So you made it to work today. You are alive and in one piece. You should be proud. Bonus points for not getting a scratch which would have ruined that second coat of wax the detailer charged you an extra twenty dollars for; you can't see it but apparently others will and isn't that what counts the most?
The commute to work today has changed significantly over the years. The options of vehicles alone have an indelible impact on one's psyche for how one feels when they get behind the wheel. Throw in satellite radio, texting, phone calls, and liberal gun laws, it's amazing you are still in one piece. Some days it feels like you drove straight into a Mad Max movie and may go right into beast mode with a heavy key chain and man bag for protection. I know I have felt the need to dust off the ass-less chaps and face paint to go mono a mono with another driver, health be damned. But then I realize who I am and my modest limitations and think, nah, this would end badly. That, and no one needs to see me in those chaps either.
So here we are. Angry. Rethinking what ifs for the rest of the day. Letting the action of one of god's mistakes take up valuable space in your head without paying rent. You did not so much as raise a finger to celebrate the deed of the road runt that inflicted emotional distress on you to ruin your morning of a matcha soy latte and easy listening daily affirmation tapes. What could I have done? I want them to feel the same threat that caused me. Well, that will never happen. Granted mistakes happen, and we are all guilty of those. But we always signify this the "slapping the forehead" gesture that just about everybody will let you off the hook for, even if it comes with an evil eye and head shake of disgust. But when that person cuts you off, pushes you out of a lane, gets in your lane and slams on breaks, or tailgates you to the end of time, you need to know how to act appropriately. They know what they did, feel great when you get angry, and obviously have some deep seeded parent issues that would cost thousands of dollars to alleviate, and that's with insurance. So the next best thing is to play a spoiled child in traffic and hope to make good people like yourself cry and have the world watch. The road is their sand box and they are going to steal your new toy.
I spend countless hours a day in traffic and I see it all. Other than a couple of speeding tickets that were my fault, and minor, I would be considered a safe driver. I am courteous except to people in Mini-Vans and Prius' because you people really need to learn to drive. But I digress. I have been the victim on many occasions of road rage and angst that I have finally figured out how to beat them. It all started when I was on a trip to Disney World and I was stuck in bumper to bumper traffic that went on as far as the eye can see. Out of nowhere, I hear a horn being hit like a snare drum, loud and often. And it was coming from right behind me. I looked in my rear-view mirror and saw a guy who was bright red in the face and moving as skittishly as a squirrel on a steady diet of cubanitos and crystal meth. I was startled and angry. Where was I to go? Accelerate three feet into the car in front of me? My first action was to raise my hands to ask what could I do? He replied with the one finger salute. A lot. So I returned the warm gift and it became a battle of single soldier warfare. I could tell early on my nemesis was a veteran of such wars and the more I carried on, his strength in the event became an art form of middle finger kung-fu that I was in no way able to go up against. I had my wife with me and even with twice the number of digit arsenal, we were no match for this battle. And then I laughed. I cackled. I hooted and howled. I happily gave up.
This visibly stunned my opponent. He was at a loss. I could tell no one had countered his behavior with such tactics and his childish anger turned to adult rage. He was losing his grasp on the situation. So more laughter ensued. We even egged him on for more finger gestures. None were to come. He started pounding his steering wheel and windshield; he was driving a mini-van so there is some merit to my rationale. He finally stopped but my wife and I started doing it to each other in complete mocking style to the enemy. After about five minutes of this, with hands knuckle white in the steering wheel, he hit the gas and peeled out from behind us onto the grass medium of I-4 in Orlando where he made it about two hundred feet before the front end of his car dropped and he came to a sudden stop. As we passed his car a few minutes later, with Florida State's finest behind his vehicle. He accidentally drove over a cement manhole that stuck out of the ground about two feet and that had moved the front axle of his car back a to under the center of his mini-van. And there was laughter for karma came to roost. I had a great day at Disney that day, although the inside joke of flicking off my spouse was lost on certain onlookers. I'm sure they have excellent ways of explaining that to their kids.
