My daily commute is nothing compared to some Bay Area residents, but in the last few days I've seen things on the road that make me wonder how certain people can exist in this modern world. I've seen some temper tantrums in my life (the child version while I was an elementary school teacher, and the adult version while working as a wine retailer), but sometimes I think the freeway is where the world's great freakouts tend to happen. It's where grown men often show you what gigantic babies they really are, capable of all the solipsistic insecurity usually only seen with infants. If things don't work out their way, they're going to scream, and cry, and whine, and do everything in their power to make you pay.
This morning was truly exceptional. I was cruising down 101 when I noticed a guy merging behind me in an attempt to move towards the exit lane. He was cutting it awfully close, shaving my back bumper by a few inches, to the point where I could see the lines on his face in my rear-view mirror. In doing this maneuver, however, he was not only dangerously assuming I had no need to brake, he was also pushing his way in front of another driver who was none too pleased. That driver expressed this frustration with a quick honk of the horn, which instantly sent the man sandwiched between us into a hysterical frenzy—"You dare honk at me?" he seemed to be screaming, suddenly taken over by convulsions and finger-flipping. He began beating his steering wheel like a doctor attempting to reinvigorate a still heart. He punched the ceiling of his BMW, his mouth moving like a Glossolalia victim speaking in tongues.
Then, out of nowhere, he simply hit the brakes. In the fast lane, in the middle of flowing 70 mph traffic, this joker decided to brake check the man who dared honk his horn. Luckily for the horn-honker, he managed to switch lanes right as this despicable, child-like behavior was taking place, and sped off down the right side of the freeway in disgust. It didn't end there, however. The man, upset that his attempt to hinder and/or hurt his foe had failed, decided to also speed up and gun it down the embankment after his perceived opponent; a 95 mph dash that should have been taped and sent to the highway patrol. Luckily, the man exited and went into traffic before the jerk could catch him (and do what?).
This is the fourth time I've seen something like this happen in the last two days. It's sooooooooo stupid. It's pure ego in its most embarrassing form. I see wine and whisky guys act like this every now and again, but never while controlling a solid ton of metal moving at murderous speeds.
But I guess this is what people say about holiday season stress. Watch your back out there! Stay safe and take a deep breath! Be wary of the roads.