July 29, 2005

a TRUE blogger would have taken pics

i thought i'd seen some pretty intense roadrage, what with the daily trials and tribulations of dc driving, but it seems i'd never seen REAL road rage until today. this morning, i was on my regular commute to work, eyes glazed over, stomach rumbling, listening to elliott in the morning, idly marvelling at how i hadn't yet hit any bumper-to-bumper standstill traffic, and i pull up at a red light. out of habit, i check my rearview mirror as i come to a stop... and see one of those generic white vans a couple cars back in the lane next to me, with a guy leaning waaay out the window on the driver's side. we're talking most of his torso physically outside the cab. and it looks like he's yelling. the car in front of him is a nice-looking sedan, with a middle aged guy sitting at the wheel, his window open as well, but he's staring resolutely straight ahead. i kind of roll my eyes that irate van guy is so bent out of shape at whatever it is he's so bent out of shape about, and return to my radio.

and then i realize i can HEAR this guy, like, really well, even though he's 2 cars back from me, and i have my windows up, and the radio is on really loud. i look into the mirror again, and Irate Van Guy is looking even MORE irate, hanging even further out the window, and gesticulating wildly. so of course, at this point, i turn off the radio, turn around, and watch.

now able to hear him perfectly, i find out Irate Van Guy is ranting about how he had his fucking blinker on, and who the fuck does this guy think he is, and if he's such a fucking big man, why doesn't he come give him the fucking finger to his fucking face, huh? ...etc etc etc.

finally, Sedan Man turns around, and starts shouting out HIS window too, about how he was in his lane, learn to drive, etc. etc. Irate Van Guy's eyes start popping out of his head, and he's now opened his door, and is threatening to get out entirely, shrieking over and over "why don't you come give me the fucking finger in person, you jackass?!?!"

so the middle-aged, bearded, professory-looking Sedan Man gets out of his car. he's about 6'3". and solid. Irate Van Guy looks a little taken aback, but then jumps out of his van too, and advances on Sedan Man, still screaming.

Sedan Man meets Irate Van Guy halfway, yelling "what are you going to do about it? huh? what are you going to do about it, tough guy?!" while Irate Van Guy's sidekick, Brooding Teenager, hops out his side of the van, looking a little apprehensive. and probably about 19.

now all three of them are standing in between the two lanes of stopped traffic, Irate Van Guy still screaming, coming up with impressive and copious ways to insert "fuck" into every sentence fragment, Sedan Man in his face, screaming back, and me with my cell in hand, ready to call the police as soon as the first punch is thrown.

Irate Van Guy, somewhat surprisingly, turned away right about then, still yelling, still irate, but apparently not willing to get into a probably-more-evenly-matched-than-he-had-suspected fist fight over it. Brooding Teenager, though, while looking anxious and a little uncomfortable up until this point, suddenly turned into Super Tough Guy now that the fight was breaking up, and took the opportunity to glare menacingly at Sedan Man as he was backing off. Sedan Man was apparently NOT in the mood for Brooding Teenagers at this point, because he started yelling "what are YOU looking at? HUH? you think YOU're so tough??" at the kid.

Brooding Teenager flew into an actual frenzy. he descended on Sedan Man's car, screaming and spitting and flailing. Sedan Man ignored him entirely and got back into his car. i couldn't understand a word coming out of Brooding Teenager mouth, but to supplement the shrieking and spitting, he started pounding on Sedan Man's car with his fists.

finally, the light turned green, and everyone drove away, as if nothing had happened.

i wish i had thought to take pictures.


  1. Oh, so that's why you don't hitch-hike in the US! Because clearly, American drivers are insane. Now this makes sense.

  2. Wow I bet that was something to see. Yeah I wish you got photos of that too, it would have been too funny.

  3. oh man, hubby was going to work one night and he said he ran into something similar but at every step light the people in front of him would get out fist fight and when the light turned green they hopped back in their cars and drove to the next red light and again would get out to fist fight. Ugh.

  4. If you were one car ahead of the arguing/posturing/angry trio, and started changing into Ultimate Frisbee attire do you think they would have stopped arguing?

    I accidentally cut someone off once, and he must've been having a really particularly bad day because he followed me for a couple of blocks while flipping me off and yelling at me to learn how to drive. We then were side by side at a light and I finally rolled down my window and he continued the profanity. I put both hands up, palms facing him and told him I'm sorry. This really threw him off balance because I know he was expecting me to say something back. He actually stopped himself from saying something else, then waved and nodded in my direction before driving off.

  5. Okay, so photos would have been nice, but I think you did it justice with your words.


  6. I know, I hate it when I don't have pictures too. Pictures totally make the story so much better.

  7. Why do you think people get that mad. I mean I get mad when people cut me off and so forth but I say a few choice words under my breath and go about my drive I don't chase them down and give them shit.

  8. I know a place that road rage does not exist for the natives. It is Puerto Rico. Everybody drives like an idiot and no-one gets mad. It was truly disturbing experience. Only one getting mad was my father-in-law. It just retired to down there after spending 40 years in Connecticut.

  9. Picture? Gads! The one in your mind is bad enough. Why would you want a real one?

  10. Okay, so you forgot to take a picture, but maybe you can draw us a picture of the whole scene. I say draw it like a 2nd grader would with crayons and stick figures. Be sure to draw yourself in there as well.

  11. Yes, I personally like Walter's idea of you drawing us a sketch of that crazy scene. ;)

  12. unfortunately it's just further indication of our crumbling society. We,with the most to lose will be the first to throw it all away because we cannot get along with each other due to our incessant need to get more than the next guy.