Understanding Your Fellow Human // # 2

Buried in a recent post, I alluded to that motorist who, apparently, feels the need to drive at, what I consider, an insane speed on our highways and byways.  I want to help the saner among us to remain so.

This is a reminder for me as much as anyone.

The (Largely Unnecessary?) Front Matter

As I apparently failed to make clear in my original less-than-gracious observation (btw, I’ve always believed the word “Jerk” is a much kinder word than others which could be used, but I guess that’s not the point), and as some of you have since pointed out, I was hypocritical (or at least failed to make it clear that I KNOW I’m hypocritical).

So, let me state for the record:

I rarely drive under or at the speed limit.

I’d like to claim that this is all a practical matter, that I’m simply trying to avoid being smashed to pieces by all of the other drivers who are driving like deranged rhesus monkeys going WAY over the limit.

“Honey, if we slow down, we might not make it!”

But there is more to it, I’m sure.

It’s certainly more honest to say that when I’m driving the speed limit, particularly on the interstate or expressway, it feels SO SLOOOOOWWWW.  It’s like there is something fundamentally wrong with space and time, like some cartoon nemesis has spread peanut butter over the road and my poor power-deficient car is pulling and stretching as much as it can, its shape actually changing, the tires morphing into oblong rubber ovals; we all stick our torsos out of the window and bob our heads in sync to get some momentum, but to no avail!

(Or something along those lines.)

Whether through conditioning due to bad habits or some innate universal law which defines slowness as, say, anything less than 68 MPH, I have something akin to a physical reaction to going the speed limit on the interstate or highway.

Be that as it may, and despite the freshly-confessed hypocrisy, I find myself too often reacting to those who have decided that MY over-the-limit speed is too slow, and are embracing THEIR OWN over-the-limit speed.

Which leads me to . . .

The (Slightly More Relevant) Main Point

As the old adage claims, people have a story we know nothing about.

So, in the interest of my own sanity and to assuage any potential road angst incidents on my part, I’ve developed (as alluded to long ago) somewhat of a defense mechanism that helps me deal with these brethren and sistren who are moving at what I consider to be unsafe speeds.

In short, I simply don’t know their story, and so I chose to embrace one of the following explanations, essentially creating a back-story for these fine folks which helps my blood pressure stay below, say, 789.  I present these in the hopes that we will ALL try a bit harder to understand the (potential) stories of our fellow commuters, and cut them some slack.

  • They are transporting an organ, and they have to make it to the hospital. ANY hospital! Time is running out! The patient is opened on the table, and a masked surgeon is monitoring vitals and saying things like,  “If you’re religious, now would be time to say a prayer. . . it’s now in the hands of God  . . .and {looks off into the distance} the courier.”
  • Dennis Hopper is back to his old shenanigans, having placed a bomb on their vehicle which will detonate if they go below 83 MPH.
  • Their accelerator is stuck.  Eventually, they will sue the pants off of the car company.  But for now, duck-and-move, everybody!
  • They’ve had a strained relationship with a dying relative, and they’ve just come to their senses.  They must make it to The Death Bed to say the words they’ve never had the courage to say: “I love you, too!” (Or “I forgive you” or “I’ll never forget you” or “I lied: I AM just like you” or even “I guess heaven needs you more than we do!” ){Hans Zimmer score is playing}
  • A freshly-paroled OJ Simpson is up to it again, and . . . Wait, too soon?
  • They’ve been playing Mario Kart for so many hours straight that they genuinely believe that this is all a game. They are, of course, flummoxed that the banana peels they keep dropping appear to be having no effect on the vehicles behind them. Next come the turtle shells, so watch out!
  • Bees. probably Killer. Definitely Angry.  You’ll never outdrive the pain, my friend!
  • They are part of a new ride-share program for retired Big Box Greeters called “ScrUber”
  • They have no regard for the rest of humanity, have chosen to put everyone else’s life at risk to get where they’re going, consequences be damned! . . . But Jesus still loves them.

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That’s how I cope.  How about you? Would love to hear! 

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