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I would love to have found an organization called the Ticked-off Drivers Association. It would have been dedicated to soothing the wounds of all those drivers who get ticked off at others who are clever enough to drive the speed limit, or who are not driving fast enough to make the ticked-offs happy, or who just happen to be in the way of a ticked-off who is running late and was too ninnyhammer to have left a little earlier to begin with.
I was coming home the other day when a woman drove up behind me and beeped her horn. I couldn’t figure out what her problem was, because although I was driving in the passing lane, I was doing so at the proper speed and could not get over due to the heavy line of traffic in that lane. Needless to say, she could not either, but she decided to beep and even did so a second time.
I was feeling a little devilish that day, so I decided to slow down to 10 miles below the speed limit. We were at the light by now, so I really had her where I wanted her. She beeped for the third time. When the light changed, I crawled through the intersection. The traffic on the right was moving a bit faster now, but I continued to crawl anyway. Eventually, she was able to get around me, and I proceeded to speed up.
Two days later, while I was once again in the left lane, a BMW convertible sport came speeding up behind me. But instead of beeping, he cut into the center lane designated for left turns, then cut back in front of me and proceeded to go through the red light. Had a cop been on the scene, he could have made his quota.
Now it is rare for me to encounter three ticked-offs in the same week, not to mention two on the same day. But that’s what happened, because as soon as Mr. BMW was out of the way, another car, speeding, came up behind me and started to blow. However, he was a little more successful than Ms. Beep, Beep. He was able to get into the slow lane and then back to the passing lane, but just one car ahead. He was really ticked: bulging eyes, fiery dragon’s breath and insanity, profanity untold. Oh, in case you’re wondering, it is possible to see a dragon’s breath.
But what had we here? By the next light, the traffic had stopped, and there was Mr. Dragon, fuming behind the 15 cars ahead of him. As I passed him, I thought about flipping him the bird, but I doubt that he would have noticed. The cabin of his jet-mobile was so steamed up, he could hardly see through the window shield. Finally, as I was turning the corner, there was Mr. BMW, right in front of me.
I wonder why Americans are always in such a hurry. It seems we have been on this trek since the invention of every technology known to man. Perhaps a good way to assess a country’s level of public insanity is to observe the way its people drive.
I usually hesitate now, when the signal changes, to give the ticked-offs a chance to speed through the red light – but only to be stopped by the next. I laugh about Ms. Beep, Beep, Mr. BMW and Mr. Dragon. I’m sure in their own ways they are quite the people to know. Perhaps their patience wears a little thin at times, so who better to punish than the driver who observes the speed limit?
The ticked-offs are really sad. They fail to realize that the driver who observes and complies might be the one who is saving their lives.