On my way home this evening, I happened to be approaching a truck which was preparing to turn right. Being the calm safe driver that I am (snicker), I checked my rear view mirror, and seeing that it was clear, switched lanes. From out of nowhere, this kid in a little black car raced up to my rear, and started weaving and dodging behind me, in an apparent attempt to communicate to me that he wanted to pass this truck faster than I, and that I had robbed him of the opportunity to do so. Quite out of character with my normal wave, I flipped him off. Maybe it was not the brightest thing to do, but it seemed right at the time.
As soon as there was room, he raced up next to me and with his head out the window, looking straight at me and not at where he was going, he began yelling obscenities, which I of course could not hear clearly over the radio and the wind noise. I really don’t think anything I could have said or done at that point would have resolved the misunderstanding, so I chose to continue in the same vein. The only response that seemed appropriate was to flip him off again. I think he must have blown a gasket, because at 45mph he opened his door. I think he intended to strangle me, but something about being in the driver’s seat must have prevented him from leaping onto my car. Or perhaps his girlfriend said or did something. Whatever the case, he closed his door again and we continued.
When we stopped at the next light, he got out of his car, came up to my passenger window, and began pounding on it, yelling at me and calling me a “faggot”. Being a master of the obvious, he said I didn’t know who I was messing with. I assured him that I was already aware of that, and that I was not “messing” with anybody. He said that he was going to follow me and kill me. He seemed very upset.
It was at this point that I remembered that I had planned to stop for gas. After a few seconds of deliberation I decided that stopping for gas, with a confrontation under bright lights and possible video surveillance was preferable to a confrontation in my dark driveway. Plus, I didn’t want him to know where I lived. In the meantime, he pulled a bit ahead of me, and I switched lanes so I was behind him. I guess I could have tried to lose him at this point, but that could have turned out badly as well. So I turned into Sam’s club to get gas.
As I was writing down my mileage he pulled in next to me, got out of his car and began pounding on my window, yelling and screaming again. He was definitely under 18. I think I would be in trouble right now if I had gotten out of the car. Instead I chose to sit and absorb his abuse until he left. He raged on and on, demanding that I be a man, and get out of the car, but I refused. I wished that I had my camera with me. He reminded me of a baboon shrieking and posturing to ward off some threat. He then came around to the driver’s side and tried to open the door. He claimed to have taken my license plate down, and said he was going to find out who I was and where I lived, and he was going to kill me. He made it a point to stress that last item several times.
Finally he got back in his car and drove off. I got out and, rather shaky from the adrenalin, gassed up my car. When I got home I called the police and learned that the recourse I have is to sue for damage to my car. If he doesn’t show up for court he will be arrested. The police officer also told me that it is possible to get personal information using a license number, and he pointed out that my crazy friend might come to the realization that I may have his license plate as well, which I did.
So what did I learn from this little adventure? Well, don’t go flipping people off. That’s a good piece of advice. It may work in some states, but in others it could result in being kissed by a bullet. I think the most valuable thing I learned is just how absolutely whacked out people are; I mean to rage over something so tiny boggles my mind. What kind of bad parenting produces such mal-adjusted children? Personally, I lay the blame squarely on Road Runner cartoons; not enough Road Runner cartoons.