Road Rage, In Which I See a Man Spit on Another Man

It was just a simple traffic error at a four-way stop: The van in front of me pulled out a little when it was really the silver car's turn to make a left in front of him. The van stopped, allowing Silver Car to go, but Silver Car was mad. Silver Car blocked the intersection, stopping right in front of VanMan. For a moment, we all sat there. And then we sat there and sat there and sat there.

VanMan started jerking his shoulders and chopping the air with his hands. This was sign language for Hello, my good man! I believe it might be prudent for you to move your automotive unit from the intersection and allow the good people of Orlando to drive through. Okay, that's the British version. I'm not allowed to use the words he really meant.

Silver Car did not like the sign language. The driver's door opened, and a short older man with furious eyebrows came out yelling. Again, I'm not allowed to use those words, but I'm sure you can fill in the blanks.

He stalked around the car up to VanMan's window and got right in his face. VanMan buzzed his window down. I know VanMan was a little shaken, because even though he was yelling back, he recoiled from SilverMan.

SilverMan had white hair and was small, but he looked powerfully built. He was not feeble. He kept yelling at VanMan. He started to walk away, then he turned around and spit right at VanMan.

As he walked to his car, he glanced at me. I suddenly realized I had my hands to my mouth and my eyes were wide and shocked. His eyes shone with anger. I was like No! Do not look at the woman in the gold van. She didn't even honk at you!

SilverMan hopped back into his car and sped off, with VanMan right on his tail. I just happened to be going the same way, and I saw that VanMan was now on his cell phone. Was he reporting this guy for battery? I don't know, but it was a good performance in any case.

At one point, they slowed down and pulled over to the side. I thought they were going to duke it out, but no--Silver Car went straight, and VanMan turned left.

It was quite an exciting drive.


Catherine J Gardner / Phoenix Rendell said...

Trust me the British version is pretty much the same as your version with plenty of finger gestures and words unrepeatable on a PG blog... Cate

Church Lady said...

Those situations can be scary. It's usually better not to provoke a crazy person, especially one behind the wheel. Van Man was in the right, but he should've let it go (ie not do the British sign language). If someone is already pissed off and they're driving, leave them alone.

I'm glad you weren't assaulted.

Charles Gramlich said...

Good thing no one was armed with anything more than saliva.

I can actually understand silver car's anger, but then to stop everyone else besides the van man is far more inconsiderate. He made himself far worse than van man

Anonymous said...

Goodness, Van Man made a mistake. I guess Spit Man never made one.

I hope one day, when SM (Spit Man)is really thirsty and running out of gas on a dusty road, he thinks about the spit he wasted on poor Van Man!


Danette V.

Angela said...

Too funny Danette! I laughed out loud about "furious eyebrows", and I find it amazing the things people will do to make a bad situation even worse. I have to say though that Orlando traffic is nothing to mess with. It made me feel like tossing a big spit too when I was there.

Ello said...

See - more assholes! Who was it that recommended an asshole lane? Maybe there should be certain times during the day where only assholes are allowed on the roads etc.

courtney said...

Exciting and scary! Wow. What a thing to witness... it's awful to think of people being so angry. I'm glad Anger Management Problem Guy didn't take it out on you. Sounds like he's got a lot of issues. I remember when Road Rage was a big thing on the news and catching snippets of an incident where one driver threw the other driver's DOG into oncoming traffic. Some people should just not be let out of the house.

Stephen Parrish said...

After years of living in Europe (where drivers make arm and hand gestures at each other but NEVER become violent) I returned to the States for a visit and stupidly flipped another driver off.

Turns out he had five big strong friends in the car with him. They fanned out across a parking lot where I had stopped to shop and methodically searched for my car. Fortunately I had decided to sit in the car for a few minutes before entering the store, and I saw them coming.

Now when I visit the States I keep my mouth shut and my fingers to myself.

Anonymous said...

Awful. Ford, bringing out your true personality.

Brenda said...

Sometimes I can't understand the world today.

This time of the year is suppose to be the warmest of wishes for all year but sometimes it seems more like the hot heads are out and about and ready for a fight..

Happy Holidays to all!

Mary Witzl said...

Funny story! I like Ello's idea of the asshole lane. No one who belonged in it would go anywhere near it, of course, but it's still a satisfying thought.

I once saw a man beat up a woman who had remonstrated with him for cutting in front of her. It was one of the scariest things I've ever seen, and it made me think twice about speaking out in similar situations. Some people just haven't grown out of the Terrible Twos.

Danette Haworth said...

Ha! I believe you, yet I could listen to almost anything if it were spoken with a British accent.

Church Lady,
True! This would fall under "turn the other cheek."

Ha! Good one!

Danette V.,
SpitMan--why didn't I think of that!

My dad was very impressed with Orlando's traffic. He used to think it was bad when he could count eight cars at the red light in his small town.

Your comment was most astute! With your new avatar, I would never pull my van in front of you!

I remember when road rage was the BIG news in LA, and how influenced people could be by TV--I began to feel like ducking whenever I passed a Sunday driver.

Talk about scary! I know someone who did the same thing, and oddly enough, four or five college girls got out of a truck and circled her. Were it not for a man running out of his house to check on the disturbance, she would have been in big trouble.

Ha! It's Ford's fault. There's sure to be a class action suit coming soon.

Hotheads roasting o'er a busy road . . . (okay, lame, but the best I could do)

It would be absolutely frightening to witness an assault. That's one good moment for a cell phone.