Today I was driving to the grocery store, heading toward Perring Parkway. I stopped for a light at Harford Road and a minivan pulled up along side my car, seemingly to turn right. Often those “right-turners” are really hoping just to cut you off so that they can be first. This is a hugely important rule of the road:
RULE ONE: Everyone wants to be first, especially in front of you. Who knew that arbitrary events could become so personal? But they did. Not only do they want to be first, they will take extreme measures to beat you to whatever signal lies ahead. Here in Baltimore, turn signaling devices are optional & pretty much no one bothered to pony up for the additional cost of said device. We’re all just moving forward, somewhere. The time it takes to alert anyone to your actual intensions could be better spent texting or chatting on the phone.
Anyway, I’m waiting for the signal to change & when the light turns green, I notice that Mr. Right Turn Guy is suddenly attempting to cut me off. I hit the gas, because clearly I’m not someone who lets this stuff roll off my back easily. I hit the gas & I have a 5-speed manual transmission which easily allows me to zoom past the minivan, forcing him into the less-favored number two spot. This act of reclamation on my part so infuriates the Right Turn Guy, that he feels compelled to honk his horn all the way down Echodale, glued to my bumper, until we reach Tramore Road, a good four block span.
Well, I have to tell you that this horn blowing didn’t bother me at all! I smiled from ear to ear, relishing each delicious moment, being sure to gaze into the rearview mirror so that my new-found friend would be certain that I took no offense whatsoever at his wrong-headed, garish display. The anger he must have felt at that moment probably made him forget that he had only been pretending to want to turn right, so that he could rush left in front of me, and assume the role of leader car (see rule one.)
RULE TWO: And really this is key in almost every imaginable scenario, don’t get mad, get even. I know that you’ve heard this so many times, but in today’s crazy world it couldn’t be more important. Besides, why allow these idiots to ruin your day? Not only did Mr. Hornblower not ruin my day, he positively made my day! I was laughing heartily as his horn continued its feeble, unrequited blast.
So remember, these events are on-going. There will always be someone behind you who doesn’t want to be there. You’re not driving fast enough, or slow enough, or correctly enough, or whatever enough. Don’t take offense! Take action! Slap on that smile and continue, apace. A friendly wave never hurts either. Happy motoring!