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  • Dennis Collins

Road Rage

The horn blared for about 3 seconds then I heard screaming as I turned to look. A young man in his late 20's was laying on the horn and had turned and was screaming at the young lady in the car in the lane to the right of him. At first, I couldn't figure out what was going on and I heard him say stay in one lane as he raged on and on. I took some comfort in the fact that I had never ever raged like that no matter how bad the other driver was. I don't lay on the horn like that, it's just a beep to get them to pay attention. He then went around her and raced down the street but unfortunately block and a half ahead of them was a light which of course turned red. I saw the girl's face as they drove by and she was obviously scared. Then because she was young she made the next big mistake -- pulling up directly behind him at the light. It was more instinct than anything I started walking down the block towards the intersection already concerned he was going to get out of the car do something really stupid. Truthfully I really didn't have time or the desire to get involved with some idiot but I'm not going to allow an idiot to terrorize a woman over a driving issue. Fortunately, he did not get out of the car but he continued to yell out the driver's window cementing in my mind that he was, in fact, an angry idiot. I have a confession to make. I used to be an angry man. I carried quite a bit of anger after my divorce14 years ago I'm no longer an angry man in fact what used to make me angry now elicits a laugh. As I'm writing this article I can tell you the last time I flip somebody off in a car in August 1993. Yes 26 years ago. I had the family in the car including my 8-month-old son. On 75 highway traveling North up from Oklahoma, a two-lane highway I went to pass an old F-150 and the asshole sped up. I had to try again and really get on it to pass and as I got back over in my lane I flipped the asshole the middle finger. I never gave it a second thought as he was in my rearview more than a half-mile back as I slowed down rolling into the next little town. Then as I approached downtown I saw the railroad crossing arms coming down. A flash of panic hit me as I knew he would be pulling up......right........behind.....me. I quickly realized I was almost trapped, there was one road that turned right before the train tracks. I left more than a car length between me and the car in front of me. My sunglasses hid the fact that I was fixated on the mirrors waiting for the guy I flipped off to get out of his truck. I was keenly aware my anger had put my family at risk. I cannot lie, I was relieved when I saw the end of the train go by knowing the arms were going to go back up, allowing me to not be sitting in front of the guy I just flipped off. Now you know why I can tell you the month and year I learned not to let my anger put me, and my family at risk.

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