Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Seasonal Angry-as-Hell Disorder

Can everybody just settle down and get a grip? Maybe it's just a bit colder and people are acting reflexively chillier themselves, but we're unmistakably more pissy these days. Possible reasons abound...our car seats are too cold in the morning and a cold butt is the devil's workshop, it's getting closer and closer to the proscribed commercial holiday gift giving day, hyper-dread of "office parties" (who invented these and why hasn't it gone the way of witch burnings and Tang?) , and the ongoing Anti-Communist conspiracy to sap and impurify our precious bodily fluids known as Diebold Voting Machines.

Regardless of cause, snippiness seems to be everywhere. What? You haven't experienced it yourself? What's your problem? Really, what's your problem??? C'mon get with the program and acknowledge higher levels of snippiness or I'll kick your ass. Ok, that's better.

My own gauge of the level of public snippiness is the number of drivers who tailgate me to the point of automotive sexual congress on South 2nd Street in the morning. If you haven't driven up South 2th from Rio Bravo to downtown you first need to realize that there is only one person in the recorded history of vehicular traffic who does not speed on this street: me. Every morning I form the head of an ever-growing comet of cars as pissed-off drivers collect behind me. From time to time I look in the rear-view mirror to see the strained, fuming looks of following drivers. I glance back to make sure guns do not appear in the mirror pointed at my head. Occasionally someone gets the gumption to pass me on the two-lane road. I invariably wave at these infrequent daredevils and then, using my finger (not middle), point toward the nearest Speed Limit sign.

I notice that these drivers are definitely talking while they pass, lips moving even though they almost never have passengers in the car with them....

Anyway, most days it is a rare person who does this passing business. Recently, however, there has been a steady barrage of bundled-up drivers flying by my little comet head. Drivers who seem to be getting whiplash from spinning their head toward me and my car while they pass. Drivers who look to be going for their glove compartment for a .45 or something. Even worse, given the fair amount of oncoming traffic even more upset drivers now crowd ever closer, unable to pass. These people have no interest in the farmland on the side of the road which is now the seasonal home to a large number of geese. They don't want to linger aside the dilapidated railyards and consider a time long ago when these twisted metals and broken glass buildings housed a mighty industry.

No, they simply want to kill me.

My totally uneducated guess is that these people are not just late to work these days, but instead suffer from a more intense distress. Maybe it's the Christmas lights they haven't put up yet. Maybe it's next month's VISA bill. Perhaps it's the thought of Friday's office party. Whatever the reason, I see the same tension in other places: work, shops, blogs. But nowhere is it more clear than my little strip of road going north.

Be careful out there folks, take it easy and take a gander at those geese in the field next to the road. Sitting there in the still green grass on a frozen cold December morning with your friends seems like a pretty good place to be these days.

No comments: