The Northwest Radial runs through the heart of Bensen in Omaha, eventually hooking up with Saddle Creek Road. For two years I would commute down the Radial, which is a twisting and winding road thick with stoplights and many lanes.
During this period, I made it my personal goal to piss one woman off every morning. I first noticed her as she cut me off as the morning sun blinded me in a particular heavy patch of traffic. Slamming on the brakes to let her in, she zoomed off leaving my horn in the distance. I remembered her car.
The next time I saw her was a week later. Now, I was thirsty for a little payback, but I didn’t want to do anything stupid or dangerous. I could tell she was one of those people who didn’t understand how city traffic worked: you can speed all you want in between the lights, but odds are you will only be a minute at the most ahead of the slowest driver that started with you on your route, especially in rush hours. The traffic lights, they manage the traffic. So really, it behooves you not to speed like an asshole and cut people off looking for holes.
Knowing how the system worked, I slid my way through traffic, changing lanes until I managed to get in front of her, matching the speed of the car next to me. I was crying with laughter every time I looked into the rearview mirror as she was visibly groaning and slamming her hands on the wheel. I was making her late (although like I said, maybe by a minute at the most).
Over the next year I spent most of my commute in the morning finding her and slowing her down. Sometimes she would slip past me, and I would wave to her when I passed her while she was hurriedly waiting to take a right, which of course also pissed her off since I was moving and she was not. My new goal was to make her flip me off, which I don’t remember achieving (or at least witnessing it). And the best part was she never understood that if you wanted to beat people to work through traffic, perhaps leaving earlier would be better.
I thought of her this morning as a nice new Mazda zoomed by me going at least 50mph to get into a hole in the right lane (through a school zone). I caught up with her a minute later as we both took right turns.
It’s people like this that make me afraid to ride a bike to work.
You can also browse through the Parlor archives.
Keep up to date with my email newsletter. Newsletters are sent at least quarterly.
Stay up to date with my Feed in your favorite newsreader!
Check out who is linking to me with my Technorati Profile.