Friday, April 9, 2010

Calm down 'little' man

So there I was, driving along the highway like I have done a thousand times before, minding my own business while rejoicing in having survived another day at work.

Ahead of me in the fast lane was a car that was not going very fast. In fact, it was doing about 80 km/h along a 90 km/h highway.

Did I mention the car was in the 'fast' lane, not the drive-at-less-than-the-speed-limit lane?

That information plays a role in this tale.

I was cruising along at around 10 km/h over the posted speed limit, which is no biggy because even then some people were passing me like I was on a skateboard.

The speed limit along this stretch of blacktop often seems more like a suggestion than anything else. I have seen some drivers going so fast they broke the sound barrier as they passed.

But on this day, it was not a fast driver who was causing distress to other motorists, but a guy who knew the world should do what he wants, so going slow in the fast lane is perfectly acceptable.

I pulled up behind said driver, and after slowing down I flashed the lights of my car a couple of times indicating I wanted to use the passing lane to do just that and if he wanted to drive like he was cruising the block, he should do so in the slow lane.

He declined to move over, so I went into the 'slow' lane, and passed the slow driver. While passing, I glanced over at the car and thought nothing of it.

As soon as I was past him, he began pointing to something in the sky. At least that's what I think he was doing as he kept using one finger to point upward.

Looking skyward, I failed to see anything, so I continued on my way. Suddenly Mr. Fastlane found the accelerator and pulled up behind me, still pointing at whatever it was he saw in the clouds.

I came to a stop light and Mr. Finger roared up behind my car, braking at the last moment.

It would seem either flashing the lights of my little car, passing his larger car or daring to look in his direction was a tremendous insult because this guy was obviously annoyed.

The light turned green and I proceeded like I always did with Mr. Angry right behind me. As I pulled onto a side street Mr. Bozo continued past me down the road, again pointing to the heavens with what appeared to be the only finger he had left on his hand.

Perhaps the others were chopped off in an industrial accident or something. I felt bad for the poor guy, having to go through life with only one finger, and it happened to be 'that' finger to boot.

He was a younger fellow, I would say in his early 20s, and from what I could see of him he was rather large. You know the kind: no neck, head slightly larger than a ripe pumpkin only not as smart.

After watching his tirade and single-finger salute for several minutes, I tried to think of what I did that was so offensive as to evoke such ongoing anger.

I did not cut him off, give him a dirty look or even return the single-digit sign language, but somehow I had committed a great offence against him and he wanted to make sure I knew it.

I thought about it for a long time before the answer became clear.

He wasn't saying 'You offended me,' nor was he saying 'You disrespected me and I am not happy about it.'

I realized what the meathead was saying was, 'I have a very small winky and that really upsets me and I am not bright enough to deal with it in any way other than directing pointless anger at those around me.'

It all became clear after that realization. Why else would a full-grown man show such hostility for absolutely no good reason if he did not have some personal issue he was trying to compensate for?

Hey pal, it's OK. Many creatures on this planet have the same handicap. Mice are a prime example and you don't see them flipping the bird to people and acting all hostile for no real reason.

My advice would be to accept yourself for who you are and relax a little bit, no matter your short comings.

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