Column: The idiots, the morons and the queen all cause road rage

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, January 24, 2001

We all know someone who suffers from road rage.

Wednesday, January 24, 2001

We all know someone who suffers from road rage. You know, the Jekyll and Hyde type – a nice guy who turns into a monster the minute he gets behind the wheel of a car. Maybe you are one of these people?

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There are those who claim that if Albert Einstein were put behind the wheel of a half-ton pickup, he would have immediately turned into Curly of the Three Stooges. None of us is the perfect driver. Have you ever heard a minister say about the deceased at a funeral, &uot;He was a great driver&uot;?

There are a lot of reasons brought forth as to what causes this road rage. There is our old buddy stress – a constant companion to many in this day and age and a prime cause of road rage.

Then there are the idiots on the roads. An idiot is anyone who passes us. This differs from the morons, another cause of road rage. A moron is anyone who is ahead of us as we motor down the road. Morons are the ones who insist in staying in front of us.

If you ever ride with a driver prone to road rage, you will quickly learn that the world can be divided into two groups – morons and idiots. These are the two classes that auto insurance companies use to determine their rates. A person can move from idiot to moron or moron to idiot with little difficulty. Or one can be both.

I should offer this brief bit of advice here; pleading that you are prone to idiotic or moronic tendencies does little in getting sympathy from a policeman.

No matter how many morons and idiots there are, they cannot be blamed for all of the road rage out there today. You will never find a genius on a highway. When is the last time you have ever heard someone say, &uot;Nice turn. That guy must be a genius&uot;?

Heavy traffic is another cause of road rage. Bumper stickers that do not agree with us. Vanity plates. I saw one the other day on a snazzy Jaguar that read, &uot;Rich Guy.&uot; It was hard to work up much of a liking for the guy driving the sports car.

Pink cars like the one Mary Kay consultants drive. A car that has had its turn signal on since it left the factory. You never know when or where they are going to turn. Drivers who refuse to use their turn signals in fear of giving away their next move.

People who tailgate you and drivers who don’t go fast enough to prevent you from tailgating them. Bad weather. Good weather – because you can’t enjoy it from the inside of your vehicle.

Tape players that eat your favorite cassette tape. Missing your turn. Potholes the size of the Grand Canyon. Road construction and road destruction. People picking their noses in a car beside you. There is something about being in an automobile that makes people think they are invisible. A photographer even caught the Queen of England picking her nose while she was driving her Range Rover. Queens driving Range Rovers are another cause of road range.

Meeting cars with their lights on bright. Meeting cars with no lights on. People who treat stop signs as slow signs. Drivers who consider yellow lights as a signal to put the pedal to the metal. Monster trucks that look like they might run over you any minute.

Kids who make faces at you from the back window of the car ahead. Gawker slow-downs near an accident, especially the rubberneckers who take forever before allowing you a chance to gawk at the accident.

Confusing highway signs that require you to speed-read 47 green signs in a fraction of a second. Women applying makeup or putting on pantyhose while driving. The horn in the car behind you honking the instant the light turns green. Drivers who had accidents during the written part of their driving test.

These are all things that cause road rage. However, I am going to divulge the number one cause for road rage in America. Drumroll, please.

The number one cause of road rage in America is one of those huge drink containers that are available at most every convenience store or fast food restaurant. These large cups of the five-gallon variety turn the nicest people into road-rage fiends. How does this happen, you might ask? The reason is that millions of people are driving around with a great need to relieve themselves. Nature isn’t just calling them, it is demanding action.

There it is, proof positive that the biggest cause of road rage in these United States is the mammoth drink container. I am proud to say that I was able to reach this conclusion without the use of any government grant money.

Hartland resident Al Batt writes columns for the Wednesday and Sunday editions of the Tribune.