I freely admit it: I kinda enjoy mentally insulting other drivers that I consider idiots while I'm out driving. It's mostly a mental monologue. I seldom actually say anything unless whatever boneheaded thing they just did is particularly egregious, and very rarely swear.
Oh wait: is "asshole!" swearing?
Anyway, I'm usually pretty calm behind the wheel, even in stop-and-go rush hour traffic. I listen to public radio, classical music, or work on mental problem solving as a way to get through it all. I never forget there are a whole lot of idiot drivers out there. After all, you only have to get 70% of the questions right at the time of the test in order to get a license. That can leave a whole lot of ignorance and stupidity behind the wheel, not to mention non-sobriety, texting, fighting, whatever.
So while mentally insulting my fellow drivers is a tool for keeping calm, I still stay back and stay wary.
This afternoon, returning from a lunch with friends, I was just over a block from home when suddenly a big grey SUV appeared in my rearview, then pulled out into the oncoming lane and passed me. My first reaction any time I'm passed is to check my speedometer. I might be being given a "subtle" hint to speed up to the limit. Not this time though. I was doing 30 in a 30. He was speeding.
Not only that but we were coming up on an intersection, 105th Ave. It's one I normally slow down for simply because it has a big dip in the center, enough to hurt Steve's back if he's along and I don't slow. It's become habit.
FYI for you non-Arizonans out there, the dips are for rain removal. It doesn't happen often or hard enough to make it economical to put in storm drains, so dips are all you get. The really big dips are called washes, and come with warning signs, occasionally ignored by - you guessed it: idiots - never to cross when water is flowing through them. 105th, though, is just one of the bigger normal dips.
Back to the SUV. I'm guessing he didn't see the white sedan that ran the stop sign any sooner than I did. He'd just sped into her way while I hadn't. Her car finally made it across the intersection and came to a stop with its front end crumpled to about half its original length. The SUV, having been broadsided, rolled over, tossing papers all over through its open windows, and finally stopped right side up again against the curb about 4 houses past the intersection on the other side of the street.
I managed to completely avoid all flying debris from either car, and pulled over to a relatively clean spot along the curb to make a 911 call for both cops and ambulance. Within a minute, if adrenaline didn't screw up my time sense, I heard sirens from both east and west. I carefully drove the 2/3 block left to get home, not only to clear the area for the important vehicles, but because there was a piece of plumbing at home loudly calling my name. By now neighbors were coming out of their houses to lend aid if needed, something I was ill-equipped to do.
I did, however, walk back down after a couple minutes and give my eyewitness account and personal information to the two deputies who showed up, before heading home for the day. I'm ready for some fake adventure from the TV.