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Road Rage is an affliction which probably happens to almost everyone who drives. All that needs to occur is to have your schedule trashed by the inconsiderate person who is toodling along 20 miles per hour below the posted speed. This is on the part of the highway that is passing-restricted. As soon as they come to a passing zone they look in the rearview mirror and by God, there's good ol' boy Richard Petty, complete with cowboy hat and mirrored shades staring back. Down goes the pedal and everyone who has been stuck behind them for the last 10 miles sees them take off like a scalded cat. This transformation lasts until the next no passing zone where ol' Richard disappears, and we're dragging along single file again.

Road rage is like a whole panoply of other behaviors indulged in by humans whereby they can display their inherent foolishness/inconsideration. I remember a sterling case in point, and I was the road rager.

This happened the summer just after I turned 18, and I was bad. I was on a certain highway in the big city, and there were 2 lanes going my way. I was in the right lane, but it ended up ahead. I squeezed the gas down and shot into the left lane ahead of another car. It was a dark colored Plymouth sedan but hey, I had a Plymouth too. Mine was an ex cop car, had the huge 440 hemi engine, and it'd pass anything but a gas pump. I mean that baby sucked it down, but while it was sucking gas it was strolling!

The car I'd cut off blipped his horn, which didn't really increase my jolly quotient. You know the internal dialogue that goes through your head. Asking yourself the eternally entertaining question "I wonder if he'd like to have his stupid butt kicked?"

We proceeded about 10 blocks, crossed a bridge and got stopped by a red light. I'm sitting there waiting for the light to change, and Mr. Brown Plymouth gets out of his car and starts walking toward me. This guy, kinda small, in a suit is gonna walk up and give me chong? I don't think so. I had my left arm braced against the door, my right hand ready to trip the release, and the big plan was to bang him down with the door and do a tap dance on his forehead. This clown ruined my carefully laid strategy by stopping behind the door, and holds something out for me to see. It was a badge and on it was written "U S Marshall" Yeah, Mr Plymouth 'rolled the gold' on me..

Dearly beloved, I can't express adequately how fast my head of steam totally evaporated. It was one of those electric moments, the kind where shock rolls over your entire body like falling into an icy brook. In pirate's parlance, the wind totally left my sails. It struck me exactly what I had almost done. Assault on a Federal law enforcement officer doesn't look particularly good on an employment application. Of course, I wouldn't be needing employment for quite a while. I'd probably be eligible for parole right about now.

He very calmly informed me the lane I'd been in was a right turn lane, not a through lane. Trust me when I say to you my command of the English language was reduced to 2 words, those being "Yes sir."

The moral is while it's easy enough to get steamed it may help to remember that you might be the one in error. If you aren't at fault you still don't know the person you're enraged with. They could be a U S Marshall, a minister, or Hannibal Lecter's twin brother jonesing for some munchies. Sometimes, the greatest war is the one you don't start.