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Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Road Rage is so 1992.

I was driving through Five Points yesterday, looking for a parking spot. It was around lunch time, but the parking situation wasn't too bad. I didn't anticipate more than one loop around Saluda Avenue, maybe two, but I was listening to the radio, so what's a few more minutes?

I found a spot and pulled in. I didn't get far, because there was a rather intimidating woman standing in the space. I don't know why anyone would want to park in a parking space meant for a car, but she seemed determined, so I waved apologetically and moved on to a space a few yards away. As I was getting out, I saw her wave a friend into the space. I know they were friends, because they were wearing matching garnet shirts and khaki shorts, a combination far more unforgivable than parking space hogging. I mean, ew, the shorts had pleats! And grown women do not need to be wearing matching outfits. Twins shouldn't even wear matching outfits after the age of six or so.

Was it really worth the bad karma incurred? Her friend would have found a spot within minutes, without interrupting the flow. And the ladies seemed to derive some great satisfaction from sticking it to the other would-be parkers. They were laughing and fist bumping, high fiving or whatever the kids are doing these days.

I used to have road rage, until I realized it was more effective to just change lanes. I'm too lazy for road rage. Unlike this lady I know, who shall remain nameless because of what I'm about to share. This energetic lady, we'll call her Ursula, which isn't even remotely similar to her real name, always seemed a bit off. It was hard to say how. She was nice enough and able to form sentences like a normal human. She didn't have freaky hair. But there was something. My husband calls it "snakes behind the eyes." My sister in law calls it "like that time in high school I tried to be enthusiastic."

Anyhow, I was driving to the gym one day and, while drinking coffee, putting on lipstick and talking on my cell phone, swerved ever so slightly into the lane beside me. Someone honked to let me know and, as they passed, I put my coffee and lipstick down before turning to do the sheepish wave of thanks. I know how small this town is, so there was a 98.2% chance I would know the honker. And, it was true, I had been driving like an a**hole and earned the honk. I turned to wave and saw the driver, hands on the wheel, foot to the accelerator, body flung across the passenger seat, eyes bulging. As I contemplated how someone could remain seated in the driver's seat, driving, and simultaneously press her face against the passenger window, I realized I knew her. Ursula! Now I had proof.

As soon as she was a safe distance away, I called a few choice friends to let them know what we hadn't been able to prove before. Ursula is a stone cold loon. There was still a slight chance she was normal, I guess. If she had called later or said something the next time I saw her like,

"I'm so embarrassed! I can't believe I lost my temper like that the other day. You must think I'm a nut!"

I could have responded, after politely pretending not to remember the incident, of course,

"Oh, my goodness. That was you? Oh, we all have days like that...bless your heart. Don't give it another thought!"

And she could have told me about the bad day that lead up to her acting like a raving lunatic. Maybe the dry cleaner lost her favorite shirt. Maybe she had to wait three hours at the doctor's office. Maybe the grocery store was out of olives. But that didn't happen. Every time I've seen her since, she's been about the same, maybe slightly more nervous. She doesn't need to be nervous around me, though, because public rage isn't my thing. Too tiring and not fun enough. I'm more into public hysteria and streaking.

Namasté, y'all!

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