Road rage is a crazy thing. I believe, sometimes people are really angry about something else and when a little thing goes wrong while they’re driving, they take it out on others. Occasionally, it has been reported that there have been serious consequences to people who are angry at each other on the highway. I recently had an interesting experience I thought I’d share with you. I’m not sure what this guy’s problem was, but we both got out of it alive!
I was just on my way to do a sort of good deed. I was buying a gift card for my husband who likes to eat in this particular restaurant in Marysville. As I approached what I thought was the entrance, I noticed a Marysville police car to my right coming toward me. So when I started to enter the thought-to-be entrance, I knew the officer was in the street to my right and probably waiting for me to get out of the way so he could proceed. I didn’t have time to look back to check.
Here’s where it gets really crazy. I wasn’t able to continue into the entrance because a man was driving a small SUV with a woman passenger and he was actually blocking me so I’m sticking out into the street. I motioned to him to go on ahead and exit, but he is shaking his head and yelling at me. He had plenty of room to get out of my way and exit.
At this point, I am not close enough to hear what he said. Finally I attempt to move forward still trying to get my car off the street where the policeman is waiting for me on the right, and I say to the man, “Please move your car so I can drive in.”
Instead of leaving, he begins lecturing me. He put his window down and was actually screaming at me that I was coming in the exit. It seemed as if he thought he was the personal guard for that exit. I’m pretty sure he didn’t work there, but was probably just a customer.
This was the first time I realized that, yes, I was going in the exit, but I didn’t do it on purpose and now I was stuck with my car sticking out onto the street. I said OK, but I can’t back up, remembering that the Marysville policeman was still sitting to my right. I asked him again to please move his car.
Then he got really heated and screamed something else at me, and I finally got into the act, too, and said, “I can’t back up, move your car.” With that, he yelled an expletive at me and drove out.
He didn’t want to help me fix my mistake. After I got into the parking lot and he had gone, I thought how could someone get so angry about that?
In other towns, those are the kind of things where you hear that someone pulled out a pistol. I guess I’m lucky to escape my latest brush with road rage. I don’t know how long the Marysville policeman stayed to watch all that, because I was busy trying to get my car off the street.
I have a friend, Sandie, who lives in The Villages, Florida. She shared a story of golf cart road rage. The Villages is a place where everyone is 55 or older, mostly retired, and the owners of at least one or two golf carts. In fact when I visited there, I was amazed that golf carts are the main mode of transportation. The roads were planned with the carts in mind. When you pull up to a restaurant or a shop, golf carts are parked out front everywhere.
Sandie tells this story: “A guy in our neighborhood – mild mannered as far as we knew – plays on one of the baseball teams down here. Apparently he takes his baseball bat with him everywhere. You never know when that will come in handy. He was riding his cart to the square. To get there you go through a tunnel. As he started to enter the tunnel another guy came from out of nowhere and cut in front of him. This could’ve been a dangerous thing. The tunnel is metal and runs underneath the road. He could’ve been slammed into it.
“An argument ensued and there was some yelling. Our friend, (I use the term loosely now) had his baseball bat with him. You guessed it. He stopped his cart, jumped out and put quite a few dents in the other guy’s cart (he quickly hightailed it out of there). We no longer think of our guy as ‘mild mannered,’ and politely avoid him. You know what they say – don’t mess with old people.”
And here is probably the most scary event of road rage ever. My husband and I were in the car traveling in Pennsylvania. A car and a small panel van were driving in front of us. The panel van tried to get over in front of the car in his lane, but the car would not let him in. Who knows why he had to make this change. I don’t believe an exit was coming up, but he tried a second time and the car wouldn’t let him in again, so he just sideswiped him, bouncing off the car.
The driver of the car then moved a little sideways and sideswiped and bounced off the truck. So they were bumping each other!
Oh my gosh, we were watching this take place right in front of us. We wondered what was going to happen and could we get out of there quickly?
After a couple of those bumps the guy who started it in the panel van took an exit and the crisis was averted. What we usually say at times like these is, “Where are the police when you need them?”
All was OK for us, but just think if they had had an accident right in front of us. We could have easily become involved in that.
Road rage is a scary thing!
(Melanie Behrens – firstname.lastname@example.org)
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