Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Red means stop

Before I get started, go visit my friend PJ's blog for her awesome holiday kick-0ff giveaway. What is the prize? Fab gift card to Amazon. I have started my wishlist already.

Now, down to business.

As I wheel around this over-saturated city of mine, I use music (and absorption of sunshine when available) to increase the odds of a pleasant commute. I must inculcate patience as an ongoing process and what better place to practice than the car, especially during traffic.

While I may be quick to point out foolishness on the road, I am quite congenial about letting other cars in. You know what I mean. A car needs over into your lane, or needs to cross in front of you whilst you have plenty of space to let them. I rarely see a benefit of being one car length further up the road, so I am very welcoming when other drivers need a little room to budge. Do not dare pull in front of me all jackass-ish and uninvited, but by all means, if you see the courtesy hand wave, come on in.

I need the same courtesy numerous times a week, and often, people are gracious to give it. You know who is not gracious? The wretched woman behind me Friday. Let's discuss.

I am driving down Peachtree and see the red light ahead. I stop sooner than needed to let a car out of an office park. No one is moving, believe me, I am far from creating a traffic jam.

Suddenly, I hear a long and labored horn honking. In fact, I heard so much horn honking I think perhaps there was real danger looming. I look in my rear view mirror, and evidently, the woman behind me in her large truck, wanted to send me a message. Well, unless that's Morse Code you are tapping, I can't decipher. So be a lamb and let's just dial down on the volume, ok?

Perhaps she had cloudy pupils rendering her incapable of seeing the large red orb hanging down above the street a mere 80 feet in front of us, but red means stop.

I gave her a friendly wave because at that moment, it seemed fun. And there are only so many hand gestures available. Then the show began. In addition to the horn honking jamboree, she was waving her arms madly. Charades? I would love to play.

Is there a bee in there with you? No? Oh, you are a baby monkey climbing a tree? Wrong again.

Ohhh, I know! Orchestra Conductor!!!! No?

Mime in Central Park? Hmm.

Oh, an ass? YIPPPEEEEE! I knew I would finally get it.

And by the way, when you do that, hold that horn down for oh, 10 seconds at a time, that does not fluster me even a morsel. And did you flip me off? How very Corey Feldman of you.

So I did what any nice driver would do (especially one planning on making a point). When the light turned green I had two options. Move ahead which was clearly what Angrylina wanted me to do. OR, I could NOT move along. As the cars surged ahead, I now had even more room to be a good Samaritan so I let a few more cars out. It was the end of the day after all, and there was a line of about twenty cars waiting to exit.

And as I patiently let a few sneak out, each one waved, and I waved back. All the while treated to a concerto of Ford Motor Vehicle Horn.

The point is, we had to stop for the light anyway so don't be ridiculous. And thankfully, she stopped honking. Much more and I would have had to stop for a cocktail. Come to think of it, she likely worked up a thirst with that flailing arm workout and was in desperate need of a cocktail too.

93 comments:

Hit 40 said...

I have never tried the friendly wave to try to calm them down. Glad to know that I was right...

Assholes do not calm down!!! They just become more inflamed no matter what you try to do.

the walking man said...

It is good to have the power at times and even better to exercise it in the face of insanity.

leigh said...

"How very Corey Feldman of you."

You are a genius!

LOL,
Leigh

My name is PJ. said...

Here is how it went: chuckle, big laugh, cough, choke, another dreaded coffee spew! My desktop is rarely dirty because I have to clean it every time I read one of your posts!

Thanks for the mention! You're a peach!

Lauren said...

I love when people get all angry in traffic! It just makes me smile and drive more slowly!

Shop Girl* said...

Haha... I love doing things like this to impatient drivers! I don't care how much of a rush people are in, there is always time for courtesy.

Lee the Hot Flash Queen said...

That is so funny! I can't stand rude drivers and always try to do something to irritate them...it just makes me feel so much better!!

Mala said...

LMAO! Fabulous post. I had my own angry asshat run in yesterday. Blogging about it was very theraputic.

Did you know it was a full moon yesterday? That 'splains a lot.

"How very Corey Feldman of you." Best line ever! I'm adding it to my everyday vocabulary immediately!

Ley said...

I tend to think of who has the upper hand before I decide to be a complete bitch. If it's not me, I move along. Apparently she does not think the same.

Ley
http://overzealousley.blogspot.com/

Blogging Mama Andrea said...

I love the people who stomp the horn the nanosecond the light turns green. I mean really, I'm a good driver, great even, but even I am not that fast to move in the nanosecond the light changed.

