Thug. Life.

Was driving to Panera today. At a light, my car was a smidge too far to the left, momentarily blocking the turn lane into a shopping plaza. A car honked at me and inched forward. The man behind the wheel looked at me and flashed the middle finger.

I was in no mood.

He turned into the plaza, and I followed. He saw me in his rearview mirror and, at this moment, was either going to stop or pull away. He pulled away—speeding through the parking lot. I followed. He turned left. I followed. He turned right. I followed. I was wearing my dorky Sports Illustrated winter cap and driving a Prius, so I clearly wasn’t that intimidating. But I am pretty tall, and my scowl is, uh … eh, yeah. I’m not intimidating.

But this guy seemed scared. The man who flashed me the finger was desperately trying to pull away—and I wouldn’t let him. I wanted him to stop and roll down his window. I wanted to say, “Is there something you wanted to tell me, dickwad?” Man, did I want that.

Eventually, he drove away. Eventually, I realized what a complete ass I’d been. I often tell my kids to turn the other cheek, and here I was, stalking down some angry fella in a Ford. What if I had kid some pedestrian on the parking lot? What if he had a gun? Or if he was handicapped? Maybe he was just having a really bad day. Maybe his wife is in the hospital. Maybe he just got laid off.

So dumb.

7 thoughts on “Thug. Life.”

  1. I am a HUGE fan of Pema Chodron’s “Don’t Bite the Hook”… At one point she speaks about the myriad of opportunities that driving provides us to learn to deal with destructive emotions…

    1. Fletch…..too bad you didn’t have such a “thoughtful, zen” approach in the 90’s. Your fragile sense of self, lack of inner courage, laziness, and alcoholism led to abusive, selfish, and self-serving behavior. I don’t buy your self-propagandizing version of yourself one iota.
      P.s. Ever thought of making amends? Nope? Didn’t think so. You just carry on with your self-congratulatory and entitled self.

  2. I bet he won’t flip the bird ever again!!!! Way to go!!! He has probably been a jerk behind the wheel his whole life. He will never forget you Jeff. Great job.

  3. Now days you never know what kind of wacko is behind the wheel. You were lucky he didn’t pull out a gun and shoot.
    Best to let it go.

  4. And at his house, he’ll tell them all about how he innocently tried to get around someone and this smug bully came after him in a fit of road rage…

    I’ve wanted to do it to, but I keep going back to the whole, “Is it REALLY worth it to get worked up over this?”

  5. Dude, you should be happy he didn’t have a little action guy inside.. it might have been a Sports Illustrated cap donning a broken nose two black eyes and some missing teeth.

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