Remember that story in the news a few years ago where a man was so overtaken with road rage that he grabbed a dog from a woman's car and threw it into oncoming traffic, killing it? Well, I'm not saying I agree with his actions or that I would do the same, but I'm also not about to proclaim myself as part of Team Fluffy or whatever the hell that damn dog's name was. (May he/she rest in peace in doggy heaven. Ha! Can't touch me, PETA!)
Like shit, road rage happens. And it happens to the best of us. I have been flipped off by an old man (and for the record, liver spots on your middle finger can happen) and told to "FUCKING YIELD!!!" by a hippie driving a VW bus. Maybe you're thinking, "Gee, you're probably just a bad driver." Well I am. But that has (almost) nothing to do with it. The blind anger one acquires from the pressures of driving - commonly referred to as Road Rage - is non-discriminatory and blame is never self-appointed.
Just the other morning I set out to pick up a friend who lives about a half mile away from me. We had plans for a very important game of paintball. The sun was shinning; birds were singing; if a cartoon Smurf had skipped by me on my way to my car, I probably wouldn't have even thought twice about it. I started the car and began to turn around in the direction of my friend's house. But I couldn't turn around. That's when I noticed a steady stream of spandex-clad runners coming around the corner towards me. A marathon. (I was later informed -by my very unsympathetic friends, I might add - that (duh!) this was Oakland's first marathon in 25 years and had been widely publicized.)
The entire side of the street going in the opposite direction was sectioned off for at least my block so I went around the back, planning to turn onto the street at the next intersection. But my smugness was short-lived when I realized that this entrance was blocked as well. In fact, the entire way to my friend's house was closed.
Feeling slightly less Smurfy, but still in decent spirits, I turned around and began driving in the longer route to my friend's. This route required making a left into downtown. But I couldn't make a left. Anywhere. Desperately, I leaned out my window only to see a line of cars for miles and miles - going straight, not left.
To make things worse, the world outside my vehicle of torture was disgustingly perky. Toned men and women ran jauntily by as families waved and cheered.
"Iwanttomakeafuckingleft." I gritted through my teeth, glaring at a little girl eating an ice cream cone, little shit.
By sheer luck, I had a (somewhat aggressive) friend's DMX cd in my player. I turned it up to full blast, shaking my mom's little old Camry with lyrics like "BITCH!" and "MOTHA FUCKA!" Apparently, DMX doesn't believe in inside voices or the letter "r". I scowled at the good citizens lining the street, probably looking more like a Sour Patch Kid than an intimidating gangsta. One policeman directing traffic looked over his shoulder at me suspiciously. I of course panicked, quickly turning down the volume and suddenly becoming very concerned with an imaginary situation in front of me. Once safely by him, I (cautiously) turned back up the stereo and went back to my scowling. (That's right. Who's gangsta now, biatch?)
Somewhere in my fury, my friend called and we decided it would be much easier for me to pick him up at a BART station on the outskirts of town. (This was after he referred to me as Godzilla.) By that time I reached him, I had calmed down and made it with out killing any one's dog. Yes, the streets were safe from my wrath for one more day.
*Oh. I forgot to mention that, due to my small size, I can hardly see over the dashboard. So, as I cruised menacingly through the streets of Oakland I either a) looked like I was riding really low and dirty b) looked like an angry forehead on top of a steering wheel or c) looked like nothing at all because no one could see me.