A lot of people seem to lose their minds when it comes to driving. All it takes is one person not using their turn signal and a soccer mom with a van full of kids will turn into a vicious, hate-spewing demon. It’s sort of funny in that sad, absurd way. But it sure as hell isn’t healthy.
So I came up with a healthy habit to replace screaming at people who merge unsafely, run red lights, or speed while texting on their phones. I clap!
Yeah, that’s it. They do something dumb, stop at a light, and I raise my hands up and clap for them. Maybe it’s just one step below road rage, maybe it’ll antagonize someone and get me shot, but at least my F-bomb count has dropped.
Earlier today I got to see the fruits of my labor in action. A woman in a rusted-out van tried to pass in front of me while approaching a red light. I accelerated a little bit because what she was doing clearly looked unsafe, so she responded my kicking it up to at least 45 in a 35 approaching a 25. Smart move, lady. I let her pass in front me so she could be first to the big shiny red light.
Then I let loose the clapping, high above my steering well. “Congratulations, lady! You did it! You won the red light race!” Then she flipped me off. All I could do was laugh. I could have just yelled and screamed at this lady who was clearly not acting in anyone’s best interests, but instead I found my own way to piss her off. And you know what? It felt good, in a silly way.