New Appreciation of Road Rage

April 3, 2006 at 7:39 pm 2 comments

On the weekends, Sean and I often ride in the car together.  Mostly to lunch or to Larry's, sometimes a trip to Target is in the works.  It's not an enviable time of the week.  Regardless of whether Sean is the driver or passenger, his eyes are alert and constantly scanning the road for someone doing something stupid.  Even on a five minute trip to 7-11, he'll spot someone doing something that isn't to his liking.  And when he does, he announces it.   He'll cite cell phone usage, point out red light runners, complain about cyclists and ostracize those who abstain from cruise control.  He's even speculated on a variety of lane change conspiracies.  (It is no wonder he was called to create the Jackass Driver Registry back in 1998)

Sean's verbose road presence is something I've built up a tolerance for in the past decade.  However, I'm still not fully adjusted to when he rolls down the window to share his insights with the offending drivers.  The other week, we were driving down the road and we found our path blocked by a car with all its doors open and a couple taking their time unloading items from the vehicle.  I slowed down and waited for a good time to go around the car in the opposite lane of traffic.  Sean was, of course, complaining all the while.  As we cautiously inched around the car, I heard a familiar whir and felt a gust of fresh air.  Before I could even think about hitting the child lock button, Sean had his head out the window and was yelling at the couple.

"Why don't you just stop in the middle of the road next time!?!?"

My reaction at the time was irritation with a little bit of humilation mixed in.  I promptly complained to Sean to which he pointed out if he didn't say anything, the driver would never know any better.

"Next time they'll think twice before they do stupid shit like that," Sean said.

The Somalian rapper, K'naan has a quote in his song Hoobaale:

How come you turn the deafest ear when it's your own brother calling?

I don't know the answer to that question, but I am certainly susceptible to a similiar phenomenon.  Sean's explanation of his behavior certainly made sense and I may have even admitted as much at the time, but I still did not appreciate it.

Well, it took another K'naan quote for me to fully convert to Sean's way of thinking:

 It is better to light a candle than to curse the dark.

For a couple of weeks now, I've being very fond of that statement.  Instead of complaining about something, do something about it.  It's a good thought and I looked up to K'naan for articulating it so.  Then I realized that is exactly what my husband was doing that I found so distasteful.

Like many great scientists and artists, Sean was unappreciated in his time.

Entry filed under: K'naan, Sean.

On the Subject of Cow Tipping Sean’s Gift of Anticipation

2 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Clint  |  April 4, 2006 at 2:42 pm

    Yea. You gotta tell people what’s up or they will just get worse and worse. I can barely get from point A to point B without flickign SOMEone off. And I make it a point to yell at the jaywalkers who block me DAILY (frickin’ arlington/clarendon).

    One time, a cop pulled me over for beeping at a jaywalker! Told me he COULD write me a ticket. That’s only allowed in emergencies. Of course I would testify that I was beeping because the emergency of a jaywalker not seeing the “Don’t walk” sign almost getting hit by oncoming traffic! I think he wouldn’t have won, so he pretended to be letting me off when really he didn’t want to waste his time going to court and losing and being embarassed. Prick.

    Okay… I’m about to rage RIGHT NOW.

    My accident this month was due to someone changing lanes unnecessarily, without signaling, in a way that had no measurable benefit (he continued straight for 3 more miles and traffic was blocked in both lanes!).

    Of course, I was trying to work ahead of traffic myself and had I gone with the flow the situation would have happened differently…. Live & Learn.

    And don’t get me started on the people who don’t turn right when there are HUGE GAPS IN TRAFFIC. I beep at THEM daily too!

    Go Sean!

    Oh yea, and one time in D.C. a family was unloading the same way you describe – blocking with their doors open. Getting out. Very very slowly.

    I yelled out the window, “Could you possibly move any slower, you fucking retards?!?!” Very loudly.

  • 2. Carolyn  |  April 9, 2006 at 2:49 pm

    Yeah, and like Vicky, I used to get embarrassed when Clint shares his views with the offending parties…. Clint told me word for word what Sean told Vicky.

    Nowadays, I more readily flick people off or use other gestures of displeasure, or honk my horn or flash my lights.


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