I much prefer Germany. The light changes to yellow for a few seconds before it turns green so everyone is on the same page that the light is changing.

Most days people like that are the reason I never leave my house.

Rozzy said...

My god. Road rage at its most ridiculous. That's just one reason why I haven't got my ass on the road yet, despite having my learner's license for 18 months now...

Sarah said...

This sounds exactly like something I would do. The waving, not the honking. Here's a fun little trick for you too...when someone is riding your ass, as long as you're going 40mph+, try hitting your washer fluid. It will drift onto their windshield and they will have to throw there fluid on as well. It's VERY gratifying and harmless because it's not obvious. I keep an extra jug of fluid with me because I use this fab trick so often :)

ByDSea said...

That's funny stuff..."How very Corey Feldman of you" hahaha
Cheers,
C

mbkatc230 said...

My favorites are the speed racers who glue themselves to your bumper when all around them traffic is slowing for some silly, unimportant ambulance driver. How rude of someone to actually dare have a heart attack when they are late for their hot date, parole meeting, mosh pit practice.... "How very Corey Feldman of you" - priceless! Thanks for the giggle this morning. Kathy

Mandy's Life After 30 said...

Maybe she was auditioning for "So You Think You Can Dance,"? LOL!

I think some of the worst drivers in the U.S. must live in Atlanta and come across your path on a weekly basis, huh? Could you walk or bike to work? ;-)

Eric said...

Nice Cory Feldman reference!
I don't like the asses who lay in on their horn when they want you to turn left on a green (non-protected with an arrow) and you can't see around other cars to know if it's safe or not.

They aren't the ones that will be calling the insurance company with a claim when their car is totalled so they need to chill the hell out.

i am playing outside said...

You crack me up so much. As a non-morning person who has been waking up in the morning a lot lately, this is exactly the kind of thing I need to kick start my day.

May your days be full of crazy folk, so my mornings can be full of laughter. :D

Kelli said...

Love it! I let people over when I see it necessary (and when accompanied by 'the wave' but when I'm chugging along in traffic, I hate when someone cuts in front of me. That car-length space between me and the car in front of me? For my safety, not for you to scrunch your F150 into. Thanks.

Joshua said...

Ahh, Peachtree...that was your first mistake. I hate that street and was so happy when I found a new job that didn't require me to drive to 15th and Peachtree. Changed jobs about 2 months before they started the 14th Street Bridge project. I can't imagine what the hassle would have been like for commuting.

-Joshua

Badass Geek said...

I think sometimes the Road Rage Dance is the only exercise that asshole drivers get.

Eva Gallant said...

I love it when someone is being a total ass on the highway, and then you see them pulled over by a police officer a few miles later. Makes my day!

American in Norway said...

Such a great blog! popping by via sits... off to read some more of your posts! : )

Logical Libby said...

My sister is a road rage driver and has been known to try and honk the horn when I am behind the wheel.

Then I make her walk.

Nonflammable said...

Rude, inconsiderate drivers irritate me to no end.

I agree with Hit 40 though. Some drivers become more enraged when you pretend to placate them. A larger percentage of those forgot to take their meds and some carry weapons.

Proceed with caution....I would so miss reading your blog.

Menopausal New Mom said...

Oh, I hate being honked at when I'm actually obeying the traffic laws and lights. I too like to be polite and allow other drivers to pull out of streets and lots when they are waiting but unfortunately, there are those times when I need to get through in a hurry for an emergency and seeing someone hold me up may have me standing on that horn but never because they are stopping at red lights!!

Guess it can go both ways!

AnnQ said...

Oh, man....I always figure people who freak out over nothing must have some serious sh*t going on in their lives to make them SO sensitive and volatile. She could probably use a Valium.

Tami G said...

Oh my goodness - that is HILARIOUS! and sounds JUST like something that might happen in MY car!!! so funny!
ALSO - love the wiper fluid trick - I've been known to do that too!
Also - like to get right beside someone on a 2 lane highway and just hover there, blocking the a-hole behind me!!
HILARIOUS!

I too love the Corey Feldman reference!
Awesome!

Have a great Tuesday!

Nyx said...

I'm thinking that that woman needed her blood pressure checked.

Or something. Because Corey Feldmen impersonations? Ugh, they're so last decade.

Good job on getting her back though. :-)

Raoulysgirl said...

How considerate of you to let all of those people out on a Friday afternoon! I'm SURE that she wasn't being rude...simply encouraging your good samaritan-ness. Kind of a "rah rah" in your direction.

Oh, but you said she pulled out the finger...

