Road rage is a serious problem, one that can result in violent, physical acts from people whose anger manifests itself in the worst possible way.
But what do you call it when you confine your rage to screaming, cursing in unknown tongues and secretly wishing bad things on people in other vehicles – all from the relative privacy (and safety) of your own car?
I ask because I find myself suffering from this on a daily basis, and I may need help.
Before I go further, let me assure everyone that I’m no threat to become violent while traveling the highways and byways of America. I follow the rules of the road closely, which makes me (according to the film I saw in high school) an ACE driver – alert, courteous and educated.
I drive the speed limit, use my turn indicator for changing lanes, and stay out of the passing lane unless I’m passing.
I do not shoot birds at other drivers or ram them repeatedly when they piss me off. Such actions are dangerous and, if I don’t run the person off the road and into a ditch, thereby disabling their vehicle, they might retaliate.
And I never liked it when the mean kids beat me up.
However, that doesn’t stop me from raging in my own way.
For example, if you’re stopped at a red light, and the red light turns green, that means you should go, and you should go immediately.
Don’t lean down and look for that renegade French fry that escaped the bag, or check to make sure the cap on the half empty bottle of vodka in the passenger’s seat is twisted tight, or look in the backseat to ensure that the blindfold on your hostage is in place – just floor it.
Back in my kinder, gentler days, I would allow the driver in front of me a full second to get moving after the light changed before I started cursing. Now, if they don’t floor that mofo at the first green hue, I unleash a stream of obscenities so perverse and vile, I simply won’t repeat them here.
I even make up curse words, the latest being “catassdickery,” to describe the, well, the catassdickery of other people on the road.
I also scream, although it isn’t so much a scream as it is a strange, guttural noise that I imagine a yak would make if the yak was in line at the DMV trying to get his license renewed. This often happens when some wanker veers over into my lane without signaling, or flies off the on ramp right in front of me.
After I’ve cursed and made the yak noise, I then wish ill on the perpetrators. I know it’s wrong, but I can’t help myself.
I envision them finally reaching their destination and then having a large boulder fall directly on top of their car, crushing the vehicle and maiming them.
One time I imagined a man being mauled by a rabid owl.
I even went so far as to hope this one guy who almost sideswiped me got stuck in radioactive quicksand surrounded by cobras, although I’m not sure what scenario would cause quicksand to be radioactive, or even where quicksand might be found or how the cobras would make it through customs at the airport.
My spousal unit gets on to me when I react in such ways, offering advice such as, “Chill out!” and “Pick your battles.” She says it’s not healthy to get so worked up.
But really, I think what I do is quite healthy.
The offending driver can’t hear me curse or make yak noises, and if they happened to look at me during those moments they wouldn’t realize I was mad.
They’d just simply think I was having a stroke.
And more importantly, they can’t journey into the darkness of my mind, a mind that sees them covered in fire ants while being bludgeoned by snow monkeys with claw hammers.
Again, I’m not proud of any of this, but I just want you to know if you have similar thoughts and emotions, you’re not alone.
There are ways to vent your road rage so that no one gets hurt, even when their catassdickery warrants it.