Road Rage that'd make Chicagoans Cry

Road rage. We all get it, I don't care how nice you are. I'll admit, I am prone to it every now and then. If it's a stressful day or I'm late to something, I'll occasionally shout something in my car, but that's about it. Being from Michigan, I've grown up cutting people off and squeezing into lanes without a care. That's just a way of life in the midwest; we do whatever it takes to get to point A to point B. However, people rarely ever gave me the finger or started swearing out their windows.

In California though, road rage is quite a different animal. People like to be a lot more expressive when it comes to letting you know that they're pissed. I think part of it isn't that I'm a bad driver; people just don't know how to drive in this state. I do my best to let people in and give others room, but no matter what, people still find ways to get pissed at me. The Bay Area has been pretty bad so far in terms of road rage, and I have two stories to prove it.

The other day, I was driving home from work, listening to music. I was chilling in the right lane waiting to get over so I could exit and change freeways to head home. In California though, half the freeways have offramps that are also onramps (like this one). At the same point I was checking to get over, a bunch of people got on. I got stuck in some lifted Suburban's blind spot that was trying to get out of the exit lane (which I needed to get into). Rather than be cut off (or hit) by this huge SUV, I sped up past the guy and then merged into the exit lane. Well, he didn't like the extra five seconds in the exit lane while I drove past him. He swerved out of the exit lane, over a few lanes, all the while giving me the finger while swerving through rush hour traffic. Nice.

Today was my favorite road rage incident by far. I rushed over the fish store after a hike tonight to get some water for my tank. When I pulled into the fish store lot, there was one open spot and another that a car was pulling out of. A van, which was closer to the open spot, had his blinker on for a spot. I figured, "Well, I'll take the spot that the car is pulling out of, since it's closer to me and the van is waiting for the other spot." Even after the car left, I waved the van to pull in, but he didn't budge. I decided to park in the spot closer to me, leaving the spot closer to the van open for him.

And then all hell broke loose.

Apparently the van driver wanted the spot I pulled into (maybe he couldn't manuever into the spot closer to him?) He pulled right behind me, blocked me in, and proceeded to give me both fingers and yell the f*** word (in various forms) at me. Keep in mind, my windows were closed and I think the van's were too. I could still HEAR the guy yelling! This went on for 30 seconds (I just waited in the car fearing more verbal beatdown). The driver then gunned it, and the van burned rubber and squeeled off into the other half of the parking lot.

I went into the fish store and had the guy begin filling up my water jug for my tank. As I was wandering by the coral tanks looking at stuff, I realized, "Damn, that guy was parking to go to the fish store, this is gonna be fun..." Sure enough, a few minutes later I spot some older guy out of the corner of my eye in a loud shirt GLARING at me. Well, I knew why he was pissed. I waited a little while and then casually wandered by more fish tanks, closer to the guy. Eventually, I was right next to him, so I look up, and he looks away. Ah, a coward. Not so tough without your car, eh?

Then I hear him mutter "f***er" under his breath...

Alright, that's it! I decided to play the bigger person, so I politely try to apologize and explain. "Hi sir, I think I stole your parking spot. I didn't mean too; I thought you were taking the other spot." Well, I should've known that would just piss him off more. All I heard was "I don't want to talk to you! asshole, pay attention next time!...leave me alone!...I'm leaving!" Hey, at least I tried. I wasn't even trying to be sarcastic (although he probably took it as that). At least I felt better now that I gave him my reasons and tried to apologize.

I paid for my water and left, checking for damage to my car, since that guy seemed like the type to key my car. In the future, I guess I will try and be even MORE cautious and friendly while driving. I realize getting stressed out while driving isn't worth it. Traffic happens; you get there eventually.

In the meantime, I think that guy from the fish store needs some SERIOUS road rage training, like the stuff Marge took in The Simpsons.

I'm out for now, tune in for my next random SJ experience!


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rarshons said...

You should've just shanked the bitch. You're from Detroit, so it's socially acceptable.

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