myself. Even as my head was turning I was thinking, "DO NOT LOOK."

10:33 AM  
Blogger Liz said...

But after the middle finger I did smile serenely and ignore him as he followed beside me.

10:40 AM  
Blogger Frema said...

Something similar happened to me last month--traffic was crawling along, so I wasn't going the normal speed limit and allowed a bit of breathing room between me and the car ahead. Not car spaces, mind you, but the guy behind me was still pissed enough to pull into the right lane and start screaming obscenities, so I flipped him off and yelled "Fuck you!" Even though my windows were rolled up, he got the message and then got even madder. After that I kept my eyes straight ahead, but I was shaking the whole time. I HATE confrontations like that.

3:25 PM  
Blogger Liz said...

Fortunately the road ragers are the exception, and not the rule.

By the way, I told my mother about this on the phone last night, and she told my pop. He called me at work today to say he loves me and that it's dangerous to flip the bird at people. I completely agree. But guess who did just that when he was teaching me how to drive?


4:55 PM  
Blogger Reighnie said...

When I was five my uncle taught me how to flip the bird. He held my little fingers in position and told me to do that when someone made me mad.

Flash forward to two days later, I was in the car with my grandpa when someone honked at him. I figured it was as good of time as any so I proudly produced it out the window to have my grandpa nearly have a heart attack.

My Uncle got in soooo much trouble but I guess he thought it was worth it.


10:39 PM  
Blogger mjd said...

Your ending made me laugh out loud.

" I took this as a sign.

A sign that God gave me a nice, long middle finger for a reason."

Very funny...

My niece was actually arrested for flipping off a cop. She eventually was let go. It was decided that she was just exercising her First Amendment rights.

5:20 PM  
Blogger Carolyn said...

Heh heh heh. I bet you ruined the rest of his day. Good for you!

11:49 PM  
Blogger Liz said...

mjd- First amendment rights! I'll use that if I ever flip off another undercover cop. Although really, my goal is to never do it again. Sometimes that finger just has a mind of its own.

Carolyn, I can't imagine that anyone so angry ever has a good day...

4:22 PM  

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