Driving Under The Influence Of Grumps

I now know why road rage happens.

After four hours straight of being whined at, snapped at, complained to, cried on, demanded of, crawled up, loaded down and dumped on by a grumpy husband and a grumpy son, I was cut off by a supreme idiot of a driver who decided that crossing four lanes of traffic head-on three car-lengths from an intersection, because the bird’s eye view from a gas station with a one-way exit going one way to the Starbucks with a one-way entrance going the other way was really the smartest thing to do.

In lieu of being able to express oneself honestly, voluminously and creatively to those one loves best but who occasionally none-the-less deserve it most, we as a society have decided it most proper to scream our heads off at complete strangers on the road.

Trust me, this morning, if I’d had a weapon handy (that wouldn’t have resulted in denting my own car), I might not have hesitated all that much in using it.

I am not a drama queen. I seek things like warmth and comfort and peace and quiet, and consider an uninterrupted hour to myself an all-too-rare gift. And yet, drama, of late, has attached itself to me with super velcro power. I now spend my days (and nights) cleaning up other peoples’ messes. At work. At home. In the car. Via e-mail. Via credit card. Via hugs. Via curses.

And all of these messy people, every single one, seem not to have the wit to wonder that perhaps their behaviour has costs not borne solely by them.

Road rage, I’ve come to realize, is the effect of being overwhelmingly harried by the familar, leaving the only permissible outlet losing it with total strangers.

I think the sight of a child’s car seat in the back of a car, a Winnie-the-Pooh sunshade, a Baby-On-Board sign, or any other indicator that a young child might live in the driver’s household should be a reminder to drive a bit more carfeully around that particular car – not because the cargo is precious, but because the driver would very, very much like to turn you into playdough.


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