Flipped That Bird.

So, I’m driving home today after work. Ahh. The work day is over and my real life can begin. I can let my eyes come back into focus after staring at a screen all day. I can listen to this song and pass this old guy and be home in 20.

Why isn’t he getting over? What the – ! Did he just do what he think he did?!!

Oh yes, my friend. He did. The middle finger. Do people really do that anymore? Come on! And not a quick: “I’m just going to give you a taste of the aggravation I’m carrying inside my body for you right now,” and then exit finger…but rather: “I blank-ing LOATHE you!!!”

That finger stood proudly – directly in front of his rear view mirror – as if making its debut.  I could feel my eyes widen with such surprise and (to be honest) anger.

Issue #1 – He had an ARMY bumper sticker slapped across the back of his car. He is making a disgrace of that wonderful word. Perhaps it’s the fact my father is serving over in Afghanistan that made me feel so enraged at this. If he only knew – how this old fart of a veteran was “serving” his country now…

Issue #2 – He’s old and definitely retired. What the heck do old, retired people have to worry about here? It’s hot. You can’t be cold. No, 50 degrees in the winter isn’t COLD. I grew up in Ohio where an ice scraper was more than a 711 accessory. We actually used them. A LOT. And you’re retired. Must be nice. Seriously. Not to say you haven’t earned it…but, maybe enjoy it?

Issue # 3 – YOU’RE driving in the passing lane, you crab! That’s for passing…NOT taking a joy ride around town. The only thing I’m at fault for here, is not beeping my horn to counteract your incompetence.

Yeah, I was frustrated. I harbor a little bit of road rage. I know this. I was so perturbed with this guy and yet, I found his deliberately bad attitude – endearing. He’s old and maybe he’s alone. Forget it, that’s not an excuse. I don’t take my bad days out on my mail lady (just as much of a stranger to me as I am to this guy) and throw all my mail in her face. So, what did I do?

I crept up a little closer to his bumper. I wanted to get just close enough so that he could see my pearly whites clearly on that stage, that just moments earlier, his little finger was boldly standing on. HELLLOOOOO Vietnam! (too far?)

I saw a few murmurs escape from his lips, which I can only hope were verbal prayers. He started tapping violently on his brakes. I backed off. I didn’t want this crazy to follow me. He seemed miserable enough to not care whether or not he drove me off the road. But does he move into the right lane? Of course not. All right. I’m going to gain my composure and not let this loon ruin the rest of my night. No, I’m going to start enjoying it right now…

I move over into the right lane. I am now parallel with Grandpa. My windows are tinted so I get really close to them in the hopes that he can at least see my outline. I didn’t throw back a finger or a scream.  I decided to be kind and end this war. So, I waved.

I could tell from the look on his face that he was going to probably have a heart attack. He was annoyed at the fact that I wasn’t going to let him just pee all over my day and then onto his next victim. We stayed parallel for what seemed liked years, eyeing each other. I could tell he was too afraid to go faster than 60 and he was annoyed that he couldn’t get over into another lane.

I felt myself saying aloud, “Now you know how I feel!”


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