What is it about the human condition that makes us ready to pop at the slightest drop of a hat? I don't know. You see it in the news every single day. People just in each other's faces. Now, I'm not like that or at least I come across as non-confrontational. That's not to say that I'm more easy going, maybe I just lack the inner-gumption to "get up in someones grill."

For example, yesterday I was driving home for work, a commute that usually takes me 20 minutes on a good day. This day however, I was on the road for over 45 minutes because of a broken traffic light. Now, I'm no dummy, but what's supposed to happen when there's a broken traffic light? Anyone? Anyone? From my simple upbringing, I've learned that it's treated like a 4-way stop. Am I right or am I wrong? Man my blood boiled every time four or five extra cars that knew there problems must have been greater than everyone else squeezed by when it wasn't there turn. This caused a chain reaction of stupidity. Because they went out of turn, everyone went out of turn for several minutes. It was ridiculous! But did I do anything about it? No. I eventually became one of the cars that squeezed through. Busted.

Why do I even have a horn in my car. It serves no real purpose. It's better suited to give me a mini heart attack whenever I drop something on the floor and have to reach down to pick it up only to have my ears popped because my forehead accidentally hit the horn. I remember another time when I was driving along in a parking lot and another car zoomed out from one of the lanes and screeched to a halt right in front of me nearly causing an accident. Oh I was mad, and so was he. So what did I do? I did that whole "What were you thinking" expression, you know the one, open mouthed, wide-eyed, shaking my head from side-to-side as if to say, "Oh no you didn't." And then, this is the cherry on top, when the car finally righted itself and pulled on it's way, what did I do?


I laid on my horn as an after thought and no that's not a misspelling. Have you heard my horn? It sounds more like a dying duck.

Heeeeeeeenk! I don't even think the dude heard it.

Maybe that's why I'm non-confrontational. Had I opted to lay on my horn yesterday in that ever-growing traffic jam of stupidity, I would have clogged things up even worse. Everyone would either be laughing so hysterically that they couldn't possibly steer, or they would be turning around in their cars, looking for the chew toy someone must have sat on.

Now, I hope I don't come across sounding like a wuss, because I don't think I am. I will say, that in my older years, I have developed a little more bravado. I don't mind a good debate every now and then and I'm not bullied by salespeople at electronics or jewelry stores. I don't buy anything I don't want to, for the most part, and I'm a fairly hard-nosed employer when it comes to obeying rules and what not. But for some reason, the car weakens me, if that makes any sense. Shouldn't it do the opposite? I had a dog once, named Darby, that was about as tall as my calf. Sure, he was feisty and independent, but he was a chicken, until you strapped a leash on him. Then instantly he would yap at pit bulls. Which leads me to a tangent story, as I just remembered a rather humorous anecdote involving Darby.

I remember one time my dad was walking Darby on his leash, when a large black dog came into view a few houses down in the neighborhood. Darby went nuts! Gnashing! Growling! Pawing at the ground like a bull! He struggled so hard that suddenly the leash got away from my dad and Darby took off like a rocket after the dog. Down the street he went, barking louder than he had ever barked before, ready for the kill. It was at about fifteen feet from attacking when Darby must have realized how gigantic the dog was and that my dad was no longer running behind him. Instead of stopping, Darby continued barking madly, running full force right past the dog acting as though he didn't even see it and then stopped two houses down, hiding behind some bushes. I wondered if there was any conversation going on between Darby and the other dog and if there was I'm willing to bet Darby was shouting "Don't worry! I'm not barking at you! You just have a good day, sir!"

Anyways, sorry for the tangent, but it somewhat proves my point. The car, in a sense, is a leash. Maybe that's why people (tiny, innocent, no-business raising a fuss sort of people) become easily agitated and worse, overly vocal once they sit down behind a wheel. Take my wife for instance. Most of you know her. Sweet little thing with a loving, caring heart. Would never hurt a fly (because bees aren't flies). I swear that girl's a transformer whenever she drives. Shaking fists, screaming out open windows, pointing, glaring are all common practices by Heidi whenever she feels she's been wronged on the road. And she doesn't discriminate against anyone. Meaning, it doesn't matter if the offender is 90 years old or a bunch of 18 year old hoodlums toting weapons. She'll treat you the same. Now, I'm not like that. Not usually. I'm more passive. Let em' go, I say. I'm not going to worry about it, but not her. "Why didn't you honk?" she'll say when someone practically cuts us off and then she'll do all that she can to get their attention and mime how angry she is about what they did. As a point of clarification, Heidi doesn't do this often and for the most part she's always right. Maybe it's the mother in her protecting her chicks from dangerous metallic wolves. I don't know.

My question to her is: "Who do you think they're going to pull from the car once you've ticked them off beyond reason? Hmmmm?" The petite mother of three? No! I'm going to have to step out and flash some of my ninja moves. Oh you didn't know that Frankie's got moves did you? Well you messed up now, boy. My punches and kicks are so fast and so deadly that you'll never even know I hit you and better yet, they will have absolutely no affect on your physical being. Imagine that. Going on with the rest of your life never having even known that Frank laid his best smack down on you. Impressive to say the least.

I don't know what brought this on. Maybe it was the yesterday's traffic jam, or maybe it was a memory of some sweet old lady giving my wife the bird in a hospital parking lot when Heidi was three months pregnant. It just doesn't make sense.

1 comment:

Amy said...

Your next book needs to be stories like these. Very reminiscent of Robert Fulghum and Bill Bryson - two of my favorites!
You've always been good for a laugh!