Saturday, March 3, 2007

The illogical tailgater...or some people just don't think

I don't have run-ins very much anymore with other drivers, given that my daily commute is mainly on a 4-lane highway and in the opposite direction of most workers in my town. In my older, mellower years, I try not to make eye contact or otherwise aggravate anyone who shows indications to be a hothead.

Anyway, my wife last weekend was relaying the story of a very impatient young guy behind her when she had pulled into our usual gas station intending to get in line for the car wash (rather than gas as he had wrongly assumed).

And I said I don't run into idiots much anymore. Well, within 10 minutes or so, we did.

We're on a main "cut-through" that's basically a residential 2-lane road through suburbia. We're going the speed limit, 35 mph, which is reasonable given the environment -- multiple intersections, a fair number of curves, one traffic light, two schools, and several houses.

So this middle-aged guy in a first-gen Explorer comes up on our rear and starts getting really close, then flapping his arms with a disgusted look on his face. The funny thing about this is that the road widens to 4 lanes with a higher speed limit in less than half a mile from the point he began tailgating.

When we get to where the road widens, I point with my right arm to the "40 mph" speed limit sign and pull into the right lane. By this time, my wife is looking back at him, and up comes his one-finger salute. He then passes us, but keeps his right wheels over on my side of the lane lines, making like he's going to "teach us a lesson" I suppose.

At that point I lay on the horn, and he goes into the left turn lane to make a left at a light just ahead. As we pass him, my wife got out her cell phone as if to take a photo of him.

What an idiot -- couldn't wait maybe 20 seconds or so for the passing zone, and only to turn left anyway. So how much time did he "lose" by my "blocking" him?

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