So laughter. Laughter was the Kryptonite to angry roadsters. This led to many a deep thought on how I could use this new weapon of defense. But how could I deploy it responsibly and safely? I had to go to the depths of my inner child, the five-year-old one. The one that laughs off come-backs like water off a freshly waxed wind shield. I found my battle tactics and could not wait to test them out. Within a month, I was a fully armed ICBM of anti-road rage destruction, ready to combat the selfish and insecure.
Now to get you into this NATO level club of smug defiance, I will let you know my way of hurting the unforgiving man child and texting queens. I will admit, this may take some practice in your down time, but well worth it. I think it is best if I give you the situation, and then the way to handle it. You can interchange as you see fit as some methods may work better than others given your enthusiasm and facial limitations.
Scenario One: The tailgater. To be honest, I usually get out of the way if I see someone coming up fast on me because I learned that bad things happen to large objects when they collide at high speeds; Physics. But in the off chance you are tailgated for really no reason, do not break check. Start easing off the gas a little bit at a time. They will eventually get the hint and race past you. When they do you have three options. First, give them the finger and make their day. Honestly the worst idea because it encourages more of this behavior in the future. Second, the cackling smile while nodding the head staring at them as they drive by. This confuses and infuriates them as it makes them believe that you have won. That you enjoyed what you have just done. That you have the Teflon coating of invincibility to the middle finger of rage. But you have to sell it. You have to look like the five-year-old who heard the word fart or boob level of cackle. If they speed off into oblivion, then you did it right.
The third is a bit advanced and involves having your window down. So as they are passing you, put your arm out the window and sort of rally them to go faster with you hand. Much like the way the "Dog Pound" did on the Arsenio Hall Show. Also, give them a comforting Woohoo as well to really sell it. There is nothing like watching a confused aggressive driver. If you are lucky a cop will be near and the world will be a better place.
Now for some expert level road trolling that comes in handy. Most of the idiotic behavior I see committed on the roads is done by men. They are typically a little older and usually have facial hair for added machismo. They will be driving a sports car, SUV, or pick up truck with a lift kit. *Warning: if you see the last one with a flag of anything on the truck, avoid at all costs as they are potential Darwin Award Winners and will bring you down with them. There is no great harm you can do to them that they will eventually do to themselves.
Back to our Man. He typically drives aggressively, and since you are not his level of awesome, you are an effeminate man or a not worth their time woman. So how do we get him away from you? If you are a male, like me, I have found that winking, blowing them kisses, and licking my lips lasciviously works wonders. Nothing inflicts damage more on a machismo male than if he thinks another guy is coming on to him. This has backfired on me once when the guy yelled to me I was not his type, he laughed and went on his way. I think we were both entertained. Ladies have a much stronger option. You but need to flash the universal sign of unimpressed and laugh. Whatever they do, there will be witnesses and they will leave you quick. This soul crushing gesture, so wield this weapon with great care as this could bring harm on someone later. So make sure they deserve it.
With laughing and sexual approaches out of the way, we move on to the last lesson of the day. The smiling psychopath. You may need to practice at home but getting that wide eyed toothy grin of sadistic mayhem really unnerves people. Are you that person who will follow them home and turn their skin into a set of reusable grocery bags? Who knows. But for some reason it really works better when women do it. It's even better if you shout out something really inappropriate like, "Come to mama, Boys!" or out of left field like, "Where's my Play dough?" Really, the stranger the better. If it comes from the heart, then it can't be wrong.
Well, that will do it. I hope you feel a bit more secure in your future driving endeavors. Practice what you think will work for you. The point is to have fun and be safe while doing it. As you can see, anyone can do it and you can change it up as you feel. Being meek as a driver is not a bad thing; you stay in right lane when you should. You always yield to traffic. You are the reason that people like me can more affordable insurance because you bring the average cost in my neck of the woods lower. So applaud yourself. Have that extra slice of cake. Because now, you have the information to empower you on the road so you can inevitably worry about something else that you have no control of in your life because you are meek, and that is what you do.