Wednesday, May 05, 2004

The Old Man and the Siege
So, the other day I was driving down the street. I was in the left lane with two cars ahead of me. Beside me was an older man (about 65) in a pick up truck with two cars ahead of him. We were traveling on a busy city street with several stop lights. Every time we had to stop, he looked impatient. If the car ahead of him did not start on the gas just before the light turned green, he would become highly agitated. No matter that she would not be able to go faster than the car ahead of her, in his mind she was an idiot. I could see him yelling and gesturing. She was oblivious to him. She looked like a very nice person and she was talking nicely with her passenger. She kept a safe distance behind the person in front of her and generally drove perfectly. If she saw him yelling at her, she didn't let on. The six of us were driving sure and steady....and happily, except the man beside me.

Suddenly, he pulled in front of me, slammed on his brakes, flipped me the bird and turned left into a bank!! I was surprised!! What did I do? I assure you I did not let on that I could see him. He never showed a turn signal or a need to get in front of me, and he certainly had plenty of room to get behind me since nobody else was there! He squealed on into the parking lot, stopped and turned around to flip me the bird AGAIN while he yelled obscenities at me.

The truth of the matter is, nobody did anything to provoke this man. He is simply a bitter old man taking out his anger on strangers. He is a punk and a coward. And you'd think he would be old enough to know better. He looked ridiculous yelling at everyone and no matter who he called an idiot, you can bet everyone knew who the real idiot was.

I hope none of my dear readers display this sort of behavior behind the wheel (or anywhere else, actually). There is nothing to be gained from getting worked up over small things. Just let the other guy go, give others the benefit of the doubt. Call a mistake and mistake and leave it at that. We ALL make mistakes, but even if you don't, give the rest of us a break. The loser in the whole deal is the one who gets angry. Don't give others, especially strangers, the power to sour your day.

As I drove away from the old man in the truck, my first inclination was to turn around and go ask him what his problem was. But, the better side of me decided to say a prayer for him. He obviously needed one!


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