NINE out of ten drivers are yelling at other drivers.
It said so in the Townsville Bulletin on Wednesday.
That means one poor bloke, who is clearly milder than light beer, is copping all the abuse. Unless it’s a woman, of course, which would have a certain NQ logic about it, except that I know who it is.
It’s me. And it’s not fair.
You think I don’t meet bad drivers? I do. All the time!
In fact nine out of 10 is an underestimate (which means I must sometimes be yelling at myself). But hang on – we’re not actually talking about bad drivers. We’re talking about drivers with the social skills of a barracuda.
I mean, road rage doesn’t actually mean you drive badly, just that you lack social grace.
They’re the kind of people who, at a dinner party, would yell at one of the other guests: “You effing nong, you’ve used the wrong fork!” while they wave their middle finger at him.
In a supermarket aisle you’d hear them screaming: “Move over, moron! Djaneed the whole effing aisle!”
Except that in a supermarket you won’t hear them. The most you’ll get is a tense and smileless stare. One of those stares full of malice in which the perpetrator doesn’t actually look at you, while they imagine different ways of chopping you up.
Why is that? Why are they so vocal in their cars, and so silent everywhere else? People say it’s because we’re anonymous behind the wheels of ours cars; but your true road rager isn’t anonymous. He’s the bloke (it actually is, always, a bloke) with the horn wired permanently on, the window down, his mouth in overdrive and his tyre lever in his fist.
He’s easy to spot and he has a number plate at both ends of his vehicle. You can write it down – it you can still write after the attack.
That, of course, is the only reason I don’t indulge in road rage. I don’t want my head punched.
If I were 30 years younger it might be different, but I doubt it. Screaming at other drivers requires the kind of self-confidence I don’t have. It’s a fact of natural science that not all bad drivers are the kind of puny specimens whose faces, figuratively speaking, you can kick sand into.
And yet, even assuming they have the IQ of smallpox bacteria, one must assume they are, at some level, human. They probably have children, wives, dogs, mothers. Would they react so violently if it were their children, wives, dogs, mothers driving the offending car?
Perhaps, but I doubt it. Because they know them. And they want supper when they get home. Or, if it’s the dog that was driving, sex.
When one knows the driver one is more understanding.
I thought maybe I’d drive around with a sign on the back of the car saying, “I’m a nice person and a grandad.”
But that wouldn’t help. It would probably make matters worse. Because that’s not ‘knowing the driver’. That’s the reason why the effing driver shouldn’t be on the road in the first place!
I said as much to my wife.
She said: “I think exactly the same thing every time you’re behind the wheel…”