Road Rage

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I have been fighting a mild cold for a couple of days. Today it caused me to leave work early. It always seems as if random moments that wouldn’t happen normally, pop up when I wouldn’t have encountered them otherwise.

I was halfway through my commute home without incident. I was on Kettle Run, which is a twisty, one-lane road when I needed to slow down. There was a car 4 cars ahead of me going slower than necessary, but not unreasonably so. So a bunch of us started stacking up behind this car…including a couple behind me. Eventually the second and third car decided to pass putting me in third place. Kettle Run wasn’t that much longer at this point, so I was in no rush. It didn’t matter if I was anyway because the second car wasn’t passing and Kettle Run isn’t a road you would attempt a double pass.

But the truck behind me was impatient. He would do the half swing out…which to me looked as if he was just trying to get a sense of how many cars there were. At a minimum he could see the SUV in front of me so he knew I wasn’t the one holding up the line. But that didn’t stop him from riding on my bumper.

I had nowhere to go. What did this guy want from me? I don’t do the unnecessary breaking…the last the I want is to get rear-ended by this maniac. So I gave him a gentle, backwards hand wave. That normally works without incident.

Nope, not for this guy! It wasn’t long before we reached the end of Kettle Run. It ends at the intersection with Hopewell where it’s wide enough for cars turning opposite directions to pull next to each other. I was making a left and had to wait for a break in traffic to turn. He was making a right and was able to pull right next to me. Dude wearing a bandana rolled down his window and started yelling at me. This is where the fun begins!

Dude (yelling): “Fuck you, motherfucker!”

I roll down my window. Me (calmly): “All I did was wave.”

Dude (yelling): “You’re a fucking douchebag!”

Me (calmly): “You’re the one who was driving too close.”

Dude (yelling): “Get out of your car and I’ll fight you right now!”

Well, that’s not a good option for me. Me (calmly, but questioning): “Because you were driving too close?”

Dude (yelling): “You’re a fucking pussy! You got nothing to say now!”

Now I’m confused. I am saying stuff. Is he not hearing me? My voice is a little hoarse from being sick. Maybe he can’t hear me over his yelling. Me (calmly, but louder): “I am saying stuff. I am saying that I think that you’re a terrible driver.”

By this time I realize there is a break in the traffic on Hopewell and it is safe for me to turn. I think he yelled something else as I pulled away.

I have replayed the incident in my head a couple of times and really don’t think I did anything to set this guy off. And I have envisioned a bunch of things that could’ve happened to this guy earlier that day or throughout his life to make him act like that in that moment. But no matter what excuse I try to come up for him…really, what is wrong with this guy? Especially when I try to break it down logically. OK, he’s clearly in a rush. But then he has a spare minute to yell at me at the intersection?!? It makes no sense. I would love know what his perspective of the whole incident is. Maybe he’s writing up the story somewhere too. Though I can’t imagine he finds our exchange as entertaining as I did.

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Super Bowl XLIX

Some random thoughts, then a longer story.

Scoring at the end of halfs. (Is it “halfs” or “halves” when you refer to it like this?) Same as NFC Championship game. When games are close, teams seem as if they are able to march down field at will every time using hurry up offense. Watching this happen in every game is the thing that frustrates me the most in football. (Actually about the game. I have documented my hatred of the NFL for all of the off field issues – Ray Rice, Adrian Peterson, Roger Goodell, deflate-gate, concussions, Aaron Hernandez, Washington franchise racist name, Richie Incognito, replacement refs, Saints bounty scandal, etc., etc., etc.) Any coach who doesn’t utilize this strategy (basically all of them) for the entire game should be fired. I am confident that I would be a dominating football coach based on this alone.

That said, great job by Pete Carroll going for the TD with 6 seconds left in the first half instead of settling for the FG. I believe most coaches call plays so that they don’t get second guessed or fired. Few actually play to win. It’s amazing…football culture is supposed to be manly men but the coaches really are a bunch of pussies. It was great to see Carroll play to win. I didn’t really have a rooting interest until I saw that and then decided to pull for Seattle.

Jermaine Kearse’s catch. Unbelievably acrobatic. Unbelievable concentration. And the part that everyone is overlooking, in the midst of all of that, to have the wherewithal to recognize he wasn’t tackled, get up and try to get more yards. This should be compared to Willie Mays catch in the 1954 World Series. He makes the catch and spins to try to get the tagging runner.

