Repost from October of 2005 that I found to be particularly disturbing. Please share your Rager comments with me to wrap me up in Internet Lovin’. I’m still a little disturbed re-reading it.

This afternoon, upon picking my son up from school, I decided to venture to the Greatest Place On Earth when you’re dieting. The Grocery Store. Our shopping experience was uneventful; I drooled over the non-diet food, even the stuff I wouldn’t have touched anyway, Ben pleaded for candy and no! vegetables! and my cart looked like a schizophrenic had gone shopping. Absolutely no different from any other time I’ve hit the store.

The true excitement only began when I tried to leave the store.

I’m waiting at the stop sign to turn on to North Blvd, about to head home. A car is approaching from the left with its turn-signal a-flashin’. I inch forward a bit, still in the parking lot, as I was taught to drive by The Most Anal Man Ever To Walk The Planet, his lectures still fresh in my mind, ‘œDon’t turn until you see the other guy’s wheels turn,’ “Signal Your Intent!” and the always super corny “Better Safe Than Sorry!”

When I look back at the other car, after checking to make sure the right lane was clear, the other guy has turned off his signal.

And stopped the car to honk loudly and gesture wildly.

At me.

This, being a pet peeve of mine, the Incessant Honking After I Have Clearly Stopped The Car and Thereby Present No Danger To You, irritates me. I’m not only a competent driver, I’m not reckless in any way–especially if my child is in tow–and I haven’t done a single honk-worthy thing. My car is standing completely still.

So I do the most mature thing possible, because I am as the French would say, ‘Grown-Up’, and I give him the ole One Finger Salute. I’m highly annoyed by his attitude and the one thing that’s keeping me from diving head-first into a bag of jelly beans.

Stupid fucking move, Aunt Becky, stupid fucking move.

If he was mad before, now he is on fire with anger, and he promptly sprints out of his car, headed straight for my car. To do, I don’t know what. Yell at me for flicking him off? Holler at my audacity to inch up at a stop sign to better visualize the cross traffic? Tell me about how I’m an idiot for not buying organic produce and bringing my own bags?

I just can’t be sure.

Let me make it absolutely clear that I had not gotten even CLOSE to hitting him. I was still physically in the parking lot, behind the white line at the stop sign. You wouldn’t have had to so much as swerve to avoid me.

So, all signs flashing ‘œDanger, DANGER Will Robinson!’ I take off like a bat outta hell. I’m not interested to find out if the man had gotten out of the car to tell me how beautiful I look today, offer me a bazillion dollars, or threaten the life of my son and I. Nope. Not interested at all.

I look back in my rearview mirror to see him standing in the middle of the road on his cell phone, likely trying to call in my plates. My heart pounded freakishly the entire way home, and I tumbled back to the condo as freaked out as I’d ever been.


Ed Note: It’s been over 3 years since this happened, and I haven’t flicked off a single person since. Nor have I had any follow-up whatsoever from this incident, which one could hardly even call an “incident” since nothing happened.

But it still freaks me out to remember that. Rage, road or not, directed at the right or wrong person, is still damn frightening.

30 thoughts on “Road Rager

  1. Luckily, I live in a land that relatively road rage free. When someone does something stupid in a car, they shrug in an apologetic way, and the offended party either chuckles or shakes their head like they would to a naughty child. Honking is reserved for when you would like to say, “You nearly made me get in an accident you boneheaded obliviot. Wake up!”

    I doubt that guy was even talking to anyone on his phone. He was probably trying to scare you. Can you imagine the cops showing up at your door, “Ma’am, I believe you are in violation of the anti-flip-off ordinance. We’re going to have to take you down to the station.” That guy is going to give himself heart disease with rage like that. Who knows, it was 3 years ago; maybe he’s already dead.

  2. You wouldn’t last a second driving in Houston if you never flip the bird, it’s a rare occurance for me to drive without encountering at least one deserving fool. Nevermind the ones who deserve it for driving without insurance (38% – I think).

  3. Sadly, my husband is usually the one experiencing the road rage around these parts. Apparently, there should never, ever be a red light in his path. No car should ever be going slower than him. Traffic jam? All just to make him cranky. {SIGH} The worse was when we got a voice mail when we came out of the movies about his mother having been taken to the ER (nothing serious). He passed some knucklehead and the knucklehead decided he didn’t like being passed. I think we were driving about 95 mph before he finally got a grip (although in his stressed-out state – I gave him a pass on that stupid move). Men!

  4. Funny story from high school: A friend of mine was driving her mother’s car. This other car got pissed off at her for something, who knows what. Anyway, they kept following her. They followed her to a light and decided to get block her in and get out of the car (This was back in the days before cell phones- yes I am old). She was freaking out. They started hitting her windows and yelling at her. Imagine their suprise when she pulled out a gun from under the front drivers seat! They nearly shit their pants! (Her mom kept an unloaded pistol under the seat because she transported large sums of money for work). It was great.

  5. I HATE it when people are assholes like that. Not only is it frightening, I always find it so maddening because I’m innocent! I once had a guy call the cops because I’d parked in a handicapped space. I hadn’t – they had painted over the symbol and moved the handicapped spaces. I HATE being made to feel that I did something wrong. So sorry.

