The Cure For The Common Road Rage

 

I consider myself a peaceful and easy going individual most of the time, I’ve meditated and practiced yoga for almost twenty years. There are few things anymore that rile me up but one of them left is the annoyance of bad drivers. When I’m driving something transformative happens that reduces the level of my patience nearly to zero. It seems that drivers, more than ever, have their minds on anything and everything but driving. Rules of the road to them are mere, “suggestions” and this would include lane markers, signs and traffic lights.

Yes, I admit was one of those horn-beeping, finger-flipping barbarians who would not hesitate to call you out for cutting me off, running a red light or drifting into my lane while simultaneously steering with your knees, sipping your latte, and checking your Facebook news feed.

My cure came in a most unassuming way. Just recently I bought a used 2010 Honda Fit. This car is perfect for me in every way and inadvertently has ended my decade long, love/hate relationship with driving. I believe what this car has taught me could possibly cure road rage on a global scale.

I’ll never forget the first day I discovered it. It was just a regular day and I was on the way to work. From the other direction someone turned left in front of me, nearly shearing off the first few inches of the front of my, “new” car. I was furious and instinctively slammed my palm into the center of the steering wheel and that is when it happened… “meeeeeeeeep”. Just as a succession of blistering expletives were about to be launched from my lips I laughed instead.

This was no normal horn, in fact it reminded me of the horn on my old 1983 Tomos moped…if the battery were almost dead. The sound was embarrassingly dreadful and actually the antithesis of what a horn should be. I felt shame, I felt embarrassment, it humbled me.

As my father so graciously taught me through his example, the offensive gestures and fiery expletives can come in any order but the horn beeping must always proceed them both. That’s the way it is, there’s no other way.

Instantly, I became a change man, years of anger were wiped clean. All it took was a wimpy horn.

~Eric Vance Walton~

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The Cure For Common Roadrage

I consider myself a peaceful and easy going individual most of the time, I’ve meditated and practiced yoga for almost twenty years. There are few things anymore that rile me up but one of them is bad drivers. When I’m driving something transformative happens that reduces the level of my patience nearly to zero. It seems that drivers, more than ever, have their minds on anything and everything but driving. Rules of the road to them are mere “suggestions” and this would include lane markers, signs and traffic lights.

Yes, I admit was one of those horn-beeping, finger-flipping barbarians who would call you out for cutting me off, running a red light or drifting into my lane and coming just a few inches from sideswiping me. My cure came in the most unassuming way. Just recently I bought a used 2010 Honda Fit. This car is perfect for me in every way and inadvertently has ended my decade long, love/hate relationship with driving. I believe what this car has taught me could possibly cure road rage altogether, worldwide.

I’ll never forget the first day I discovered it. It was just a regular day and I was on the way to work. From the other direction someone turned left in front of me, nearly shearing off the first few inches of the front of my “new” car. I was furious and instinctively slammed my palm into the center of the steering wheel and then it happened, “eeeeeeeeep”. Just as a succession of four letter words was about to leave my lips I laughed instead, the horn reminded me of the one on my old 1983 Tomos moped, if the battery were dying. The sound was embarrassingly dreadful and actually the antithesis of what a horn should be.

Just like that I’m a changed man. Years of anger wiped clean. All it took was a wimpy horn.

SNL – Is There Hope?

I remember watching SNL as a child in the seventies. It was cutting edge, current. Now, when I have enough courage to tune in, I wince every since time at how bad it is. For the sake of nostalgia, I’ll watch ten, maybe fifteen minutes longer than I’d want to but it never gets better.

I have two weeks until I have to start the rewrite of my novel after the editing is done. In the next two weeks I’m going to draft a few skits to send into the show. Probably a couple times per month my wife and I are driving along in the car or going for a walk and something sparks an idea for a spoof of a commercial or some other humorous skit. Believe me, the world provides plenty of material for this.

Just on our walk around the neighborhood lake alone we’ve come to know a cast of characters who entertain us every night. Just a small sampling of the cast of characters is as follows:

1. The Angry Jogger. A man who appears to be in his fifties and is wound way too tight. He has literally cursed me out, without ever turning around, for not getting out of this way;

2. The Poop Patrol. An elderly gentleman who rides his bike around the lake, keeping a watchful eye to make sure dog walkers pick up after their animals. If, God forbid, he sees a spare turd and you happen to have a bag in your hand he will ask you to pick up said turd. He’s done this to us.; and

3. The Monkey Man. A man who walks around the lake with a real live monkey on his shoulder (I’m serious). The man gets his hair cut to mimic the monkey’s hair (again, I’m serious), a close cropped flat top. Real Twilight Zone stuff here folks.

This will be a fun project. If nothing else, we can use the material for another project at a later date.

The Cubicle Jungle

Working in the close quarters of the modern office environment can be more difficult than you think. Below are a few tidbits of wisdom to help navigate you safely through the pitfalls of the cubicle jungle.

Homo-Cubiclus – An often intelligent but sedentary creature who sits in a tiny three walled office for 8 to 10 hours a day. These creatures survive on various forms of fried pastry, sugar and caffienated beverages and frequently daydream of places far, far away.
Listed below are some, but not all varieties of Homo-Cubiclus:

Besmircher – One who has mastered the art of twisting every conceivable positive into a negative. You often feel like washing up after encountering a besmircher.

