Stranger Danger

July 21, 2010 at 11:47 pm | Posted in Situations | Leave a comment
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So I had a fantastic experience the other day, and I’d like to share it with the internet. Because the internet needs to know these things, much like how I need to know how Mel Gibson likes to yell at his green card-desiring wife. (I don’t know this to be true, I just wanted to say something crass to amuse myself; I look forward to your letters.)

I happened to be driving near the beach this past weekend with my ladyfriend, and we wound up stuck in traffic on a two-lane highway. We’d just come from a hot-air balloon festival and we were both in pretty good moods, despite the traffic. I decided to whip out the ol’ GPS (I’ll write a blog on how hilariously infuriating GPS’s can be at some point) to see if there was a short cut or alternate route I could take. Being in the right lane, I saw on the GPS that there was a left I could take in order to get out of the vortex of humanity we were in the middle of.

I checked my rear and side view mirrors to see if I could move over, and low and behold I could; the nearest car was a few dozen feet away. So I put on my directional and slowly slid on over. As I started talking to my ladyfriend again, I happen to look in my rear-view mirror, and what do I see?

The car behind me was about three inches away from my bumper, and the girl driving it was screaming at the top of her lungs. She was turning beat red, howling all sorts of obscenities… at me! She was flipping me the bird that lasted for, at minimum, twenty seconds. I was so shocked that I didn’t know what to do. She had been so far back that I hadn’t even noticed her crawling up my ass at the last second; she hadn’t blared her horn or anything. As she was screaming, I noticed there was a man sitting next to her, a smaller guy, eating a pizza and drinking a coke, completely ignoring her. She was turning to him and yelling, and he didn’t even acknowledge that he heard her.

I was so taken aback by this scene that I threw up my hands as if to say ‘I’m sorry! Jesus, calm down!’ At that, she stopped screaming, but her motions were still spasmodic and angry. She was gesticulating violently in my direction still, pointing and turning her head to the guy sitting next to her, who was apparently only able to emotionally register food, because he wasn’t giving her anything more than a silent nod.

As it turns out, the map was wrong, because the left I was going to take was blocked off, so I was stuck there. The traffic was stop and go, and the right lane (the one I was originally in) was moving much faster than the left. This lovely little girl only had to move over into the right lane and pass me, but no. She stayed right behind me. A mile had gone by, but she refused. It was as though she were trying to reclaim the eleven feet I’d taken from her.

Ten minutes had gone by and the girl is still vehemently gesticulating at us. Of course, my ladyfriend and I had to actually turn around in the car to get an actual glimpse of this poor thing that apparently had no coping mechanism. It was as though I’d murdered her family in front of her. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve pissed people off before. Plenty. But this was the first time I’d ever gotten a complete stranger so angry with me that, had she a gun in her possession, she would have shot me in the head in front of policemen and said to them, “take me away.”

So I started antagonizing her. If she was going to get so mad at me, I was at least going to give her an actual reason. It was the least I could do. I started wildly gesticulating back at her, which drove her into a complete frenzy. My ladyfriend and I were hysterical with laughter; it was like training an animal to do a funny trick.

The poor guy next to her in the passenger seat looked so absolutely browbeaten that you could see he was used to it. We started making up a story about how she was really the man in the relationship, and how she beat him every night. And this girl was small, almost waifish (I couldn’t see her from the neck down; she might’ve been one of those girls with a skinny face and an enormous ass).

As we approached the light, I think I saw that she was foaming at the mouth, and I was beginning to worry that she might hemorrhage without warning. Being the concerned citizen that I am, I didn’t want to see that. So I did what any good person would have done. There was a guy on the right trying to get into my lane. I wouldn’t let him in. I made the girl behind me let him in. The last face I saw before the pick-up truck block my view was one of sheer, unmitigated fury; a crimson face screaming bloody murder.

This was as close to the face I saw that I could find on the interwebs:

I almost had to pull over I was laughing so hard. After a few more minutes of utter delight, I decided I needed to get into the right lane so I could continue straight on backroads rather than continue on the congested highway. I hadn’t even put my turn signal on when I saw the car, a red Honda Accord, slowly drive past us, the face of evil staring at us with the hatred of a thousand demons. She was going straight, too. And I had to get behind her.

I knew it was going to be interesting from here on out.

When she saw that I was behind her, she slowed to a crawl. She was going 10mph in a 30mph zone. So I went 5mph, gesturing to her with a shrug: “I have nowhere to be.” Clearly she didn’t either. My ladyfriend and I had surmised earlier in our protracted skirmish with the girl that maybe she was in a rush to get somewhere, which I would have felt, very mildly, bad about. But for someone to drive twenty miles under the speed limit in a sophomoric attempt at revenge sort of repudiated that claim.

I began to fear that maybe she did have a gun. Or a knife. Or a henpecked boyfriend who would try to fight me just to get a few minutes peace from her constant braying. So as we turned around a bend, I lost sight of her and stopped for a few seconds to let her get further away. When the road straightened, I saw she’s barely moved too. This troglodyte was really pissed. It was only then I saw my salvation: a line of fast moving cars rapidly approaching. I pulled on over and she had no choice but to hurry up. If she were a thinking kinda gal, she could’ve pulled over too, but I think she realized her fun would be easily spoiled by folks like us. That was the last I ever saw of her.

That was days ago, and I am STILL laughing. Lady, if you’re out there, and you happen to read this, you will likely know it’s you. And if you do, I want to ask you to seek help. As a rule of thumb, when you get that angry at a complete stranger for no reason, it probably isn’t really about the stranger, is it? Maybe you were abused; maybe you come from a broken home; maybe you were given everything you’ve ever wanted and have no grip on reality. But seriously, go see a psychiatrist. Or a priest. Or confide in a friend (not the poor guy in the passenger seat; he looked like he was going to go hang himself from a ceiling fan the more you yelled). But seriously, for the sake of the next motorist you get angry at for no reason, take a Xanax.

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