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Charlie Hatton
Brookline, MA

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Howdy, friendly reading person!
I'm on a bit of a hiatus right now, but only to work on other projects -- one incredibly exciting example being the newly-released kids' science book series Things That Make You Go Yuck!
If you're a science and/or silliness fan, give it a gander! See you soon!

Drive Softly, and Carry a Big Bag of Milkbones

I’ve found a new way to combat road rage. Not cure it, mind you. The only true cure for road rage would involve the passing of several unpopular new laws, the repossessing of millions upon millions of other peoples’ cars, and prohibitively expensive crosswalk vouchers for pedestrians. Also, murders. Lots and lots of murders.

In the meantime, we have to live in our imperfect world of jaywalking jackasses and nearsighted grandmas clogging up the express lanes. My new method of coping is very simple –from now on, when I feel the urge to scream and rant and shake my little fisticles at some asshole in my way, I’ll do it in the same voice I use to praise my dog.

So far, I’ve gotten some very strange looks. But I’m pretty sure my blood pressure is down, so it seems to be working.

For instance, last night I was on my way home and stopped at a red light. Just as the opposing light turned yellow, a plain-looking young lady chittering on a cell phone stepped off the curb to cross in front of my car. Sloooooooowly. When the light turned green, she was still walking in front of my grill, leaving me and the four cars behind mine to wait her out. Did she get the clue and hustle across? No. If anything, she toddled just a little bit slower, yakking away and oblivious to the roadblock she had become.

“The only true cure for road rage would involve the passing of several unpopular new laws, the repossessing of millions upon millions of other peoples’ cars, and prohibitively expensive crosswalk vouchers for pedestrians.”

This sort of thing irks me to no end. My feeling is, if you’re going to break the rules that society lays out, then at least get the hell out of other peoples’ way when you do it. I’ve got nothing against victimless crimes. You can jaywalk if you want. You can speed, you can make illegal U-turns, you can snort toadstools and drop your pants in the park and make ‘woo-woo-woo!!‘ noises. Knock yourself out. But when it starts affecting other people — like, for instance, me — then we have a problem. That’s when I vote to stuff you in a tutu, throw you in a cell with ‘Mervin the Maimer’, and see how this whole Darwinism thing works.

So normally, I would’ve unleashed an angry, obscenity-laced tirade at the woman shuffling along in front of my car. But as I opened my mouth to vitriolize, I remembered my new policy, and instead waggled a finger at her and said:

Oooh, who’s an ignorant widdle bitch, then? It’s you! Yes, you is. You was beaten with the ugwy stick, too, wasn’t you? Oooh, yes you was! Who’s an ugwy widdle ignowamus?

She just kept inching through the crosswalk — but as long as I was talking at her like she was a four-legged drooling fuzz-faced moron, it didn’t seem so bad. And as long as nothing I do is going to help the situation, why not sneak in a little ridicule of my fellow man or woman?

I had another chance to practice on the way to work this morning. Some jackhole in the left lane decided that he really needed to swerve in front of me over to the exit on the right. Like, RIGHT NOW! With no warning or turn signal to be seen. But did I honk? Did I flip him the bird, or call into question the legitimacy of his birth, or his mother’s honor, or the relative size of his male ancestors’ genitalia, as I normally would?

No. I simply reached out a hand in his direction, to pretend I was scritching him behind his reckless fuzzy little ears, and I said:

There’s my little dumbass, careening through traffic, yes you are. You’re going to die someday soon in fiery widdle crash, aren’t you? Oh my, yes. And the people will come and waugh at your charred wemains, won’t they? Yes, they will! Goodness!

I’m liking this idea more and more. I’m calm, I’m peaceful, and I’m at least twenty percent less likely to smash in some idiot’s windshield with a softball bat. And maybe just a little closer to the right frame of mind to finally teach my dog how to drive. Even if she can’t reach the pedals or read the road signs, she’ll be Mutt-io Andretti compared to most of these assbags.

Permalink  |  2 Comments

2 Responses to “Drive Softly, and Carry a Big Bag of Milkbones”

  1. Kerry says:

    oh god, that was too funny! i’m going to have to try that myself…

  2. Neasa says:

    Hilarious – I guess we all find a little zen however we can, huh?

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