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Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Reasons Not To Have Road Rage- Lesson #1

In LA, I would say 1 in 2 drivers suffer from a severe case of road rage. I, for the most part, am not one of them. Someone has to do something extreme for me to get angry behind the wheel. According to Wikipedia, the following are common manifestations of road rage (go ahead, self-diagnose yourself):

-Generally aggressive driving, including sudden acceleration, braking, and close tailgating.
-Cutting others off in a lane, or deliberately preventing someone from merging.
-Sounding the vehicle's horn or flashing lights excessively.
-Rude gestures (such as the finger).
-Shouting verbal abuse or threats.
-Intentionally causing a collision between vehicles.
-Getting out of the car to attempt to start a confrontation, including striking someone else's vehicle with an object."

Yesterday I was heading back to work from lunch and waiting to turn left across Wilshire Blvd, which usually takes about 5 minutes (on a good traffic day). After patiently waiting, I finally spot a break in the traffic and decide to go for it, but before I can complete my turn, a big black BMW, turns out in front of me, blocking all 3 of the westbound lanes. This person seemed absolutely oblivious to the fact that anyone else was on the road, as he just sat there waiting to turn left. I was stuck in the intersection helplessly, and just as I almost got out my the car to "attempt to start a confrontation, including striking [his] vehicle with an object"(just kidding, I was only going to display my case of road rage with a either a "rude gesture" or by "shouting verbal abuse or threats" at this man), I looked a little closer at the driver, and thought, "Hey I know him."

His face was so familiar, at first I thought it was celebrity, but then it clicked and I realized it was better than that, it was my boss! I was literally seconds away from road raging the man who pays my salary! So just incase he saw it was me, I just waved pleasantly and exaggerated a smile, as if to say, "Hey don't worry about leaving me in the middle of the intersection while you turn left. Just as long as you can make your turn, I'm happy."

Please consider this Lesson #1 in my new series, Reasons Not To Have Road Rage.