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?