If you’ve ever driven a car, you’ll recognize this situation. You’re about to pull out onto a busy street where there’s no traffic signal. So you sit there, and you wait and wait and wait. Finally, you see an opening that should allow you to pull out safely, and then it happens.
A straggler vehicle creeps up out of nowhere. You can’t pull out in front of the slowpoke; it’s too dangerous. And you can’t pull out once he passes because the precious gap will be closed. So you sit there and fume about that "jerk" who stole your opening. And you just know he was plotting against you the whole time. In your anger, you’re convinced that he woke up, ate his greasy bacon and eggs, and said, "I think I’ll drive around and block traffic all day long!" This is what driving does to our minds. It makes us paranoid.
This paranoia is – of course – lunacy. That slowpoke isn’t trying to ruin your day on purpose. On any other day, he’d be speeding down the road just like all the other drivers. But today, he’s not in any hurry to get to the doctor’s office to hear how eating greasy bacon and eggs for breakfast has clogged his arteries. And guess what he’s thinking about drivers - like me - who are trying to enter the road?
"Look at that ‘moron’ trying to pull out into on-coming traffic! Here I’ve left a gap, just like I was taught in Driver’s Education, and he’s trying to sneak in front of me! I bet he got up this morning, ate some healthy, high-fiber cereal and skim milk, and decided to cut off innocent drivers who just want to go to the doctor’s office and get a cholesterol test."
See? Driving makes everyone paranoid. We all end up hating our fellow man and woman because we attribute evil intentions to their driving. Well, I can’t change my fellow drivers, but I can change my attitude. From now on, when a slowpoke forces me to wait and wait and wait, I’ll just assume he’s full of greasy bacon and eggs, has very high cholesterol and is about to hear a doctor tell him he’ll be dead in a week. It’s hard to get mad a someone who’s at death’s door; bless his poor slow-poking, artery-clogging soul.
David McCoy, a notorious storyteller and proud Yellow Jacket, lives in Covington. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.