It's time somebody connected the dots between two social disasters before their obscene linkage causes any more havoc. A connection too long ignored by so called "scientists" or the "reasonable people" who "pay attention" to them.
Listen up, America, before it's too late. What I'm talking about is something you can't ignore—-road rage—-and something you wish you could——automotive nose picking.
When I'm talking road rage, I'm not talking about the Fox News watching drunken hockey dad who gets his spot taken in the Walmart lot and pulls some cripple out of a crapped out Hyundai and beats him to death with a tire iron. Nor the Manhattan PR flack who screams ethnic slurs at the help at a Hamptons polo match while she backs her Hummer over their children cowering under the champagne table in the refreshment marquee.
No, I'm taking about the architect in a lovingly maintained 1990 Volvo 240 who throws his arms in the air and mouths YOU CRAZY BITCH when the soccer mom in the Aerostar behind him leans on the horn and mimes MOVE IT ASSHOLE the instant the light changes.
I see a lot of this. I see it for two reasons. One is that I walk around a lot in a congested little city and get to see people at intersections on summer days. The other is that I am an extraordinarily bad driver. But lets leave that aside.
So I ask myself, why is it that otherwise normal well behaved people behind the wheels of Saab 9000's can scream I'LL CUT YOUR NUTS OFF COCKSUCKER without even bothering to turn down All Things Considered or put the Starbucks double decaf back in the cupholder?
A particularly thorny problem when you look at the behavior of the same people outside of their cars. That is, pedestrians. Walking down the sidewalk. One brushes the other. Does the first say, YOU FUCKING CUNT DO YOU HAVE FUCKING SHIT FOR BRAINS? Does the other retort, STICK IT UP YOUR ASS YOU DUMB DICKHEAD?
Instead, people walking on the street treat each other with courtesy and respect, or at least, indifference. They say, Sorry, No problem, Scuse me, No scuse me. Or they say nothing.
The answer occurred to me one day when I was standing at an intersection watching a very nicely dressed professional woman in late middle age, alone in a Lexus
Stopped for a light, gyrating wildly to I'm Not That Innocent. (Her window was down.) I was afraid her pelvic thrusts were going to deploy the airbag. If she saw me it never registered. Not for a moment did I think she was acting out some exhibitionistic fantasy; the second the light changed she was gone.
So here it is: PEOPLE IN CARS THINK THEY'RE INVISIBLE.
Think not? How many times have you stopped at a light and glanced over at the sleek Mercedes pulled up to your side only to see some captain of industry, Gordon Gecko or Jack Welch, bellowing into his cell-phone with his index finger buried so deep in a nostril that he can scratch his brain stem? I pray for your sake that you've never caught the eye of your fellow motorist as he explored his sinuses for stalactites and as your eyes met he went on picking. For minutes, sometimes, at particularly long lights. His eyes locked on yours, pupils dilated in some reptilian pleasure that should have died with the dinosaurs but sadly survives to the present day.
Look, I'm no different. Well, yes I am. I swear I am. I've never fist-fucked my nose-holes at high speeds in interstate traffic. On the other hand, I like to keep my tribute to Paul Robeson's Old Man River sharp, and you know, I don't want to bother the neighbors with it when I'm walking the dog.
So listen, let's pull road rage out by the roots while it's still a little booger.
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