Beef Boor-gignon…or size isn’t all that matters!

by Florence Ondré

The question of the day is why do men driving big vehicles on the road find it necessary to make as much noise as possible, grab as much asphalt as available, rage in rudeness and, all in all, make honking hogs out of themselves in every possible way?

To what purpose is the pushing and shoving of moving metal and rubber to the injury and insult of everyone else around?

It’s one thing to have to put up with this innapropriate and unsafe behavior on the road. Too many days and nights have seen me arrive home in a sweat or lather in fear or outrage after enduring the scare tactics and thoughtlessness of some neanderthal at the helm of an SUV, Hummer or 18 wheeler, sitting for blocks – and sometimes miles – on the ass end of my little Acura. Me doing the speed limit while they wanted to bump me up to 80mph or shove me off the road altogether…this with their high beams on of course.

Don’t you guys get it? That does nothing but slow us speedbumps in your life further down to almost zero. Hey, schmuck! You’ll never accomplish your move-your-ass-get-out-of-my-way goals with those tactics. We can’t see. You’ve shoved your high beams up our eyeballs through our rear… view mirror!

Even that doesn’t deter their self-centeredness-at-all-costs, bad-boy behavior. You slow down to a crawl or try to move along a bit faster and it still isn’t enough for these accidents-looking-for-a-place-to-happen. They plow to the left or right and cut the rest of the three lanes of drivers off without so much as a hint of a signal or cut an illegal swath left around you; going into oncoming traffic while you sit in the left lane doing 5 to 10 miles over the speed limit.
And onward they stream without a cop in sight to help stem the continual warm-up rehearsal of the me-me-me road rage song.

I once got a ticket for speeding up to avoid getting my car rammed from behind. Me! Not the truck pushing me past the 40 mph allowed. I got the speeding ticket while that bozo screamed on at better than 60. I can still feel the WTF look on my face.

This holiday season, I had to call the UPS company to ask them to curb their employee, the driver on our neighborhood route. The man is a big, able bodied guy who is not happy in his work. Holiday ho ho ho is out of the question as he lobs packages onto the front porch from 12 paces down the walkway. One day, he’s hurling them to crash to the concrete and the next, he piles them up at the edge of our one-step front porch to block our front door from any thought of exit.
He races that brown truck at break neck speed, whipping it around in u turns and circles without looking to see if child or pet might be flattened under his wheels. He wants each day to be over with before it begins and snaps nastily if he sees you. “Get that dog back buddy!” he yelled one day at my mild-mannered mate and our aging, sleepy eyed golden retriever who were both behind closed-tight, glass, storm door.
“I don’t remember ordering a side of attitude with that gift package,” I say, as I reach for the phone to finally put in the complaint which we’d been holding off doing for weeks because we thought the guy would then spit on our boxes or do terrible things to them in the truck, before delivering crumpled messes to the vermin at this address who ratted him out.
Yeah, well, intimidation and beligerance run amok works only so far.
Wrath only plays so long in this theatre and I’ll take my chances giving honest reviews. “UPS yours, fella!”
Now, the guy never darkens our doorstep. He still drives…slower on our block…and still races the minute he hits the corner but he does not interact with humans anymore. He has been assigned a helper; a kid who takes the extra three steps and places the packages neatly on our porch, safely in the corner. I’m left thinking maybe asking for competent, safe courteous service turned into a many-fold blessing. We get appropriate delivery service, the over-steamed driver who lacked people skills gets help he needed and the kid gets a job.
I wish all road rage petered out into positives.

And just when I thought things had calmed down, today, I was shaken out of my bed by the rumbling of big wheels, driving at the speed of light down my block. The shifting of my house on its foundations and the rattle of the china and glass walking out of their cabinets knocked me out of the covers. Literally my whole house shook!

And there was another added attraction to the Big Top of Tumult. Deep throated air horns pierced the quiet, early morn where only the soughing of wind off the ocean and an occasional cry of a seagull had previously slipped into my near-dawn consciousness.
Neath still closed eyes, I thought, “Boy, the school bus sure is in a hurry, early!”

Intermittent steamship-like honking went on for over an hour. I couldn’t completely pull myself out of the soup of sleep past my planning to run out in nightclothes and slippers; wanting to yank that overgrown bully boy out of his cab by the scruff of his no neck and remind him of his manners!

“Be quiet. People are sleeping here! Don’t come into our neighborhood unless you can behave yourself. And when you can remember to think of others besides your self, drive down our streets slowly and carefully or don’t drive here at all!” runs the admonishments in my befogged mind.

Finally, I drag myself out of semi consciousness to blunder down the stairs to look out the windows; searching for the perpetrator of stolen-sleep and breaking-and- entering-without-leaving-the-cab-of-your-semi.

All that remains at the crime scene, after the assault, is two glasses and a teacup on the floor near the china cabinet’s open door, a couple of books off their shelves, and the sounds of the silence I wished had encompassed the world for another hour or two. Here the whisper of wind in the pines; there a seagull’s cry… and nothing else but the gurgling of water in the heating system left…and me, wide awake, wanting just a little bit more peace in the morning before having to armor up to drive to the grocery store.

It’s quiet on my street now as I write this but I know there’s a “King of the Heap,” revving his gas guzzling, world polluting, excess out there assaulting someone on the road. Some jerk in a perrenial bad mood; middle finger and curses at the ready to flail at you if you didn’tget your memo to stay out of his way.

I just didn’t think they’d be able to do drive their way into our homes!

How do you speak up from there?

On the highways, you’ve got the option of beeping your own horn, waving your hands, giving the finger, yelling, “Slow down! Get off my bumper…expletive deleted!” or sporting a bumper sticker, lettering some courtesy, sarcasm or witticism which points out the error of the bully’s ways.

I’ve even considered one for my car that has a drawing of a honking big SUV which succinctly says, “Sorry about your small penis, fella.”

This morning, I’m thinking of putting it on the front of my house!

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