Short Stories - non fiction

Road Rage

I was driving to work, minding my own business, when I had an unfortunate encounter with road rage. The route that I take weaves through a suburban area with a school zone. The route has a lot of traffic calming measures including signs which flash if you exceed the speed limit. I am mindful of my speed. I have been pulled over and ticketed before, which makes me even more aware. Plus, there is a steady flow of traffic, so there is no room for going faster than the person in front of you. So this commuter OC Transpo bus pulls over to let off one passenger, and the car in front of me manages to pass the bus. The bus was ready to pull back out, so I couldn’t zoom past him. I suppose if I was more of a chance taker, and certainly if I was the person driving the car behind me, I could have hit the gas and pulled ahead. But I am not that guy. In any event, I made the decision to be a courteous driver and I allowed the bus to pull out. Actually following traffic regulations by yielding. This made the person in the vehicle behind me lose his temper and in order to demonstrate to the world just how unhappy he was, he leaned on the horn. I guess I wasn’t at all surprised as this person had been tailgating me, and I could tell by his body language that he was agitated. I could also see that his passenger looked rather disgruntled. I am sure it is a real drag to commute with this hot head on a daily basis. She had a “Calgon take me away” look on her face. In any event, the horn blowing caused me to do something that I can’t ever remember doing before. I gave him the finger. I did so in a very decisive and deliberate manner. It felt so right that I let the middle finger linger. I gave him the linger finger. It was exactly what he needed to go off of the deep edge. As soon as I was able, I pulled over to let him pass. It was like I had just freed a wild animal. He zoomed past me full speed ahead. It was a strange and random encounter which left me feeling slightly shaken up. However I would not handle any part of it any other way. Road rage does not change people’s driving habits. All it does is aggravate yourself and everyone around you. I do apologize to the female passenger for “setting off” the hot headed driver. However she may want to rethink her commmuting plans.

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