Friday, February 19, 2010
We've been fortunate here in Boston to have gone 7 full weeks - January 1st to Feb 16th - without any snow.
And we didn't get much on this past Tuesday (the 16th) either but the roads got pretty dicey out there in the afternoon. Between picking one kid up at LEGO camp and dropping another off at Annie Camp, my car must have skidded badly five times. Everyone was driving 15 mph on a major road here where the limit is 45 mph - it was that bad.
So after I pick-up my daughter, I am driving slowly down the road described above. But some knucklehead decided to tailgate me for the 1.5 mile stretch. The fact that the road was a skating rink apparently didn't scare him - not as much as it scared me seeing him on my bumper.
I reach the traffic light, get into the left hand turning lane, and this clown pulls up alongside. I roll down my window and motion for him to do the same.
CaptiousNut - So, the roads are covered in ice,....nobody has any brakes,....and you have to tailgate me?
He was clearly taken aback by my question - because he probably thought I was going to ask him for directions or something.
Dude - [gruffly] WHAT is your point?
CaptiousNut - My point? [serenely]....My point is that you are a total *%&$-ing idiot.
Now he was really taken aback! He grunted unintelligibly while fumes filled his reddening skull.
Dude - That's real nice! I have my 13 year-old daughter here with me!
CaptiousNut - So you're tailgating on an icy road with your daughter in the front seat....Like I said, you're a total *%&$-ing idiot.
And that really set him off, into a face redder than anything I've seen since my lunatic high school basketball coach.
Dude - [mustering all his powers of articulation] GO F*CK YOURSELF!!!
CaptiousNut - [still serene] That's real nice....I have my two small children in the car here.
Then he sped off.
Note that he didn't even deny tailgating me or accuse me of driving too slowly, when first confronted.
Is this a potentially risky game I'm playing - antagonizing randoms on our raging roads?
Will some [crazier] guy one day pull out a gun on me?
But I submit that Roadside Marginalizing is 1/500th as risky as tailgating.
This type of altercating takes nothing away from my energy or my chi; not only is it effortless on my part, but it's often hilarious!
The way I figure it, that guy deserves to go home all hot and bothered. He deserved to be chastised and embarrassed in front of his daughter.
It's funny, you know I once saw my father harshly scolded - by the rude-a$$ pastrami guy at Katz's Delicatessen - and I'll never, ever forget watching him, my ultimate authority figure, get smacked down like he did.
This morning, my 5.25 year old son said to me, "Dad, what's tailgating?"
I was beside myself laughing. He waited three full days before asking!
The all-ears, precocious little bugger has also been know to say *the bank owns our house*. I wonder where he got such a notion?