Yeah...you probably just pissed her off. Props for reining in the jackass!!!

Too Many Hats said...

That's exactly how it should be done. Just think of all the people you helped out by letting them in - they far out way the one crazy woman behind you.

Stu Pidasso said...

Loving the angry honker. I have a prob with the confrontation thing and the road rage thing, but for the most aprt I try to keep it toned down to civil level. I love that you just sit there and let a few more sneak in. Love it!

Georgina said...

I'm always amused by people who have to race to the red light. Every now and then, karma comes around and takes care of it all. Once a big monster truck passed me and the car in front of me on a double yellow line, honking at us, whilst flipping the bird. The car he passed in front of me? An unmarked police car. Sweeeet! There is a God! - G

McVal said...

LOL! I'm wondering if she was trying to draw your attention to the gas hose stuck to the side of your car...

Michael Rivers said...

Did she really not notice the red light?! Crazy!! Love the you remained calm because you KNOW it made her even more angry!! LOL

JenJen said...

She should have left five minutes earlier if she was going to get her panties in a twist over your gracious driver-ing.

hotpants™ said...

I would have done the same thing. I might have given her the finger too.

Dumblond said...

Wow. Good for you.
I tend to be courteous when driving but if some psycho honker was laying it on thick behind me like that, I would not have handled it as well as you. My bitter elf would emerge and I would turn all vindictivey. I should definitely take a cue from you.

Barbaloot said...

Love that you took the time to let others in as well:)

The girl with the flour in her hair said...

Ah, a good game of charades is an awesome way to wind down after a long day on the job.

Kristina P. said...

I am always really friendly when driving. People have guns and are crazy now!

Busy Bee Suz said...

Angrylina? Oh, how I adore you. I have serious issues with horn honking. I will go to any length to NOT blow my horn. This is why I don't like NYC...too much horn honking. She may have been from NYC.

otin said...

I was just in NYC! Nice is not an option there! I did give the guy the finger one time in North Carolina, and he held up a pistol so that I could see it! Scary here too, sometimes!

Cee said...

You seem to be having bad luck with crazy drivers lately.

I hate road rage people!

foxy said...

Really?

That's what I want to say to those people. "REALLY???"

Uptown Girl said...

NYC is my favorite place to drive. When you can actually move more than 3 feet at a time that is (otherwise it isn't really driving). But I finally gave up on having a car in the city. I do get my fill of pedestrian-rage on a daily basis tho. It's not quite as fun when you can hear the person's evil remarks. I prefer charades.
great post!

La La La Leah said...

People in Utah do not drive well at all. It's horrible, nobody is friendly, nobody waves, or lets you in. It's worse than Atlanta... SCARY.

Hyla said...

Bwahahahahahaha!

Tammy Howard said...

People are scary.

Heather said...

Very funny!
I've never understood the "one car length ahead" thing either. It's not going to get there any faster.

A Year on the Grill said...

be careful poking the idiots... And I posted a HOT TODDY recipe for you today

Emily said...

LOL. I'm all about revenge with the crappy drivers around here too. :)

Sassy Chica said...

gotta love traffic and idiots...they go hand in hand!

Smooches,
Sassy Chica

Nicole said...

Driving gives me such anxiety. Arizona drivers are terrible!!! I have something for you on my blog. :)

Unknown Mami said...

I just don't understand why the simple act of sharing the road has to be rendered so unpleasant. Really!

Kristin said...

There are so many gems out on the road. It amazes me how many people think a few extra seconds is going to make or break their day.

Pricilla said...

I would have done much the same thing. And then perhaps missed first as I had a manual and oops, is the light turning red again? Darn!

kys said...

I love the way you handled her!

Postman said...

While I was still working for the newspaper (and commuting 40 minutes across town to do so), I waged cruel war against an annoying blond woman in a yellow Mini Cooper. Invariably I'd get on two-lane Highway 18 a few minutes ahead of her and, sure enough, a few minutes later she'd come blaring along at 10 miles over the speed limit. I'd be doing my customary two-and-a-half miles over the speed limit, and she, at the soonest available opportunity, would pass me with a contemptuous flourish.

So what did I do? As soon as I saw her coming, I began to slow down. I'd start ambling along contentedly at five miles BELOW the speed limit, and Mrs. Mini Speed Demon, given the two-way traffic on the highway, would be stuck behind me until we entered town and the road widened out. I used to watch her yank her car irritably around mine at Central Road with the most smug of grins on my face. Then I'd have a big congratulatory cocktail that night. Excellent post, ma'am.

strokeofliving said...

