As my friend BG pointed out, "Nothing good can come of this."
I pulled up to a stop sign at the end of my street the other day and waited impatiently for the traffic to lighten, and, finally, when a promising gap appeared, I pulled onto the state road and accelerated rapidly to blend in with the flow of traffic. It seemed to work nicely, but, a mile down the road, a little red car passed me on the right, swerved in front of me and suddenly hit his brake, obviously deliberately.
"Asshole," I muttered after I hit my brake.
A quarter-mile later, I watched the little red car ahead of me pull into the entrance to the convenience store where I was headed.
"That's not good," I thought.
I had seen road rage in action. I once pulled up behind two cars at a stop sign and saw the driver ahead of me jump out with a tire iron in his hand and rush to the driver's window of the car ahead of him, screaming and brandishing his weapon. The driver immediately screeched away from the intersection as the tire iron banged on his trunk. The raging man stomped back to his car yelling his complaint at me in explanation while I watched, very alert. He drove off without further ado, but I've heard of gun play entering into such situations, and I remember a news story about a guy who fished a crossbow out of his trunk and put an arrow into the chest of of a driver who had offended him.
My situation was not good. "But," I thought, "I go where I'm going."
We parked and reached the door of the store about the same time, him slightly ahead of me. "What the fuck're you doing," he said. "Cutting me off like that?"
I didn't like his tone--or his swerving in front of me--so, as we lined up at the register and the arms of our jackets brushed together, he ahead of me again, I said, "What's the matter, no brakes?"
"I got brakes," he seethed. "You're an asshole!"
"Yeah, right," I said sarcastically as we stood eyeball to eyeball.
At that moment, a women opened the adjacent register saying, "Can I help the next person?"
Neither of us road warriors was actually the "next person," but I stepped right up and asked for cigarettes.
Of course, this could be interpreted as me cutting him off again, so as I paid for my butts, thinking he might want to get physical, I decided to be very alert and totally prepared. "If he wants to go, I'm ready,"
I thought. I knew I could have one hell of a devastating opening round, and I knew that opening rounds are most often decisive, the time during which most street fights are won or lost. But after three minutes, I knew also, if the guy didn't back away, I'd be praying for the police to arrive to break up the fight. The guy was about the same size as me, but he was at least 30 years younger, probably in the prime of his life. Within four minutes, I'd be gasping for breath.
He watched me walk to the door with my cigarettes, then shouted sarcastically as I pushed open the door, "Have a nice day!"
"Thanks!" I said.
As BG said, nothing good can come of this.
And I was impressed by the simple wisdom from another friend when he said, "I would have kept going to the next store."
Watch this road rage guy: