Today pretty much convinced me I should probably stop driving and start taking the bus. I mean, I’m not going to, but I probably should. No, it has nothing to do with the environment. Car pollution is pretty minor these days (though no one tells you that) and it’s not to help cut down on oil usage (automobile consumption of oil is a fraction of what we use in industry-ah fuck it…LOOK IT UP!) or the rising price of gas (I can dip into my kid’s college fund for that).
My temper? Well, shit…you must read my blog. Which is what you’re doing right now. How meta.
But it’s more than that. Shit just seems to happen to me when I’m behind a wheel. I just attract bad karma or something. I really can’t explain it fully, but I can relay my most recent exploits while cruising the asphalt to give you a taste. As the first sentence of this blog announced, it happened today on my morning commute.
I was a healthy twenty minutes late to work. Now I believe in always being a little late for EVERYTHING. It keeps your blood pumping, your synapses firing faster, and lets people know you bow down to no one! I don’t see it as disrespectful to the other party…I see it as commanding respect from them. Alpha-dog stuff. You wait for ME! But I’m off track here. I was cruising down 104 when I began to feel a steady, rhythmic thumping. I turned down the stereo and focused. Something was in my tire. Now I could have just finished my commute and checked the tire in my company parking lot. But that was like another ten minutes of listening to that fucking sound and what if it popped my tire? Fuck that. I made a quick veer to the right and pulled off on the next exit, using my one-finger hand signal instead of the standard electronic device on my truck, and proceeded to sit in a very long red-light line. My initial idea was to just pull off into the Target parking lot and see what the fuck it was…but I decided to challenge myself. I was pretty confident I could hop out, check the tire, pry out whatever shit was stuck in the tread and be back in my seat before the light turned green. Then I cruise right back onto 104 and wham!…so slick. There’s a little Mission Impossible in all of us. So I left the truck running and grabbed my little folding knife from my dash and hopped out the side. Of course, I had only taken three steps when I realized I had forgotten to pull the parking brake. My truck is a stick shift…I don’t have that pussy “Park” crap. We pop it in neutral and pull the parking brake like real men. Except I didn’t. And my truck kept on keeping on. I probably would have realized this after one step but I was momentarily distracted by the person in the car behind me. See, he saw me suddenly jump out of my truck with a knife in my hand, walking toward him…and well…the look on his face was just fucking priceless, man. And the look on a dude’s face when he shits his pants is just one-of-a-kind. I quickly flashed him a “What? Calm down, McFly” look but then noticed my truck rolling by me, swiveled on one foot and dove back into the open driver’s side door. I clawed for the brake with my hand, hitting it just as I tapped the back bumper of the asshole in front of me. He was an asshole because…well…he was in front of me. I reach up with my other hand and pulled the parking brake back and hit the hazard lights for good measure. I could see this was going to take slightly longer than anticipated and I wanted to follow the street laws and alert my fellow-man. I’m a nice guy. I let out a sigh then jumped back up and out into the street, still holding my knife. That’s when the guy from the car I just tapped, who had gotten out to come yell at me or some shit, screamed and flew backward with his hands in the air, dropping his iced-mocha-latta-thingy (I know, right? Who gets out of their car to act tough holding an iced-mocha-latte?) and throws his wallet at me. His wallet? Oh, my knife. He thought…ha…just like the guy behind me. Funny shit. Did I mention my folding knife was a six-inch Kabar Warthog model? Small detail.
“Dude. Relax. I’m just…”
“I’m calling the cops, you crazy fuck!”
That was Shit-Pants yelling from the car behind me with his cell phone to his ear. By this point, all the cars behind us were honking their asses off and pulling around us. What a sight. Me standing outside my truck holding a large knife and another man’s wallet while that guy cowers in the street whimpering. Insane. A picture is worth a thousand words…and this one would probably come with 1-2 years for armed robbery, so I ran back to my rear tire, getting another scream from Shit-Pants in the car behind me and probably forcing him to empty out whatever was left in his ass-sack. I quickly searched the back tire and saw a good-sized rock jammed in the tread. One quick flick of the knife and it was out. I jogged back to the front of my car and nudged the other guy still cowering next to his car with my foot. He just let out another screech and proclaimed that he “had two kids, please don’t kill him blah blah”. Whatever. I dropped his wallet on his head, jammed my boot underneath him, and rolled him closer to his car using calming phrases like “You are the biggest pussy I have ever met.”. Then I scooped up his iced-mocha-latte-thingy (Fuck off, I like those things) before I jumped back into my truck, hit the hazards off and swung back into traffic and around the guy’s car. I just hit the tail end of a yellow light and I was back on track. Only forty minutes late now. Take that, Tom Cruise.
It was only a few minutes later when I noticed the flashing lights in my rear view. No, not a cop. Ambulance. Almost as annoying. I really hate the whole “pull over and let them by” thing. I mean, I get it…but they still come off as smug. Anyway…they were waaaay back there. Like over a hundred yards. I looked ahead and saw my exit coming up so why bother pulling over, I’ll be out of their precious way in minute. I hit the exit and saw the ambulance pull right off behind me. Shit. What are the odds? Okay, well, the exit is one lane and I wasn’t pulling off into a ditch. Who the fuck expects that? And they were still a little ways behind me. I was still, in NO FUCKING WAY, holding them up. I made a quick right at the merge and had EVERY INTENTION of pulling off to the side…but then I realized the road I was on had three lanes. And sure enough, as soon as the ambulance came out of the merge, they went into the far left lane. Well shit, we got a whole empty lane between us now. No reason to pull over. There was like two other cars around us. Room for everybody. So I continued on my merry way. A second later, the speeding ambulance comes past me in the far left lane and SLOWS DOWN. I look to my left and the driver and passenger are just staring at me. The passenger mouths the words “asshole” and just keeps mean-mugging me. Really? Did I, in any way, impede your precious fucking progress? I can’t stress that enough.
And dear readers, don’t even start in with the “Well, what if they were on their way to save your mother from a heart attack or a two-year-old gunshot victim..who has diabetes and AIDS..and blah blah thppppppt!” Fuck off. We all know they were probably on their way to Wegman’s ’cause some fat lady slipped on a Jujyfruit in the bulk foods aisle that made her gout flare up.
So I give those assholes the standard salute as they speed away and I come to another red light a minute later. I’m mentally waiving the whole incident off in my head when I am suddenly under an audible barrage of horn-honking from the car behind me. I look in the rear-view to see some little hippy bitch giving me the double bird and mouthing endless obscenities while pointing at me, then the ambulance on the far horizon. Amazing. This little sanctimonious yuppy must have witnessed the whole event and decided to take it upon herself to avenge the poor, helpless EMT drivers. Oh, the plight of the poor, shit-upon, Ambulance people. So, I attempt to ignore her and just wait for the light…but the EMT Avenger just isn’t having it and gets out of her fucking car and runs up to my side window. Oh, bitch, you done open the gates to Rickville now. Before she even gets a chance to knock on the glass, I have the window down and with a flick of my wrist she is wearing that iced-mocha-latte-thingy. She screams and bats at her thick, plastic-rimmed glasses while I hear the Mission Impossible theme song start playing in my head.
“Did that get in your eyes, sweet heart? You should call an ambulance.”
Light goes green. I leave her standing.
Fuck a bus.