You Think I’m Fat? Well, you can’t drive!

So, I started it. I admit it. I could have just let the bad driving move go without responding, and it would have been as if it never happened. Instead I started a road rage ritual that ended strangely.

So, here’s the scene: I’m driving on a 4 lane road here on the west side of Syracuse, going west in the inside lane. It was about 11am, and there was a lot of traffic. I tend to drive right on the speed limit, or even a little bit below (I was being tailgated immediately prior to this little episode). As I approach a green light, a BMW enters the road very slowly from a parking lot on the right, and quite near the green light. The BMW is probably going 10mph, and drives across the outside lane to turn into the inside lane, cutting me off. I hit the brakes as I approach the green light and say to Joy, “what’s this guy doing?” as I stop nearly on his bumper. I think, maybe, he was stopping at the green light because he wanted to get into the left turn lane which was already handling more cars than for which it had space. You have to go with the traffic, though, you can’t just make up your own rules of the road. What’s the point of laws and norms, right? I could have just stopped, and the guy’s act would have had little or no meaning in our insignificant interaction, but instead I blew my horn and intensified our engagement. Joy said the honk was ‘excessive,’ but I don’t know about that. What’s the point of the horn, otherwise? I have to make it clear he’s breaking the rules! A honk of the horn can mean almost anything, right? This called for a little ‘laying it on’ to make clear my disgust!

So, the 50ish white male driver starts to go. He goes very slowly, maybe 15mph, and he flips me off as we go through the intersection. So, I returned in kind as we drove on to the next light. That’s a significant symbol if there ever was one. As we drive, he’s staring at me through his left side mirror, so I smiled and waived. At the next light he got into the left turn lane, and as I was going straight, I ended up driving past him.

My windows were down on this beautiful day. I guess he didn’t like the smile I gave him through his mirror because as I pass the guy yells, “lose some weight!”

Lose some weight? What? This was not what I expected. I said to Joy, “what a bully.” I don’t know if that’s the right term, but I have to say that was a remarkably quick determination of one of my sensitive spots. It’s almost as if he knew my shorts felt tight as I put them on this morning.

I spent the rest of the trip, and really a lot of the day, thinking about this confusing end to our little road rage ritual. This middle aged guy in a BMW (I hope it was a 3 Series, but I didn’t think to look) obliviously stopping in front of me at a green light, and then intentionally driving dangerously below the speed limit after he cut me off, and then he calls me fat? What?

I don’t know readers, can you make any sense of this?

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5 comments

  1. Obvious sense of entitlement.

    Let me give you an idea into this guys self inflated ego, as I have a brother in law who seems similar. Do you know what he told me once maybe 20 years ago and I never forgot it? He said that when he gets back to his car if he sees somebody waiting for him to back out so they can get the parking space, he takes exxtra long.

    He says he will pull out a comb and comb his hair, or pretend to be looking for something in the front seat. This was before cell phones so now he probably fakes being on the phone instead. He gets his rocks off pulling a stupid ass power play making people wait for him. He finished off by saying if they really get impatient he will out wait them until they finally give up and move on, THEN he will pull out behind them.

    See there really are just plain assholes. The guy in the beemer did it because he COULD, and I am glad you flipped him off AND blew the horn.

  2. Being an old guy who has encountered my fair share of …. well… let’s just say inconsiderate drivers, I recommend to one and all, just drive defensively and get away from the …. well… let’s just say the inconsiderate driver. You see, I live in Tennessee and here the …. well…. let’s just say the inconsiderate driver… just may point a Smith and Wesson at you. It isn’t worth it.

  3. As a Chicagoan i’m a pretty agressive/defensive driver and witness to many stupid driving moves, it sounds to me like this guy just couldn’t think of anything better to yell. I was getting tailgated this morning, on a side street, and slowed down because it was obvious the guy behind me was trying to cut through the neighborhood to avoid traffic. It made me feel good to slow down his morning, and when he peeled around the corner behind me, in his manly mini-van, I laughed a bit- the awesomeness I had witnessed, it made my day.

  4. Ahhh…why do we engage with bad drivers knowing that it can lead to no good and, mostly, leaves us upset for hours or days afterwards?

    My latest experience was with a (guess the vehicle)….Porsche! I pull up behind a line of two or three cars on a one way street at a 4 way stop. I’m turning left so I pull into the left lane with my blinker on. We watch a car cross through the intersection in front of us. I wait for the next car at another entry point in the intersection to cross, as it’s properly its turn. But instead of waiting for that car, the Porsche next to me suddenly pulls out into the intersection turning left in front of me while the driver waves her index finger at me at the window, shouting “one lane!” Technically, there are no painted lines on this road, so maybe that’s where she gets it from, but it is a plenty wide road (the traffic is two-way up the street) and I’ve always used the road and similar one-way roads as such. I’ve seen others doing the same and I’m pretty sure it’s legal.

    I didn’t have a chance to do anything to the driver but smile and shake my head, but I was thinking of ways I could tick her off if I had the opportunity. Her behavior bothers me and my blood pressure starts to rise whenever I think of it. Why can’t we laugh these things off and let them go? I try to think about what the Dalai Lama or Pope Francis would say, but it just doesn’t work!

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