How do you deal with the frustrations of the road? There are many ways and I have tried most, some successful and others less so. The most successful way I have found to cope with it is on a beach in Jamaica with a Mai Tai, warm sun and bathing beauties but that doesn't get many miles done now does it?
I am occasionally woken from my sleep in the bunk of the truck by Ellen shouting at a four wheeler, "Really?" Which is her way of staying calm in the face of stupidity. "Really" is one word that she uses although there are others but I want to keep this family friendly.
Something you will read often in this area of the site is, "Truckers see stupid every day!" Not that we are perfect because stupid comes with eighteen wheels too but the risks that people take when driving close to the big rigs are amazing.
I am sure that every Trucker has seen this one and it happened to me today. I was quickly gaining on another vehicle and turned on my left flasher to let everyone know what I was planning to do. Some folks think that the flasher is there to let everyone know what you are doing but that's wrong, we can see what your are doing; the flashers are there to let everyone know what you are planning to do. Unfortunately when a Trucker uses the flashers it's like a Boxer telegraphing a punch, it gives their opponent a chance to get out of the way. When the flashers come on it gives the car a little way back a warning so the dummy behind the wheel can punch the gas. Heaven forbid that he might be delayed by a few seconds. As the car came by I could see that there were two unrestrained kids in the back and a baby in a baby seat in the front. Dummy in training? The lady driver blasted me with her horn and confirmed my position at number 1 on the charts.
The car behind the dummy was a better driver who flashed his lights for me to come out and left plenty of room for me to do it. I had lost some speed though so it took a few seconds to get going after moving over. Surprise! Surprise! Here comes another dummy speeding up the inside trying to close the gap while he still has room to squeeze though. I would never do it but I have thought about carrying a few water balloons for this situation, I am sure it could be explained as a weather phenomenon if there was an accident. This dummy didn't make it but rather than backing out and suffering the indignation of a return to the left lane he zipped past the vehicle ahead on the shoulder.
Road Rage is the physical manifestation of the frustration felt by those behind the wheel. I am not sure that is a properly constructed sentence and don't know if it is an accurate statement; I just wanted to use the word "manifestation".
Today I laugh at the dummy and continue down the road but in the past I have tried a couple of other ways to control a rising rage. The simplest method was squeezing their heads between my thumb and forefinger, a little unimaginative but effective to a point. Then one day I was shopping at Wal-Mart and saw a neat looking Ray Gun!! When the trigger was pulled it emitted all sorts of odd spacey sounds, it made tweets and burps and laser zings and it vibrated and I was so excited!
Move over Captain Kirk, step aside Buzz Lightyear 'cos Crocodile of the Space Patrol has arrived!!
When I met a dummy I dealt flashing death without warning! There was chaos in the streets which ran wet with dummy brains and entrails! I was a happy unstressed Trucker!
A couple of other drivers at the company I was driving for saw my Ray Gun and inquired about it. I explained it's use and couldn't be sure if they were laughing at me or with me until a few days later I saw one of them blasting a dummy from the cab of his truck, a smile across his face and a gleam in his eye.
I think my best day with the Ray Gun occurred when after blowing a dummies brains all over the dash board I received return fire from two kid dummies in the back seat!!! It was a while ago so I don't remember actually wetting myself but I laughed until my stomach hurt.
Road Rage and Frustration? Laugh it off gang because it isn't going to get better.
Please note: The fun with the Ray Gun was a while ago. Trying a stunt like this in today's world might result in REAL return fire.