Cruising to judgment
I have my radio cranked up. I’m singing at the top of my lungs, cruising down the interstate. Then a black pickup whizzes by me, pulls back into the right-hand lane and slows down, like the driver just forgot what he was doing.
I hate it when people do that. I holler at him, “Don’t you have cruise control buddy? Set it and forget it!” I don’t think he hears me.
Well, I do have cruise control, and I always set it and forget it. So it doesn’t take me long to be too close for comfort. I give the driver my “mean stare” as I pass him. I’m not worried about retaliation; my mean stare probably isn’t that mean. Plus, I have the confidence that comes with tinted windows.
I get back into the driving lane and all is well for 10 minutes or so, until the black pickup speeds by me again. I’m not a competitive person. In fact, I avoid competition altogether because I hate to lose. I’d be perfectly fine if he passed me and kept on going. But no! He slows down again—just to make me mad.
I hold out as long as I can, but eventually my cruise control and I catch up, so I pass again. This time I get a good look at the driver as I’m going by. I can clearly see he’s one of THOSE people: the ones whose sole purpose in life is to irritate me—or you. You know the kind. They wake up in the morning, pull your name out of a hat, and set out to wreck your day.
I bet he’s the type who speeds up just so he can beat everyone else to the stoplight. And takes up two parking spaces so he won’t get a dent in his vehicle. And leaves his shopping cart in the middle of the parking lot because he doesn’t care if anyone else gets a dent in theirs.
I bet he’s the kind of guy who takes the last paper towel and doesn’t bother to get more from the basement. And doesn’t wipe his feet on a snowy day. And tosses his litter on the street. He probably thinks his mother is going to come by later and pick up after him.
I’m just getting warmed up when he passes me again. Yup. He’s definitely that kind of guy. He’s got one of those bumper stickers with itty-bitty print you can’t read. It probably says, “If you can read this, you’re too close.”
I’ll bet he makes his living as a spammer. And he probably moonlights at a fake call center where they call during dinner to tell you there’s a problem with your credit card, or your computer, or the IRS. “Take that, spammer,” I say as I pass him again.
Oh yeah; he’s definitely the kind of guy who shares dumb political posts on Facebook. And texts when he drives. And spits gum on the sidewalk. And I’m quite sure he doesn’t call his mother often enough.
I sure hope he’s not going where I’m going, because he’s probably one of those people who slams their hotel room door no matter what time of the day or night it is.
There he goes again, passing me and slowing down, oblivious to the annoyance he’s causing everyone else on the road. Oh wait. That’s not the same truck.
Dorothy Rosby is the author of several humor books, including I Used to Think I Was Not That Bad and Then I Got to Know Me Better.