Is it just me or are we a very angry lot these days?
I mean, I know that January is a favorite month to very few of us and the gloom of winter can be depressing, but seriously, people, what is up with all the hostility?
For instance, on the way to my day job a few weeks ago, a Mack truck nearly turned my SUV into a compact. I guess when merging, traffic laws take a back seat to the Darwinian Theory or, as my Dad likes to frame it, the edict of “Might makes right.”
Let’s just say I’m lucky I don’t look like a pancake after almost getting sandwiched between the Mad Mack and an oncoming car.
Well, good morning to you, too, sir.
A friend of mine, Jamie, had an equally unpleasant auto experience recently.
“I was backing out of my parking space when some woman just started blaring her horn at me and yelling that I hurry up,” she recounted.
Yes, because having forced Jamie to “speed” out of that spot 2.2 seconds faster than she would’ve otherwise probably meant the difference between the gold and the silver at the 2010 Parking Garage Olympic Games for Beepy Beeperson from Honkland.
Gosh, I hope she won!
So, is all the angst vehicle-related? Because, as Charleen from Trumbull County has observed, even divine intervention cannot quell the road rage of some.
“It always amazes me how people can have Holy Communion in their hands one minute and then 30 seconds later be using them to shake fists at their fellow parishioners,” she said of those who almost mow down pedestrians in their quest to peel out of church parking lots on Sundays.
Well, I have to admit, I HAVE seen a couple of folks playing “Fast & Furious” the second they step out of God’s house and into their vehicles some mornings. What is it about getting behind the wheel and then having to wait for someone to yield that turns people into Jeff Gordon and Jimmie Johnson — on steroids?
Alas, it’s not always the evil car casting a mad spell. Sometimes, people are just haters.
This was clear as cellophane to me a few mornings ago when I was working out on a machine at the YMCA.
It only took about four hours of her toxic glare burrowing a hole through my forehead before I figured it out that another member was unhappy with my use of her favorite machine.
This she validated by hopping onto a treadmill next to me and proceeding to call a friend –though I find it hard to believe she actually has many- to complain of my sheer audacity in utilizing a piece of equipment at the gym where I pay membership each month. I’m kind of crazy that way.
Here’s what she had to say, though I cleaned it up a bit. This is a family column.
“I’m so BLEEPed right now. This place BLEEPs. Every BLEEPITY BLEEP machine I want is either broken or some idiot is hogging it,” she snarled, hurling the lattermost portion of the complaint in my general direction.
Now, I could be wrong, but I think the idiot in question may have been me.
I was tempted to ask Miss Congeniality if she knows what the “C” stands for in the acronym YMCA but stifled the urge for fear that direct eye contact with her might provoke a shanking.
Instead, I just kept smiling and opted against my original plan to lift weights that morning. Rather, I stayed on that machine for my entire workout session.
And in a twist of true irony, I stepped off of it just as she was dismounting her crummy second-choice stationary bicycle.
“Anyone need a great workout?” I asked, offering my newly vacated and cleaned machine to everyone within earshot.
I believe Miss Congeniality’s head popped off at that very moment.
And so, let that be a lesson.
Having to re-grow your head can be a very tedious process, so let’s try to be a little kinder and gentler toward one another in 2010, okay?