I think it is safe to say we’ve all experienced in some way a point in time when we would like to have a Gatling Gun installed on our vehicle’s grill. Or is that just me? Well, I’m going to assume it’s more than me and you’ll like this selection.
I have experienced the following examples of road rage inducing moments that are above and beyond your typical “That jerk just cut me off on the freeway lane hopping.”
4. Seattle, WA, highway speeds on either I-5 or I-405 vary between a brisk 75 mph (typically around the hours of 11 pm – 4 am), but on most days average 25 mph and are more stop-and-go then navigating through traffic lights. You are all stuck on the freeway because there are not a lot of bi-way options that are better due to the geography of the Puget Sound and Lake Washington locking your meager existence onto these arteries of sludge. There are carpool lanes for those with 2+ occupants, motorcycles, and those privileged few driving the following; Audi, BMW, Mercedes, and various sports cars. I didn’t actually see the models listed on the HOV signs, but clearly middle-aged men driving these vehicles thought it to be their special lane to get to work on time. This drove me to fantasize about the above Gatling gun scenario and being grateful I didn’t actually have my concealed weapon permit because then I’d have a real gun in the car with me and be tempted to shoot out their tires. One time I saw a guy blitz past me, I’m pretty sure in a Mercedes, followed shortly there after by a State Trooper. A few miles up the road he was pulled over in the HOV lane (causing others to have to merge into our already slow left lane ergo causing a GREATER slow down) getting a ticket. Joyful was I with seeing both Justice and Karma doled out before my eyes. I rolled down my window and let out a laugh in an imitation as close as I could manage to Nelson from the Simpsons at the Mercedes’ driver.
3. Wait till the last second, ignore all the merge left signs due to “lane closed ahead,” use your giant truck to cut me off and blow me a kiss in the rear-view mirror. I will envision stretching you out on a spit and using your gonads for a pincushion.
2. Drive below the posted speed limit, wait until I get ready to pass you when there is a passing lane, then speed up and try to block me. I will force my craptastic vehicle into warp drive regardless of its mechanical abilities to do so. I will pass you, all the while screaming at the top of my lungs, and laughing maniacally, “She cannot take anymore of ’tis, Cap’n!”
1. Better yet, wait for a clear spot in traffic before you pull out, but only pull out at the last moment as the next block of oncoming traffic approaching is nearly on top of you. Proceed below the posted speed limit by at least 10 mph while talking on your cell phone. I will honk and curse your name.**
** Note from the Author: Before proceeding with the above actions try to peer through the car that is ahead of you and look for any markings that might indicate it is an under-cover police vehicle, such as a light bar on the inside windows or other devices. As it turns out under-cover police officers take offense to the honking and gestures, and “Get off the road A$$HOLE!” screamed in their general direction. They will try to use ghestopo rhetoric that they are pulling you over to warn you about road rage because it is people like you that get shot (instead of doing the shooting, see #4 above) and that they are saving you from yourself because you’re, “in a hurry to die” and the $172 following-to-close ticket is for your own good because they COULD impound your vehicle and haul your ass to jail if they wanted to and, by GOD, be grateful that they have chosen not to do so today.
Here are some other moment’s in road rage history, not of my own, but I believe still equally informative.
Fired Pittsburgh detective guilty of road rage.
The Associated Press, January 5, 2011 5:08pm EST
PITTSBURGH — A since-fired Pittsburgh police detective has been convicted of misdemeanor simple assault, reckless endangerment and criminal mischief for an off-duty road rage incident last year.
Forty-four-year-old Bradley Walker left the courtroom without commenting Wednesday after he was convicted by Allegheny County Judge Anthony Mariani.
State police say Walker kicked 29-year-old Jarret Fate’s car then broke a window to reach in and grab the man by the throat May 1, after Fate accidentally sideswiped Walker’s car on Interstate 376 east of the city.
Walker claimed he merely confronted a hit-and-run driver, identified himself as an officer, and held his weapon at his side. But Fate said Walker broke his windshield and driver’s side window before pointing the gun at him.
911 Call Released In Road Rage Turned Suicide
Man Shot At Woman’s Car, Police Say, UPDATED: 8:20 pm PST January 4, 2011
BRUSH PRAIRIE, Wash. — Authorities have released a 911 call from a case of road range turned suicide. Investigators say the incident started near the 11000 block of Northeast 149th Avenue in Brush Prairie on Dec. 12. A man fired shots at a woman’s car and broke two windows, police say.
She wasn’t hurt but called 911.
Caller: “I can’t get his license plate, but I’m following him.”
Dispatch: “Don’t follow him. You don’t want him to shoot at your car again.”
