I’m a pretty decent driver. Never have I received a moving violation. Never do I change lanes without first looking over my shoulder. Only once have I sideswiped someone and taken out his side view mirror. Though due to these self-proclaimed superior skills, and as many a passenger has noted, I am a wee bit condescending – or all out hostile – toward other drivers on the road. It’s not pretty. You know how sometimes a lane is blocked off, and even though you made sure to merge early on, there are one or ten cars that expect to get in at the very last second? I’m the jerk who won’t let them. “No cuts, no butts, no coconuts.” You don’t get to zoom to the front of the line and then cut in. Not on my watch.

So, yeah, I’m definitely contributing to this whole road rage thing. Though lately I’ve been noticing that this driving-induced fury isn’t confined to merely those who are driving. All around me people who aren’t even behind the wheel are flipping out. Or maybe I’m just realizing that everybody in LA is crazy…

I was about a half-dozen cars behind at the intersection of Venice and National, trying to make a left-hand turn. That’s when I saw him: Nutty McNutterson. Presumably this guy was waiting at the bus stop, but he wasn’t so much waiting as having a full-on Falling Down moment right in the middle of Venice Boulevard. Saying he was mad does not suffice. He was enraged. So angry in fact that Mel Gibson would have been taken aback by his behavior. This dude was screaming. He was waving his arms. He was even pseudo kicking each car that drove past as if it personally offended him to see others with their own means of transportation.

Apparently the bus was running late. While the other poor would-be passengers were occupying themselves in any way possible to ignore Nutty, I was totally entranced, and it only got better when he spotted the bus barreling down his way. Many people at that point would have calmed down a bit. Not Nutty. He took it up a notch and actually walked into the street while gesticulating to the driver in a not so friendly way. I wondered if I was about to witness the final moments of this man’s angry existence… Alas, no. He got out of the way just in time for the bus to roll right past him. Didn’t stop. Didn’t even slow down. Yay! I was so excited to see what this guy would do next, but that’s when my fun was rudely interrupted by the lame-o behind me who wanted to get a move on.

Yet this was actually the second time that day where I was reprimanded for enjoying the scenery a little too much. Just minutes prior, I was honked at while hanging out at another stoplight. (This accounts for at least half the drive time in LA.) Initially I noticed an “Open House” sign on the corner with a few perky balloons tied to it. I then saw Batty McBatterson waiting on the same corner for the light to turn. Much to my amusement, one balloon in particular wanted to be friends with Batty and kept flying into her face. Though instead of simply taking a step away from the balloon and ending her predicament right then and there, this chick began to punch it. For every punch, each one more violent than the last, the balloon only became more desperate for love and was virtually suffocating her with butterfly kisses.

It was awesome. And just as I became totally lost in Batty’s battle against rubber and helium, she too completely forgot that she was trying to get somewhere. Only the impatient car horn behind me was able to finally snap us both back to reality. For her this meant a furtive glace around to see who had been watching her little meltdown. For me it meant gunning the gas toward Venice and National where Nutty was waiting to impress me with his Christian Bale impersonation.

So what’s the deal? Why are we all so angry? When people are taking out their frustration by abusing innocent balloons, there’s a serious problem. But I’m a hypocrite. Most likely my attempt to school others in the fine art of driving isn’t always successful. I’m probably just pissing people off, thereby causing them to be nasty to the next driver they encounter. Although neither Nutty nor Batty were the direct recipients of my road rage, regardless I feel somewhat responsible for their craziness because we all impact each other in some way. Maybe I cut off that bus driver ten minutes earlier and he decided to hell with it; he’s not picking up any more deranged passengers. So I vow to do better. From here on out, I will be the very definition of driving graciousness… Unless of course someone is doing twenty in a forty. Then I will angrily dart out from behind and yell a few choice words while passing by in a blur of blue metal. Dad, this means you.

Image: nuchylee / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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6 Responses to “Take A Chill Pill, Man”

Hilarious! Yes, I am also guilty of doing my best not to let those jerks in who wait until the last minute to merge. I’m sorry, the rest of us had the decency to pay attention and merge in an appropriate amount of time.

Batty and Nutty sounds amazing, I am just sorry you didn’t get it on video. Which would have made the guy behind you even more grumpy.

May 16th, 2011

That is a great idea! From here on out, I’m taking my handy dandy Flip camera with me everywhere I go! 🙂

May 17th, 2011

Haha this is great!
My name’s also Anna Keizer, and I also am interested in filmmaking (including reviewing), was just curious to see if we have the same sense of humour. it appears we do LOL 😛

July 22nd, 2011

Wow! Nice to meet you, Anna! You must be my Australian doppelganger (or I’m yours!). I’m so glad that you liked the post & hope to keep in touch… After all, I don’t think there are too many of us out there! 😉

July 22nd, 2011

haha I think we even look a bit alike! you’re way prettier tho. (: Nice to meet you too, sure- add me on facebook or sumthin if you want. All the best! (:

July 23rd, 2011

Aww, you are so sweet! Thank you so much for the kind words! I wish you all the best as well with both your filmmaking and writing. Will find you on FB & if you’re ever in LA, I must meet you! 🙂

July 25th, 2011