I'll keep this story in mind as I too [a native New Yorker] tend to lean on my horn in a bit of rage a tad too long. Really Dale? Everyone has gotten the point. Hats off to you for this post and thanks for the PJ referral.

Signed,
Reformed honker-

Keith said...

There seems to be all sorts of drivers out there. I'm never surprised by how other people act on the roads.

Matthew said...

People jump on their horns at the earliest opportunity, don't they?

Vodka Logic said...

Oh god I love it. I so would have done the same thing. And to wave at her when she started honkig...kill em with kindness, they hate it.

Maureen said...

Ahahahaha! That was awesome!

She got what she deserved. Perhaps you taught her a lesson; but probably not. Assholes will always be assholes, unfortunately.

Will Burke said...

Indeed, it's amazing how much time I have to drive slow when someone's tail-gating my ass!

A Lawyer Mom's Musings said...

Ah, vengeance is mine, sayeth the driver.

blueviolet said...

You are my kind of driver!

Dutch donut girl said...

Angrylina? Bwhahaha!

The Boob Nazi said...

haha I'd so do something like that.

HalfAsstic.com said...

LOVE the cheerily waving salutations to honking drivers. My particular favorite comeback. REALLY, seems to steam them up!

Mighty M said...

I also am a pretty darn polite driver! So please be polite to me too!! ;-) So many people transform into crazy deranged versions of themselves when they get behind the wheel!

questfortherightone.blogspot.com said...

but wait, aren't we supposed to honk the heartbeat out of the good samaritan drivers out there? wait. that's driving in Lebanon. My bad.

Grand Pooba said...

I'm like you, I always let people in when if the situation calls for it. I often need in and am happy for those that oblige to me so why not return the favor?

Your little charades game cracked me up! And I loved that you let even more people in just out of spite!

The Peach Tart said...

I live in your same city and can feel your pain. We have some of the rudest drivers of any city.

Jules said...

Peachtree 1? Peachtree 2? Your city has soooo many Peachtrees.....

Mary K Brennan said...

You get more bees with honey. Way to go! There should be more people on the road like you. Unfortunately I usually have the pleasure of running into Ms. Sunshine in the big truck. Smile and wave.

carma said...

I like to let people in, too; it often catches them by surprise since in the city we live it is more common to blow people off :D Angrylina needed a bit of an attitude adjustment and you were just the ticket. (Ohhhh...what a great traffic pun ;-)

Jen said...

Angrylina :) my fave! I can just picture it - I bet you sent her blood pressure through the ROOF.

Baloney said...

FYI - I have a friend who got a ticket for noise pollution because he honked his horn while passing his friend's house. Wouldn't THAT have been nice in your case?!

WhisperingWriter said...

I hate when people honk at me. I always want to jump out of my car and pound those people over the head.

I sometimes let people in. It really depends on my mood. When I'm PMSing then no, I probably won't let as many people in...

Tami G said...

Hey! I have already commented - but came back to tell you you have a little something over at my place! =)

come on by for a visit and a shout out to you!!!

Tami G
www.everydayingray.blogspot.com

♥ Braja said...

Oooh.....just to be able to travel on Peachtree Street. I declare, Miss Jenny, you are a lucky girl....:)

Amanda said...

Love it! Wish I could have seen her face and your smile!

mandatorybloghere said...

aww you are a nice one. Now i have an Audi TT so i am the one who pulls out in front of everyone and freaks them out because...erm i can and you wont even have to slow down...just your heart might skip a beat :)

R Max said...

Nice work! Ford dealerships should have mandatory color-blind tests before they let people behind the wheel of their behemoths.

sitting on the mood swing at the playground said...

Ha, Corey Feldman!

I'm like you...I try to let people in. I think it's good karma.

Tiffany and the Munchkins said...

Hysterical! You are totally my hero!

Joshua said...

By the way, I linked over to you today. Not that many people visit me, but I thought they would enjoy your stuff.

-Joshua

Candice said...

baby monkey climbing a tree...LMFAO

Candice said...

This post was so funny, I had no choice but to become a follower. Now the pressure is on, make me laugh daily please. Mmmmmmkay??

American in Norway said...

ANGRYLINA? LMAO..love it

Dan said...

Just assume she is color blind and positionally challenged. Throw her a white cane and proceed on. {*grin*}

Tsquared417 said...

You handled that perfectly! I bet she was steaming.

M-Cat said...

Crap, I needed this laugh today. I knew coming over and having a cocktail was just what the doctor ordered!

damn old woman