Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Road Ragin'

Give to every other human being every right you claim for yourself. -Robert G. Ingersoll

That was the quote of the day to which I woke this morning. Sweet.

Last night, though, I was driving home from playing softball, the first game we've one and in which I finally got not only a run but an RBI as well, and ahead of me was this old Volvo station wagon with a bumper sticker saying, "Have you tugged your kite today?" and going really slow, like 20 in a 30 zone. I wasn't feeling terribly hassled, in no particular hurry and thinking it was a pretty beautiful evening to be enjoying the sights while I was on my way. We approached a red light, the Volvo crept to a stop, I stopped behind it, another older car behind mine, and then a shiny big pickup truck behind that car. At first I couldn't see what the vehicle was because the sun was behind us, lowering in the west, so when I looked out my rearview mirror to see who was out there yelling, all I could see was some thin guy's form, backlit, at the driver side of the car behind me, spewing obscenities. I thought the guy was going to reach in the car window for the driver or open the door and yank the driver out, but that didn't happen. He just finally decided, I guess, the light was going to change so he better get back in his own vehicle. Then I could see it was a truck.

Now, I don't know what offense the driver behind me caused, beyond stopping at a red light, but it clearly had ticked off the truck driver, and as traffic moved again, he rode that car's butt in that big pickup truck, for the next 4 blocks, where the Volvo stopped at the 4-way stop near the library on campus, then I stopped before turning right, allowing the car to my left to pass through the intersection, and then the car behind me slowed but rolled through the stop sign, clearly intimidated by the prospect of stopping with the big truck behind him, and that truck remained about as close to the rearend of the vehicle in front of it as could be without climbing up onto the trunk.

And I just thought, "Why is the driver of that old car behind me the asshole? The worse that could have happened back at that light was that when the guy stopped, the truck driver stopped short of hitting him because he wasn't paying attention- or tapped the back of the car and decided that rather than apologize, he'd act like it was the other guy's fault- which we know is not the case in an accident of that sort. No one ever blames the guy in front. The guy who does the rear ending is always at fault." So, wtf? And I was also tempted to call the cops. Turn left at the next intersection, see if I could find the two vehicles and get a license plate number and call the cops.

Because you know traffic stupidity will be the death of me, and that I just can't stand when people are mean all like that. Maybe I missed something, but I can't imagine what it would have been.

And then this morning when I read that quote, it made me think of that situation last night, and how we were all it seemed following traffic laws and allowing others their right to safety. Well, except this guy in the truck who decided he had to have some reason to spout off at someone, someone I am pretty sure he didn't even know.

And then I thought about mean people in general and how people who are mean just won't allow others the same basic rights they enjoy. Like the story I read a couple days ago about this woman who is big, and she always has been, but she takes care of herself, and she was getting a coffee one morning at a coffee shop, and some guy came in all in a hurry and rushed past her, hitting her coffee so it spilled on her (and she was probably heading to work and couldn't just go home and change), and she said, "hey, take it easy," in a tone she described as "lightly," and the guy turned on her and said something like why didn't she get out of the way, "fat bitch?"

And I'm thinking we are all just too stressed. Either too stressed trying to stay ahead to give a crap about anyone else, or so stressed trying to get by that we just explode at the drop of a hat. I mean, crap, both the FFM and I have been stressed lately, and we had a fight the other day, and I still feel bad about it. Never should have happened. Stupid. I guess, how many of us walk around feeling so cheated every day of our existence in some way or another that we take it out on someone else? Or so preoccupied we screw up and then get all defensive?

Eh, whatever. I have to get in the shower and head out before I really get started.

Have a lovely day.

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