One sunny morning this week, I came out of our driveway with all my usual bright expectations of my workday. Once I turned right to go up the hill to Skyline Boulevard, I noticed that all of a sudden, I was crawling to funeral procession speed. I looked at the odometer. We were going up a steep hill at 18 miles/hour on a 25 mile/hour road. My engine was groaning. I tried to focus on Rachel Myrow of KQED’s California Report. But the slow pace was hard to ignore.
I looked behind me. There were at least two other cars behind me by now. In front of me was a white luxury European sedan with a lone passenger on the driver’s seat. I looked more closely. It’s a she. She’s gesticulating excitedly, sometimes with both hands in the air. She’s on the phone!
We came to a few four-way stops. It would take her an extra two seconds to move forward. I was shaking my head. Finally we turned left to Skyline Boulevard towards the freeway exit to Highway 280 South. This was a 45 mile/hour road. We were traveling at 32 miles/hour now. The road curves slightly. It was not safe enough to ramp up and move past the car. I sighed and resignedly crawled on behind her.
When we turned on to the freeway ramp, I looked for my opening to move to the next lane. I drove up beside her. She was still on the phone, gesticulating animatedly. She was driving at 50 miles/hour on the freeway. I slowly accelerated and left her behind. Then, after covering a safe distance, I sidled back to the right-most lane to prepare for my exit to Highway 92.
All of a sudden, my right arm felt a twitch. It radiated down to my forearm, to my palm, and to my middle finger. They wanted to rise up to the air. They wanted to wave the bad finger for her to see. With superhuman effort, I calmed them down and quietly reasoned with them to stand down and behave. She’s not worth the gesture. Any gesture.
These incidents teach me a new dimension on the term, “Road Rage.”
Message to the driver of the white four door luxury European car: If you can’t chew gum and walk at the same time, lady, pull over! And keep your hands on the wheel, for Pete’s sake.