Today is the day before a 4-day long Easter weekend. I get it. Your craving for chocolate, meat, carbs, alcohol, Kardashians, or whatever guilty pleasure you’ve deprived yourself of for Lent, has surpassed ethical limits and you probably feel like a 10-month pregnant woman called Doris.
But surely standing at the gates of Easter weekend and the crowning, chocolate covered egg moments of Lent now within reach, are reasons enough to be happy with your station in life?
Treasurable moments of my day today include: two cars beeping their horns at me (on separate occasions) and another car on the motorway issuing me with an unsavoury hand gesture as I indicated prior to moving into their lane, giving ample distance prior to entry.
How do you respond to people’s road rage? I’m genuinely curious. In the past, I must confess I’d reciprocate rage until I started to feel like I must resemble a child throwing its toys out of the pram. But nowadays, I tend to either completely ignore adult road temper tantrums, respond with my dazzling smile or in one instance, I’ve even offered a savoury hand gesture of my own in return (a blow kiss in response to a particularly offensive road user). I figure rage plus rage isn’t particularly helpful for my own blood pressure let alone someone else’s and at least smiling is pleasant and blow kissing is sufficiently confusing to make someone query the situation entirely.
The hand gesture I received today, I completely ignored. The driver in question proceeded to overtake me from the right and then move back in front of me, whilst at the same time showing me their ability to raise their middle finger independently of the other four digits attached to their hand. I thought to myself, well done, Sir. Bravo. You are one space ahead of me on tarmac. You’ve made it in life.
It baffles me how people feel safer and bolder to misbehave, relinquish manners, common courtesy and an ounce of humane behaviour, from within the confines of a metal cage equipped with a horn. Like a “hangry” baby with colic, teething and a rattle.
Would you feel so bold to spit venom at a person who accidentally nudged your shoulder in the line for popcorn at the theatre? Would you find it socially acceptable to shout expletives at someone crossing your lane at the bowling alley, to get to their lane?
We’ve all got places to go, you know. I’ve got a buffalo ranch burger and fries awaiting collection and digestion but you don’t see me hammering at my steering wheel horn like a beached whale gasping for water. If I’m legally stood at a junction waiting to turn right and there’s oncoming traffic preventing me from making my move, there are parked cars to the left of my lane preventing you from overtaking me from the left, there’s nothing to do except for both of us to wait our turn, sugarplum. Beeping your horn at me serves only to make you look like an impatient baboon beating his chest for attention.
To those of you with road rage, I’d urge you to critically ask yourself what has gone wrong in life that you are so deeply affected by the presence of other law-abiding road users. If we trouble you so much, move to a remote island where you can be the sole road user and other human beings won’t delay you from all the infinitely more important things in your life. Whilst evident that you were raised by either monkeys or the nanny from The Help drilling it into you that, “You is Smart, You is Kind, You is Important” and so recognising that delays are life threatening to your world order, the rest of the human species consider our urgency relatively minor comparative to larger crises in the world, so a couple minutes hold up at a junction doesn’t affect our white hair count quite as much as it does yours.
Acceptance rids us of nine tenths of anger. Swallow that one tenth like a bitter pill and crack a smile through gritted teeth if you have to, because you’re a human being not a savage.
Manners before mayhem, ahem.