On my way home from picking up Jimmy today I had a slight bout of road rage. . OK - well, it was a little more severe than previous episodes. . .Here's what happened. I stopped on the way home at McDonald's to get some food (I was hungry). The place wasn't notably busy, though it did have its fair share of teenagers hanging out in the parking lot (how cool!). Not much happening there at all though. I pulled up to the stop sign within the shopping center after receiving our food and administered hand sanitizer for the kids (this took all of 5 seconds). Well, I guess that 5 seconds was a bit too long for the bratty pubescent little boy who happened to pull up behind me. I guess he was unhappy with the slight pause at the stop sign ('What? People actually stop here??') and decided to squeal his wheels as he went around me.
To pass me would've been totally fine, but to squeal the wheels is not only dangerous, it's also obnoxious - and I was in no mood for attitude from a teenager. Well, again, much like with Publix - something within me took over. I swear I had no control over myself . . .well, maybe just a teeny tiny bit. Anyway, I decided (after much practice doing vehicular spy moves with friends growing up) to follow pursuit, but not before laying on my broken and sputtering horn in the van. So I just laid on it for a brief moment, and then I too literally peeled out after him (children in the back seat wondering at what point they get their burgers).
I followed the boy up to the stop sign that actually enters the real highway, laying on the horn intermittently, and again, peeling out after him as he merged into the intersection. Unfortunately, we both were headed for the turn lane. This made for a great opportunity for me to fully express my disgust in his uber teenage driving habits, and it gave him the opportunity to prove he was all that and a bag of chips. Feeling the power of being in the back, I pulled up pretty close to his bumper whilst throwing my hands in the air and making faces that said "WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU, CHILD???". Observing my obvious rage, he decided then to roll down the window and hang out the side of his vehicle to scream profanities in my general direction. Fortunately, I'm incredibly NOT astute with lip reading and was thus able to simply reciprocate by merely shaking my head and squinting my eyes as to express: "You are a real idiot, aren't you?". Despite my lip reading impairment, I did understand the process of him slowly backing his vehicle up towards my front fender: a game of chicken. I of course wasn't going to back up even an inch and really doubted he'd risk damaging his much nicer vehicle, so I grabbed my phone and held it up while pretending to dial 9-1-1 all the while smiling at the child as I smugly moved the phone to my ear (as though I was really going to report him). After a second or two of my little charade, he decided to just drive.
Much to the horror of both of us I'm sure, we were quickly stopped side by side at a stop light. In order to demonstrate my maturity and wisdom, I took this moment to hand little Jimmy his chicken sandwich. 'Yes, I'm driving a van with children inside. I'm older and wiser than you. And you need to quit driving with so much testosterone!' was all that I really wanted to convey in that moment. A second later, I boldly turned my face his direction, and we both stared at each other silently swapping looks of disgust. Then I mouthed the words "You need to grow up" to him. He mouthed something back, but alas, I had no clue as to what he was saying, and I let him know that by pointing to my ear and shaking my head with a disappointed expression and shoulder shrug.
The light turned green pretty quickly and we were off again. I made an effort to let the boy pass, but he was also seemingly taking this same approach. After a few seconds, he did finally pass, and I waved calmly as I stared expressionless at the road ahead of me. Much to my horror, he pulled into my lane and turned down the same road I was going to turn onto in order to go home. There's really not a lot on this road, so I began to anticipate following him for the next 15 minutes or so right up to the point where he turned into my neighborhood (Wouldn't that be terrible? -to be road dueling with some neighborhood kid?).
FORTUNATELY, when he saw that I was behind him, he quickly turned into just about the only commercial facility between that road and our home. While I watched the rear view mirror for a minute or two just to be sure he wasn't hoping to get the upper hand by being in the back, I was relieved to know that he wasn't. And actually, I was really pretty thrilled that I had won. I WON the game of road rage between me and the pubescent boy. I, the older and wiser woman, won. He chickened out; he backed down; he ate crow.
Young men out there, let this be a lesson to you: just because the mini-van isn't moving at the pace you'd hope for, it to does not mean you have the right to act your age. There are a LOT of crazy mom's out there willing to go great lengths not only to somehow prove their fearlessness but also to teach you a valuable lesson about the lunatics on the road!