Road Rage - August 6, 2012

(Reconditioning Batteries)

I was just at the drive though ATM of my credit union, and I noticed I had been waiting in line far too long. I look at the newer model Hyundai in front of me that is parked next to the ATM, and the driver, a middle aged man with a button down shirt and glasses, is just sitting there reading his receipt like it was a novel. I wait another minute or so because I'm fairly patient when it comes to things like that (I space out all the time), and when he didn't budge, I tapped my steering wheel as to give a little chirp of the horn instead of a blaring "fuck you" horn and causing an altercation my pre-coffee sensibilities just weren't ready for.


He didn't move. At this point the gears in my caffeine deprived rusty brain mechanism begin rotating. "Is this guy just oblivious or does he totally not care that he's inconveniencing the cars behind him? How interesting could a receipt be that you would do this?" I look behind me and apparently I was the only other car in line. I look back, and he's still pouring over his receipt. I continued to wait. "No, he can't be oblivious. He's at a drive through ATM. Who would just sit there, even if there was no line? Somebody would eventually pull up. This guy is an asshole. Don't make it more complicated than it is. There's nothing else to it."


At this he put the "receipt to end all receipts" down and slowly crept away. Breathing a sigh of relief, I pulled up to the ATM, made a withdrawal that took all of 57 seconds and left. The incident was immediately scrubbed from my brain and replaced with base, manly thoughts such as "coffee is good" and "I think I might poop when I get home".
As I pulled up to a two lane red light on 33 heading back into town, a car pulled up to me in the adjacent lane -- the Hyundai -- and stopped. I looked over, and the middle aged man had a white knuckled 10 and 2 grip on his steering wheel and was making a face that could only be described as "illogically aggressive". Amused by this guy's bizarre behavior, I turned back to face the light and turned up the Riff Raff song that was playing on my stereo.


The Hyundai's motor revved up, which was weird because we were still at a stop light. I ignored it and continued to nod my head to the musical stylings of Houston hip hop's favorite codeine addled ginger.


"Holy shit. This guy wants to race me. A 50 year old dude in a Hyundai wants to race me."

There was no doubt about it. The motor of his Hyundai kept revving higher and higher, to the point I thought a piston was going to shoot through his hood and kiss the sun.

I'm 32 years old and I drive like an elderly woman trying to navigate through a grocery store parking lot, so I had no idea what this older man, who looked so painfully normal on the outside given his sensible car, wardrobe and glasses, was trying to prove. He looked like he was on his way to some dull cubicle job where he counted widgets or created SOP manuals for break room amenities like Keurig coffee makers or microwaves. On the outside, he looked like a guy who made office memos with PowerPoint clip art and absolutely loved it. On the inside, he was clearly a seething cauldron of hatred who wanted nothing more than to blow me off the line and "show me who's boss", or whatever his goal was.

Clearly, I wasn't going to race him. I got that shit out of my system in my late teens, when the height of entertainment was beating a Corvette off the line in my little '83 Volkswagen Rabbit. I'm an adult. Why would I risk the points on my license and the higher monthly insurance payment? No, I'm just going to let this guy pass me and --

The light turned green, and without any conscious decision on my part, my foot crammed down on the gas pedal of my Jeep like I was trying to escape a fiery gasoline tanker that was tumbling toward me from behind. It was almost as if Teenager Mike just couldn't let the shame of being taken off the line by an old dude in a Hyundai befall Adult Mike, and he commandeered the wheel to ensure that. The Hyundai's motor whined next to me, but the middle aged man gradually drifted behind, unable to keep up. I mean, it was a fucking Hyundai. What other possible outcome could there have been?

Before I knew it, I was at the part of 33 that merges from two lanes to one. I slowed back down and checked my rear view mirror. He was tailgating me pretty tightly, so I had a good view of his face and the unbridled rage that was building in it. I couldn't stop laughing. The more his face contorted, the harder I laughed. It was 8:00 on a gorgeous summer morning in New England, and I was watching a middle aged man devolve into a soulless, frothing berserker right before my eyes.

Without warning, he began beating on his steering wheel and dash with the rhythmic left-right-one-two-left-right pounding you would see in a National Geographic film where a baboon was performing the death drum on the chest of his murdered adversary. His horn would occasionally be struck, letting out a staggered, erratic chirping that made his emotional breakdown that much more entertaining. At that point I was in tears with laughter. My stomach muscles were exhausted and I was out of breath. There was no way the situation could get any funnier. That's when he let out a scream.


It was unlike any scream I've heard in my short life. Normally when you're mad, you swear or belt out something like a "RAHHHHH!!!" or a "AAAAAAAHHHHHH!!!". This was more like a combination of an old "aoogah" sounding car horn on a Model T and the sound a tugboat's air horn would make if you stuffed an oily rag into it. It was the single funniest sound I've ever heard a human being make in my life, and the raw anger that fueled its sounding made it eleven times funnier. I was done. It was too hilarious for a single person to ingest in one sitting. I laughed so hard I started coughing, and was only able to stop when I realized I might shit myself if I kept it up.
I eventually turned right on Peverly Hill Road, and the man in the Hyundai went straight through the lights toward Middle Road, and that's where we parted ways.

So how's your morning going?

Posted by KungFu Mike at 7:19 AM

Print Friendly ·  ·  ·  · 

Trackback Pings

TrackBack URL for this entry:

Comment Policy:

Anonymous comments are allowed. All anonymous comments and comments from those not registered with are moderated. They WILL NOT appear until they are read and approved by a moderator.

It is strongly encouraged that you sign up and login with a account. Once you do that, your comments will be immediately posted.


Nice to see you posting again, Mike!

Posted by: Mike at August 7, 2012 08:05 AM

Wow this made me laugh so you made my morning.

- Matt

Posted by: Matt at August 13, 2012 07:19 AM

Took 3 years but glad to finally see some new stuff here. And pretty damn funny to boot

Posted by: Johnny Truant at September 8, 2012 08:38 PM

Post a comment

Remember Me?

(you may use HTML tags for style)