Besmoocher – One who cozies up to the boss or high ranking cubicle-mate at every opportunity and then is the first to talk about him/her like a dog when he or she isn’t present. Can be nauseatingly saccahrine. Try to exchange nothing but vague pleastantries with a besmoocher.

Flapper – (Not to be confused with the 1920’s era cultural icon). One who will literally explode if, after being told something, doesn’t repeat it to someone else within at least five minutes. Flappers have been known to often take creative license in the retelling of said information or stories. Say nothing, and I mean absolutely nothing, to a flapper that you don’t want repeated.

Stall Jockey (or sometimes referred to as the less culturally accepted, turd-bird) – An individual who disappears for long periods of time, several times a day. Stall Jockey’s can be fun at parties, exhibit a lacksadaisical attitude and sometimes whistle. The tell-tale sign of a stall jockey is the everpresent reading material proudly tucked under one arm or sandwiched between important looking work-related files.

Toggle-Master – One who posses lightning quick reflexes not unlike that of a ninja. They use these reflexes to their advantage by surfing the internet and reading frivilous e-mail attachments for most of the day. These adreniline junkies are masters of using the “Alt” and “Tab” keys to toggle back to that all-important spreadsheet or work-item just a split second before the boss walks by. Exercise caution when approaching a Toggle-master (ecspecially if unannounced) for they can be skittish and easily exciteable.

Schnoozer – A true schoozer is almost zen-like. They have one foot planted in reality and one foot in the land of dreams and can make an seamless, almost unnoticeable transition. If a Schnoozer is still for more than a few minutes chances are he/she has achieved the illusive dreamlike state.

Wishy-washer – These people, for various reasons, adamately refuse to state their personal opinion or take a strong stance on any one subject for fear it will go “against the grain” in a homogenous politically correct environment. Often, wishy washers have lost all but a shred of their individuality and delight themselves in owning multiple shades of khaki clothing.

Roundabout – “All the world’s a stage” and, when in the spotlight, a good roundabout can be mesmirizing! Roundabouts take pride in rarely giving a direct answer to any question. Watch for a theatrical oratory style, this will often..but not always give them away. The roundabout climbs the ladder quickly and will continue to hone their craft in the cubicle jungle until such time as they decide to move into the political arena.

Chief Time Thief – The person in the office who stealthily lies in waiting to nab you at the least opportune times in hallways or restroom areas for lengthy and often pointless conversations. Avoid this person at all costs, especially in social settings. Chief Time Thieves are almost guaranteed to make their victims sweat and have been known to elevate their blood pressure by at least ten points.

The Piddler – It’s a Piddler’s ultimate goal in life to one day find a way to master the laws of physics and actually suspend time. Until this ultimate goal is reached it will satisfy them to spend least ten times longer than necessary to do each and every job function. Piddlers relish in life’s little details, often have very serious demeanors and appear to be very studious and philosophical.

The Whittler – One who slowly and steadily erodes the morals of the entire department by spreading rumors and/or gossip with the sole purpose of starting trouble within the group. Whittlers are typically excellent strategists, will talk about anyone behind their backs, pit people against one another and sit back and enjoy the show. A tell tale sign of a Whittler is a saccharine sweet veneer and free-flowing compliments for anyone within earshot.

The Martyr – A Martyr will be the first to tell you, the weight of the world is on their shoulders. Martyrs can be seen sighing and shaking their heads in disgust quite frequently. Nervous ticks and soft incoherent mumblings can sometimes be observed in extreme cases.

Gigante Importante – A person who has been with the company since the dawn of time and have found a comfortable niche in middle-management. Gigante Importante’s, many times, operate under the false assumption that they’re indispensable and the Universe would actually grind to a halt if it weren’t for their glowing competence. Be careful, Gigante Importante’s are very territorial and can become argumentative if threatened.

Shiny-Happy-People – These people are just plain happy as hell. In fact, they can be disturbingly happy. Shiny-Happy-People can exhibit short-term memory loss, cry frequently after-hours, most have experimented heavily with psychotropic drugs at some stage in their lives and usually have deep dark secrets that are best left unsaid.

The Interrupter – A person who dominates each and every conversation or meeting that they’re involved in. There’s an unusual air of intellectual superiority surrounding an Interrupter. Usually thin, nervous with very dramatic communication styles and have a hyena-like laugh. These people clearly weren’t given enough attention as children and are making up for lost time. Interrupters have the unique ability to make others feel like they do not exist. Not unlike the Chief Time Thief, the Interrupter can raise other’s blood pressure significantly.

The Interceptor – One who will take another’s good idea and present said idea to a manager with the intention of claiming it as their own. The Interceptor is completely devoid of a conscience or even a shred of common sense and can be found lurking behind cubicle walls, eaves dropping. Seasoned Interceptors have even been known to log onto other people’s computers in their absence to obtain their valuable information.

Human Calliope – One who can make disgusting noises from each and every orifice either separately or in advanced cases, at the same time. Human Calliope’s are often slightly autistic and exhibit brash, anti-social behavior. When conversing with a Human Calliope it’s best to stand at least ten feet away or perhaps wear a slicker.

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