Posted in personal
June 23, 2011

Still catching my breath.

It never ceases to amaze me what big jerks people can be on the road.

On our way back from school, we pulled off the freeway to begin the street portion of the commute. Now, I got a ticket for speeding not that long ago, so I’ve been more aware of speed limits- I definitely don’t want to get another ticket.

Coming off the freeway, the road has a weird curve. I was next to a semi, so I slowed down because I didn’t want the semi to pull into my lane thinking it was clear. That’s when I became aware of The Jerk (I really should have called him the A-hole, but I yelled Jerk at him in my car since the kids were there). He was right behind me in a lowered Acura (not a recent model by any means). I pulled into the left lane, hoping he was going straight and away from me. No such luck. The light was green, I waited for the oncoming car to pass, and turned into the furthest lane, thinking the guy was going to just zoom past me. Nope.

He continues to tailgate me, honks and almost clips the corner of my car. Mind you, I’m not speeding into this left turn. I’m in a minivan. All he had to do was turn into the nearest lane and pass me. But no, he was trying to make it seem like I cut him off, even though we were in the same lane. So he zipped around me, and cut in front of me, and again nearly clipped the front of my car. I could see the light ahead of me turning yellow, so I decided just to slow down.

He continued to honk and flipped me off through his sun roof. Because, of course, I was the one who was being a jerk. He then zipped off and narrowly missed two dump trucks that were getting off the freeway. As we kept driving down the road, I hoped to see him pulled over by the cops or dealing with a fender bender. Which is wrong of me, but frankly, I was more relieved that he was off somewhere else and not harassing me any more.

I just don’t get it. I understand that people think that speed limits are stupid, that they’re about 10 miles too low for modern cars- but honestly, I drive that road every day. There’s a lot of traffic on and off that freeway, with lots of trucks pulling up to the nearby landfill. The speed limit is 35, even though it looks like it should be 45 or higher, just because of the landfill and the trucks. And it really should be 35. I see plenty of cars in near misses with the semis and dump trucks just because they want to want to shave off a few seconds from their commute. No matter what you drive, you’re going to lose if you hit any of those trucks.

Honestly, it doesn’t bother me that the guy wanted to drive fast and thought I was going too slow. Since I got my ticket and have been sticking to the speed limit, I’ve seen a lot of people who thought that, but they just pass me and move on with their lives. It was the fact that he felt the need to nearly swipe my car (twice!) to prove a point. It’s the fact that this jerk thought he was so important, that it was okay to potentially cause an accident with my children and I. I hate to bruise any fragile egos out there, but you aren’t any more important than any other person on the road. And yes, if you drive like that? You probably do have a fragile ego. Tailgating to “prove a point” or pull garbage like The Jerk did, it doesn’t change the other person’s mind. Instead, it just makes mild mannered people like me wish for you to be caught in speed traps or hope for manure trucks to be around the corner where you’re speeding so that it’ll fill your car just like Biff’s in Back to the Future. (Have I mentioned that we’ve been watching that a lot lately?)

Now that that I’ve written this post, I’m going to make myself lunch and hope that it stops feeling like my heart’s in my throat soon- because yes, it does still feel that way. Stupid jerk.

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