As I’ve mentioned before, I am a native of New Jersey. What this means is, we drive with one hand on the wheel and the middle finger of the other hand extended out the window. We will give the middle finger for anything and everything. Someone cuts us off, bam. Someone honks at us, bam. Someone doesn’t move quickly enough when the light turns green, honk and then bam.
This is not to say we are discourteous drivers. We do have roadway etiquette, but we also have a punishment system built-in when someone violates said etiquette.
So it was yesterday, on my way home. I entered an intersection just as the light turned yellow. Unfortunately, this was a busy section of highway that had another controlled intersection about a thousand feet ahead, and that light was red, thus we were stopped dead. I was at the tail end of the line of traffic. To make matters worse, those who were turning right (to go the same direction as I was going) from the street to my right couldn’t go anywhere even though they had the green…because of this same traffic backup. When I finally did get the green, and could move, I allowed the beer truck at the front of that line to cut in front of me (it turns out it was a Budweiser truck…..had I known this, I would’ve given him the middle finger and not let him in).
Because I had not only stopped (thus holding up traffic) and further delayed things by allowing a truck to cut in, the driver behind me honked her horn. Much like Pavlov ringing a bell, causing his dogs to look for food, I immediately extended my right arm and flipped off the person behind me. It was only after doing this that I bothered to check my rear-view mirror to see to whom I had given the digital “Fuck You.”
It was a 60-ish year old grandmother-type in a mini-van.
Awesome. I just gave the middle finger to an old woman. Somebody’s grandmother.
Of course, I was the one trying to extend courtesy to another driver, so while I certainly inconvenienced this woman and her race to go to water aerobics (or wherever it is women of her age go), there was certainly no call for her to be rude to me. By giving her the middle finger, I was performing a public service.