  6. I have been known to give the one finger salute on many an occasion. If that guy had been coming at me, I’d get out the pepper spray and teach him a lesson. I think an enraged man running at you and your kids while in a parked car is justifiable pepper spraying.

  7. I was that guy over the summer.
    Coming home from the beach, both kids asleep in the backseat, I was almost home. Got off the interstate and was about to turn onto a side street. There is a light there that CLEARLY states No Turn on Red. I was waiting for the light to turn so I could proceed. This jerk pulls right up to my bumper & leans on the horn. I point to the sign, I even used my “pointer” finger!!!
    He proceeds to yell out of his window to “move your car you dumb piece of sh**, bitc* WTF you waiting for?” etc etc etc. Once the light turns green, I slooowwwwllllyyyy pull into the intersection and drive at an astounding 1.5 mph. Asshat pulls up to the passenger side of my Explorer and continues to yell at me. It took everything I had in me to NOT drive my big ol honking truck into his shiny little Nissan Acura and push him off the side of the road.

  8. I had one major incident of road rage. It involved me yelling out the window that the driver of the opposing car was a “flaming See You Next Tuesday”, and to “drive your fucking car” out of my way.

    My wife, in the passenger seat, cowered away from me with her cell phone dialed to 911 just in case.

  9. Catizhere, I had a similar incident:

    I can be an asshole, but I don’t abandon my car and go sprinting at the person who pissed me off. I would just try to run them down with my mommy mobile. Besides, people would just laugh at the mere sight of me, tiny and built like a gnome. Not threatening at all.

    Although, I have to say, that dude was a crazy ass jerk. I’m going to have to side with you on this one…

  10. Thankfully, it’s rare to have those problems around here. It’s the old people you have to watch out for here. They just drive however the heck they please.

  11. Oh Lord. I learned how to drive in Houston, and I never, ever, EVER honk my horn or flip the bird because you never know who might have a gun handy. Know what I’m sayin’? Plus, I usually don’t think to do it until it’s too late anyway.

  12. Oh, there are many, many stories from the road rage vault, but in the one that comes to mind today … it was I who lit up like a fiery christmas tree. It involves my then 2-year-old, my parents, and me piled into the car awaiting a parking space at Cracker Barrel (bwahahaha!) nontheless. A lovely older man (senile, parking-space-stealing-rat-bastard) “accidentally” cut in front of me and whipped into a space I had been waiting (and signaling for) for 5 minutes. A parking lot full of senior citizens, my own prudish mother, and my two-year-old did little to deter the string of expletives (while my dear old dad cackled loudly from the backseat) thrown at this geezer from my window. Shameful? Yes, but I cannot tolerate stealers. At all.

  13. I’m against waving an unloaded gun in someone’s face – they may have a real one In a true emergency, don’t be afraid to use your car as a weapon and drive right at the person, if someone is coming at you. But, first, try pressing the panic button on your remote to set off your car alarm, which will probably attract no attention, then if that doesn’t work, run the sucker over.

  14. wow…. i mean gosh, that’s terrible! some people just are having an suck balls day and want to take it out on someone. i don’t blame you for getting the hell out of dodge.

  15. Yeah, we who live in Assachusetts know better. Boston is like Demolition Derby driving. You just have to put on your big girl pants and go. It’s not for the weak, but if you keep your eyes forward, your mouth shut and your hands on the wheel, it’s all good.

  16. Wow, what is wrong with people? You did the right thing peeling out of there. Even if a cop did track you down I think the cop would probably agree with you.

  17. God Love YOU.

    Quick story. My grandfather, years ago. Mid 70s, I believe. Some guy gets pissed – I have no idea if it was my grandfather’s fault or not. My bet is yes, ever since he blew that four way stop taking me to Jr High then promptly drove in the exit in front of the school to drop me off – SO, this guy is shaking his fists and whatnot at my grandfather. My grandfather pulls over. The pissed guy pulls over behind him and jumps out of the car. Grandpa rolls his window down. The Pissed Guy says “get out of that car and I’ll kick your ass!!” Grandpa says “I had a better offer than that just the other day! A guy offered to PULL ME out of my car and kick my ass!!” Laughs, and drives away. Leaves Pissed Guy on the side of the rode, hopping mad.

    This story, while not so much connected to your experience, can ALWAYS make me laugh. And I have the added bonus of telling random salespeople “I had a better offer than that just the other day!” and walk off gasping with laughter while they look on, thoroughly confused.

    Hope it made you smile for a second.

  18. I don’t have any story like that, but I wanted to say that now that I’m taking public transportation a lot more, I’m even more irritated when I drive. Or maybe it’s that I forget how frustrating driving can be. But anyway, when I get in my car now, I fantasize even more than I did before about ramming people who’ve cut me off or done something stupid. I also fantasize about following people to their home and cussing them out, but I’ve refrained (so far) from doing either of these things.

    I think the most I’ve done to show my displeasure is to turn on my bright headlights. That’s as aggressive as I’ve gotten.

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