I don’t have much to say about Idina Menzel’s national anthem (it seemed too slowly paced), or Katy Perry’s halftime show (they billed it with Lenny Kravitz…but he was only on stage for 10 seconds and not even for his songs???), but I will highlight a commercial I really liked:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=26hl9YWLyn4
Good all around, but love that anxious, sombrero-wearing polar bear gasping when it was Mexico’s turn to draft.

OK, now for the most important part of the game – the gambling. Though I love to gamble, I am usually anti- box pool. Look at these odds! Plus it is seriously just random luck. I like to participate in things where I feel like I have some effect on whether I whether I win or not. However Pops has been running a box pool for a couple years now and he always asks if I want to get in. For anyone other than Pops I would say no. It’s only $20/box. Plus he pays for every scoring change so more numbers are in play.

I got a copy of the pool about a week ago. On the side where all the rules are listed Pops writes “GLAH”. Julia saw that and asked, “What’s GLAH?”
Me: “Good luck”
“What’s the ‘A’ ‘H’?”
[ignoring her]
“What’s the ‘A’ ‘H’?”
[Tries to change the subject]
“What’s the ‘A’ ‘H’?”
[Tries to distract her with something on TV.]
“What’s the ‘A’ ‘H’?”
Pam snaps: “Just tell her already!”
“ASS HOLES! Good luck, Ass Holes!!!”
Pam shoots me a look. There is dead silence for half a second. Julia busts out laughing.

This year I drew New England 8, Seattle 4. Pretty shitty #’s. I chalked it up as a loss and forgot about them. I am not a person who obsesses “maybe NE will get 4 safeties and Seattle will get 2 safeties”. I hate those people who strategize the whole game hoping for their numbers to come out. So like I said, I forgot about exactly what I had until it was Seattle 24, NE 21 and Pops says if NE scores a TD I’ll win. NE scored and I got $50 for the score change. And with only 2:02 left, there was a good chance that I would get the end of game remaining pot of $850. BTW, I am no longer rooting for Seattle. Winning money clearly trumps the fact that Pete Carroll went for the First Half TD.

So basically there are 2 possible outcomes left. NE wins 28-24 and I get the money. Or Seattle scores a game winning TD to win 31-28. So who has 1, 8…Tommy! With 2 minutes left the money is basically mine to lose, so I figure that I’ll hedge my bet. I offer Tommy $200 for his box. He declines. Seattle starts moving down field. I offer $300. He declines again. Then the Kearse catch. Pops jumps in before I can say anything and offers $500! And Tommy declines again!!! Oh well. At this point it looks like I’m getting the $50 and that’s it. And then the inexplicable call on 2nd & goal from the 1 that resulted in the Malcolm Butler interception to essentially end the game! I hold on and win! Went home with $800 (I threw $100 to Pops for running the pool.) And poor Tommy went home with nothing. Poor guy should’ve taken the offer.

Cookie Swap

cookiesToday was the Second Annual Accounting Department Cookie Swap. Ron didn’t come over. Coop and I had a meeting with him yesterday and he had given us a heads up that he wasn’t going to come. He didn’t want to burden his wife Diana by asking her to bake cookies because she already prepped food for the CHH Holiday luncheon on Monday. Without missing a beat, Coop says, “Come over anyway. You don’t need to bring anything. There will be enough cookies.” That was nice of her.

A couple hours later I realized it was a moment that is completely foreign to me. Coop’s offer was so simple, reasonable and sincere. But it was something I would never have come up with. I don’t know what it is, but I always fail at these moments. I’ll be having a conversation with someone and they ask about my work or my vacation or my family, and often it doesn’t even occur to me to reciprocate. A lot of times I realize it later and it makes me feel so self-centered. I would like to change this, but it repeatedly happens. I may be missing the thing in the brain that makes people considerate.

Tonight I was recapping the cookie swap with Pam. I told her about Coop’s offer yesterday and my thoughts about it.
“I would never think to say that.”
“That’s because you’re an asshole.”
“Then why do you like me?”
Lovingly, “…because you’re my asshole.”
So at least there’s that.