Road Rage


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.