I took a trip into school yesterday to get a feel for what awaits me in the classroom --- that didn't exactly make me happy, but hey, I keep telling myself that it can only go up from here. I have no clue what I have with regards to glassware, what of it I should keep since a lot of it has chemicals etched into the glass, things are put away in no particular order, and I have no sense of what this guy was up to, though he didn't lack for stuff to do it with, some of it over 40 years old.
But that's not what I'm here to report, no, it's another incident of road rage. That makes two in the last two months, the last time was in early June, and I'm beginning to wonder if I should be really concerned about living, or at least driving here in Rhode Island. The problem with this incident is that for the life of me I have zero clue as to what brought it on. I hadn't done anything as near as I could tell. Of course that doesn't exclude the possibility that I did something very reckless or potentially dangerous and wasn't mindful of it, but that's not my normal modus operandi and as a rule of thumb if I've done something dumb I'm pretty much aware of it.
I'm driving on route 1 north, heading home, and I hear someone beeping their horn as we all come to a stop light. I look to my right and there's a black pick up truck, driven by a redneck-looking guy who's very agitated and sticking his head out his window to yell somewhat apoplectically at me, "You better learn how to drive!" I'm a bit stunned, I have no clue what has
brought this on. I suppose my next response wasn't especially helpful as, noticing the light changing, I nod my head yes, and raise my right hand and flutter my fingers at him as if to say, "Toodles!", and then pull away. He wasn't going to have any of this, no siree, so the next thing I hear is a mild thud against the back of my car --- he threw his chicken salad sandwich at the
back of my car! I can see pieces of lettuce and streaks of mayo, and some particulate matter that I was later able to make out to be something akin to chicken, splayed across my back window.
Fortunately I had a good lead on him, at least three cars, because it was pretty clear that he was looking to get up behind me. At one point he went so far as to almost drive around the car behind me by passing it on the left hand side --- mind you, we were all in the left lane at that point so there wasn't any "road" to pass on. I made my way over to the right hand lane where I could wedge myself into other cars to avoid this Neanderthal, and as it turned out the traffic flow was such that he wasn't able to get over to where I was, instead finding himself passing me by, which I'd guess was what I had somehow stopped him from doing earlier without being aware of it.
As I watch this cretin turn off the road to get to wherever his presence was so urgently required, I'm sitting there thinking to myself "What in the world did I do that merited someone throwing their lunch at me? And "I'm" the bad driver? This butthead is dining and driving, throwing leftovers at whomever pisses him off, and making a general road nuisance of himself all in one fell swoop."
There's no accounting for someone like this, they just happen to you like the dog turd you step in when you're not watching. This time I kept my presence of mind, though the finger fluttering (I never showed a curse finger at anytime) likely didn't help --- he probably considered this my being disrespectful after he so kindly attempted to correct my driving skills. I was mindful of the ever ready cell phone, and made a point of taking his license plate down as he was forced to move ahead of me, so I was prepared to deal with this more sensibly and likely with a more satisfactory resolution than the first time should it have come down to that. But really, what in the world is it that causes people to act like this? It's ridiculous, you can't control your rage, you let yourself get angry over something that on the whole you should assume happened without the least bit deliberateness to you, i.e. the other person may have done something stupid but there's no reason to think it was done solely for your benefit and therefore there's zero reason to take it personally. Or maybe finger flutters are more derogatory and nasty than I ever thought --- I better learn to control those fingers. Let me tell you, mayonnaise cooked onto your back window in the summer sun is a pain in the butt to clean off.