Yesterday I was driving on a country road I travel often, with Jamie and Sammi in the car with me, and I was going just over 50 in a zone where the speed limit was 35 or 45. I think it had just turned to 45. But I was still speeding. And this big huge brand-new truck came roaring up behind us in my little car, tailgated me for a moment or two, and then passed me. Technically yes, it was a legal passing zone, but there was tons of traffic and no one ever passes there and I wasn’t even driving slowly!
So I turned and let some profanity spew forth from my internal pit of rage, and then-
I flipped them off.
And after THAT, I said, “I hope someone’s dying at your house, you bastards!”
I don’t know WHAT got into me. One minute I was driving along merrily, the next I was putting my hand up against the driver’s side window and all of a sudden, yoink! Up went the finger. It might have been an involuntary response.
Now, if you’ve been reading long enough to know about my frequent use of profanity, it probably won’t surprise you to learn that I also use my middle finger an awful lot.
But I’m NEVER serious about it. It’s always either a joking thing with my sisters, or something that Elizabeth and I will do when bitching about someone who isn’t there (usually a co-worker or the administration in general).
Our joking bird-flipping has become an art form, truly. We’ve perfected various incarnations of it, from the “catch it and put it in your pocket” move seen most recently in Bring It On, to the “machine gun” bird-flipping used by Jack Black in High Fidelity, to a number of versions in which we act out a complicated system of hoists and pulleys or clever fake ass-scratchings designed to raise the middle finger at someone. Elizabeth and I will often flip people (who are not present) off with graceful, sweeping movements of the middle fingers on both hands, making ourselves look a bit like air-traffic controllers on crack.
But I never, ever have flipped someone off in person as a deliberate gesture of anger.
And now I’m feeling all guilty, like the Karma Police are going to come and kick my ass because of this random and utterly out-of-character episode of road rage. Maybe those nice old people didn’t even see me, as they were way too busy almost clipping my bumper in their haste to pass me, but *I* know what I did, and it was mean and completely uncalled for.
Next thing you know I’m gonna be pulling over on the interstate to get out of my car and stomp over to some old lady’s car after she cuts me off, and I’m going to grab her ugly little dog in its sailor suit and pistol whip that yappy little brat.
You’re going to see me on the 6 o’clock news being carted away in handcuffs, screaming and kicking because some teenager in driver training class weaved a little too close to my lane and so I turned on the rocket boosters and set that driver training class on fire.
Who knows where it’ll end?
All I know is where it began.