So, based upon the contents of my humble blog, one might think that all I do is sit around painting Space Marines, watching Blu-Rays with my feet propped up on stacks of comics and board games while I jam mass quantities of crackers and Cheez-Whiz into my piehole as I surf Kickstarter for new projects to back. And while that does accurately describe many of my weekends, I do have to work for a living to help support my family and my nerdtastic lifestyle. So that means driving home. And THAT means road rage.
I’d like to think I’m a fairly easygoing guy. But I’m not. For as long as I’ve been driving, I’ve been getting annoyed by idiots. And aging isn’t exactly mellowing me out. In fact, it’s gotten so bad that I’ve set out to find a solution.
Mornings aren’t so bad. I take the kids to school and we leave early enough to beat the major traffic and school buses. I have enough self-control to not drop mass quantities of F-bombs while they’re in the car. So you’d think I could just chill and enjoy the ride home. Nope.
You see, in the mornings, I’m in no hurry to get to the office. Since I leave early, I usually get to work about 7:35 every day, so it’s not like I’m rushing to hit the door before 8. But at 5:00…My mind is numb, my back hurts, and I’m on my time. A brother wants to get home.
Now I don’t mean I’m special and should have my own lane or anything. Not at all. But the idiots out there on the road…They’re killing me Smalls. The “Let me go 30 in a 55” grannies, the “Let me ease through this green light” guy. You know him. As long as he gets through the light, to Hell with the 50 cars behind him. Lately, I’ve had fantasies of mounting .50 cal machine guns under the hood of my Honda. And it’s stressing me out.
And isn’t stress supposed to be bad? I mean, I’m not 21 anymore. I could theoretically keel over at any time, so anything that raises my blood pressure can’t be good. I’ve tried playing some mellow jams on the radio but that just annoys me and I end up popping some Iron Maiden or Metallica into the CD player. Nothing relaxes a crazy man like Maiden’s Live in Rio version of The Trooper. I’ve tried deep breathing. Nothing. I’ve thunk happy thoughts with no perceptible effect.
Just the other night, I was cruising home, minding my beeswax when some clown in a white 4-Runner comes flying by me doing about 90 (in a 50). Didn’t see that coming. Apparently this dummy had to reach a toilet ASAP or something, because he/she had his/her flashers on. Is that even legal? If you’re a woman giving birth to a baby, that’s probably cool. Rock those flashers girl. But this idiot was going the opposite direction from the hospital. And besides almost causing me to be in need of an underwear change, he/she almost caused two accidents with the weaving in and out of traffic like Ricky Bobby on crystal meth. It really was a miracle somebody wasn’t killed. Of course, there were no cops around to nab this douche so he/she got away and that just ticked me off even more. I got home and had to take a minute to compose myself before getting out of the car.
Then, a couple of days ago, an idea hit me. It’s along the lines of “If the mountain won’t come to Muhammad, Muhammad must go to the mountain.” Mine goes like this: If the deadbeats & idiots won’t get away from me, I must get away from the deadbeats & idiots.
You see, being economically minded, I tend to operate under the “shortest distance between two points is a straight line” theory when practicing route selection. My particular ride home offers two basic routes with a few variations thrown in. And they all suck. We got traffic lights, we got six lanes going down to four then down to two (always fun when surrounded by double-digit IQers on cellphones). We got traffic backed up for 1/2 a mile. We got granny doing 35 in a 55. By the time I get home, I want to kick the neighbors’ yappy dog over the fence.
But, what if the chillest distance between two points isn’t the shortest? It turns out, we’ve got a Western Bypass. We rarely use it because it’s kinda out of the way. But guess what…it’s apparently kinda outta the way for everybody. Because virtually nobody uses it. So the last two nights, I took the long way home. The scenic route as it were. And I am loving it!
Being a scientifically-minded nerd, I collected some data. My new way home is four miles longer but only adds about 5 or 6 minutes. So yeah, it takes a little longer and it uses more gas. BUT, I didn’t drop one F bomb on the way home tonight. No Annoyed Picard looks, no screaming “WHAT ARE YOU DOING?!?” or “YOU NEED AN INVITATION TO GO THROUGH THAT LIGHT, BUDDY!?!” I turned on the 24/7 Christmas music channel and just tooled home like a normal human being. My heart rate never rose above 72.
But why, you ask, am I telling you all this? Because if it can happen for me, maybe it can happen for you. I realize not everybody is going to have access to a bypass that nobody uses. But maybe if you Google map your own neck of the woods, you can find a road-less-traveled for yourself. Sure it’s a bit more gas and a little more time. But I gotta tell you, not wanting to go Road Warrior on that old codger who likes to turn right in front of me while I’m tooling along at 57 MPH is a nice feeling. Until next time…stay nerdy my friends.
Copyright 2013 It Came From the Nerd Cave