Caller: “What should I do?”
Dispatch: “I want you to give me the cross street as soon as you can, OK?”
Deputies chased the man for half a mile, but the chase ended when the driver suddenly killed himself with a single gunshot. None of the deputies fired their weapons.
The man, later identified as 42-year-old Kenneth Hartson, died at the scene.
Auburn man shot in possible road rage incident
by KING 5 News, Updated Sunday, Jan 2 at 4:44 PM
FEDERAL WAY, Wash. – A 31-year-old Auburn man was shot in the head in what the man described as being a “traffic related incident.”
Federal Way Police say at 12:30 p.m. Sunday, officers responded to a call of a shooting at Military Road S and 304th.
The victim had a single gunshot wound in the head area and was transported to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle in critical condition.
The victim told police the shooting suspect vehicle had been tailgating him.
A witness said the suspect vehicle approached the victim vehicle on the passenger side (right turn lane) at 304th, a handgun was seen and the victim was shot.
The suspect is not known. Anyone having any information is asked to contact Federal Way Police or call 911.
Ferrari driver in alleged road rage attack
By QMI Agency, Last Updated: January 2, 2011 1:12 PM
A Ferrari driver was arrested after allegedly attacking the driver of a less-expensive car who didn’t give way to him as he tried to pass it on an Italian highway, according to reports.
The driver of the Ferrari, with a price tag of more than $250,000 and a top speed of about 320 km/h, allegedly rammed into the back of a smaller car when he was unable to pass it, British newspaper the Daily Mail reported.
The motorist, who has not been named, forced the Fiat onto the road’s shoulder, the newspaper reported, before allegedly smashing a window of the smaller car and beginning to beat up the driver inside.
“It was a real head-to-head duel on the motorway which was witnessed by several other motorists who alerted us,” Col. Mauro Conte of Rome’s Carabinieri police told the Daily Mail.
A passenger in the high-end sports car is also alleged to have joined in on the fighting. Both he and the Ferrari’s driver are in police custody facing charges of assault, criminal damage and resisting arrest.
The driver of the Fiat suffered minor cuts and bruises, the Daily Mail reported. Police also found about $36,000 in cash in the Ferrari and are trying to determine the source of the money.
Now, with all that being said, you may recall for last weeks Friday Funny I had a list of Adult Truths where I told the story of blocking the woman in the Camry using the turn median as her personal passing lane. Another of those truths had to do with the awful moment in an argument when you realize you’re wrong. I’d like to categorize the following story into that.
Every once in a while I can admit I’m wrong and on those few occasions it even occurs while driving. As some of you may know we recently purchased a mini-van. I do not like mini-vans, I do not want to be a mini-van mom. I made myself feel better in that it’s Chris’ vehicle and I’m still commuting in the Neon. I have no love for my Neon, but it is a decent enough commuter vehicle. To add insult to injury the mini-van is also white. I hate white cars almost as much as I hate mini-vans themselves. This was not a happy purchase for me, other than it only had 42,000 miles on it and was a 2002.
Part of my fierce hatred of mini-vans is they drive like boats and are difficult to see out of and are the vehicle equivalent of an IQ black hole when you drive one on public streets. The day after our purchase I stopped at Fred Meyer and bought seat cushions, a nice grey faux leather and webbed steering wheel cover and the little corner bubble sticky mirror to put on the side mirror of the van to try to see blind-spots.
I adjusted the mirrors accordingly, though it wasn’t great I thought I had a pretty good perspective and felt a little better about myself.
Now I’ve only driven the van at this point in time maybe on a half-dozen occasions. The other night coming down from Woodland, WA after spending the day at the lake I was starting to get into some congestion once I had crossed over into Oregon. I try to stay aware of my surroundings both front, back and sides, and when traffic started to slow down I saw the left lane still moving briskly. Check my rear-view mirror and side mirror and gave a quick glance over my shoulder. I can only see about 4 feet over my right shoulder, the blind spot for my rear-quarter panel is about the size of a foot-ball field in my honest exaggeration here. No car, no head lights that I can see, I don’t use my blinker because no one is there for several yards back so I don’t have to tell anyone I want to come over. Casually I allow my mini-van to coast over like an oil-tanker being pushed by tug-boats only to be surprised at a pair of headlights VERY close to my rear bumper. This driver wasn’t speeding, I could lie and say he zoomed up on me, he was simply there the whole time. A little rice-burner speed-bump waiting to happen.
Ooopsies. I couldn’t wave my apology, the windows are too tinted and with it being dark he wouldn’t be able to see my apology. Again, The Oatmeal says it best: