Today on my way into work, I got caught at a red light. No big deal.
Except for that across the street I saw a woman get out of her car, walk up to the car in front of her, and knock on the driver’s side window. The man rolled his window down, and she commenced a red-light-long scream-lecture. She flailed her arms to the sky and pointed around angrily, then stomped back to her car and slammed her door shut.
Now I didn’t see exactly what went on to make her decide that it was worth the trip to his car, but I don’t think I would have like to be involved in this situation on either end.
- I would not have gotten out of my car at a busy intersection regardless of the color of the light. If someone weren’t paying attention while driving, she could have easily gotten side-swiped and mushed into the car of the man at whom she was screaming.
- I would not have rolled my window down if someone came a-knocking at a red light. This is Atlanta, dummies. She could have been packing heat or just plain crazy. Her flailing arms could have easily turned into punches or choking or whatever other kind of bodily harm she wished to inflict upon me.
- This never would have happened in Sevierville, Tennessee. However, there have been times when I have thought it would be gratifying to be able to yell back at the guy who just cut me off in a dangerous and/or ridiculously stupid manner and actually have him hear me logically explain why that was such a dumb move.
It makes me think about the pseudo-freedom that driving gives us. It’s almost like an anonymous way to communicate, like through anonymous comments online. We can be nice in real life when we have to be face to face with people, but as soon as we get in our cars we become encased in our little motorized bubbles. Everything outside doesn’t pertain to us. We’re just trying to get home.
We can be jerks in cars, and there’s less of a risk of real repercussions than if we were jerks to people to their faces. When someone cuts me off I can merely shake my fist at him. Perhaps honk. But if we don’t get in a wreck and a cop doesn’t see him driving like a freaking moron, it’s over. The end. I’m left mad with no way to tell him that I think he’s a meanie-weanie jerk-faced mcgee. And he goes about his business, feeling a little more bad-ass than before.
What I’m trying to say is that driving is like posting your opinion anonymously online. Makes sense, right? … Right?