As chronic relocators, Dave and I have lived on a fair number of heavily traveled roads. This might sound like I’m being philosophical, but I’m not. I’m actually talking about busy streets with lots of cars. Not Robert Frost or some other type of thing I read in high school.
We are in such a place again, where we have a grand view of cars and traffic as they pass by our house. We live on a primarily residential street, with a 25 mile an hour speed limit. But it is also a bypass street that many cars use to avoid more heavily congested routes. So we get a lot of cars, heavy trucks, delivery trucks, utility vehicles, TriMet buses and 18 wheelers, in addition to cyclists, pedestrians, neighborhood children, and people walking their dogs. For a narrow, residential street, we get a lot of traffic.
And so, in the past couple months we’ve lived here, Dave and I have quickly aged into shriveled, outraged oldsters, wagging our gnarled fingers as traffic blasts by. We shake our heads as morning commuters treat stop signs as suggested annoyances, or who blast by pedestrians in crosswalks. This morning, there was an SUV who blared their horn before they raced through a nearby intersection, preemptively warding off anyone who might think of crossing. They must have been going twice the speed limit.
I’ve seen wobbly kids on bikes. I’ve seen errant dogs off leashes. I’ve seen less than mobile people trying to cross the streets. People live on this street. Back east, this neighborhood would be called thickly settled.
So like other pissed off oldsters, I make a specific point to go exactly the speed limit as I drive through our neighborhood, speeders and tailgaters be damned. I see cars pile up behind me. It’s like I’m leading a parade of pent up, impatient rage. I pretend I’m driving a giant mid-80′s Buick, with boxes of tissues with knitted covers in the back window. It feels fricken righteous.
And yes, I would do this in other neighborhoods too, not just my own. I try to make a habit of not being in a hurry. And as fun as it may be to drive like an aggressive asshole, being self righteous is even more fun.
I also wondered recently about the culture of dick driving. I’ve waxed philosophical about this a couple of times (The Battle of Dick Trucks and Sometimes I Am A Sixteen Year Old Boy). I like to drive. I can sort of understand the thrill of what they call spirited driving, which might be another way of saying being a dick. I get it. I can’t say I’m totally innocent.
But I was wondering about people who get “outdicked” on the road. Like, maybe someone is super aggressive, or routinely impolite on the road. Or maybe someone drives a car they are really, really proud of. A car they spent a lot of money on, or a car they consider a status symbol. There’s a whole hierarchy out there that we all participate in to varying degrees. For some people, it is very important to have a nice car, and some people don’t care. Likewise, some people want to be the most aggressive person on the road, and other people don’t care.
For the people who seek to be at the top of the hierarchy, how do they feel when they are outdicked? Someone can always have a nicer car. Does a status seeker see a better car and marvel, nice car! Or do they think, what a conspicuous asshole!
Someone can always be more aggressive while driving. When a dick gets outdicked on the road, what happens? Are they stunned? Are they outraged? Do they wonder, How dare someone pull a dick maneuver on me! I’m the dick here! Is that when we see people on the nightly news because they lost their minds on the road?
My personal suspicion is that they quietly seethe, or take out their aggression on the next unsuspecting driver, with ridiculous dick maneuvers of their own. Usually on the street we live on.
Or, even more likely, male or female, they go to their email filters and order from penis enlargement spam.