Passive Road Rage

Blue, yellow, and white: these colors signify a foreign presence, an invasion, a threat. They are the badges of the disdainful and intolerable force who threaten peace, life, and order. Pollution streams in their wake, and all close to them are in danger. They travel at unsafe speeds, take unnessary risks, and spread discontent in their path. It’s ski season in Vermont.

I honestly do not have a bone to pick with tourists at large. Vermont depends on them. Maple syrup and milk can only do so much for your state’s economy. It’s a certain group, perhaps even a breed that draws the sharp point of my pen.

It’s hard to make a blanket statement for this tribe, but I think you’ll know who I mean. In oversized, gas-guzzling SUV’s, they zoom into the state, tail the unfortunate ones in their path, and pass with an obnoxious roaring gusto whenever they fancy. Their hulking vehicles will bear Ford, Chevy, or Toyota logos, but will more often have Lexus, Infiniti, or Cadillac. More often than not, their plates will be New Jersey yellow, New York/Connecticut blue, or Massachusetts white. If you see them coming, pull off the road, step away from the sidewalk, or just let them merge in front of you, they’re just going to do it any way.

Back off, slow down and leave us alone! Better yet, hurry up, spend your money, and then leave as fast as you came. Please do not afflict us with your impatience and constant hustle. Vermont has enough of its own problems.

Perhaps I am suffering from a type of reactive or passive road rage. While I am not tearing around town, flipping the bird, or tail-gating, I am grooming my own peculiar breed of intolerance and impatient anger. My road rage grows in silent anticipation while the SUV approaches. It stews as a silent victim. While my rage is as real as the bumper not two feet from my own, you will never see it. It is an anger that lacks a feasible outlet, stuck in a perpetual round about. Perhaps my rage is only manifested with a feeble toot of my horn at the SUV that slices in front of my little sedan.

And now I confess that I have been dedeated. I have allowed my peace, tranquility, and slow pace to become the roadkill of out-of-state SUV’s. Their infectuous hurry and anger has seeped into my physche, revealing my own intolerance and rage. It’s not pretty to see who I am. I am perhaps little more than the same person with a less competitive driving style. I cannot expect them to be curteous, to obey speed laws, or to pass safely. But I can become as flexible and giving as a tire that negotiates bumps, rocks, and pot holes with a sturdy softness. There is no need to explode when slamming into the rough and unforgiving. Perhaps the only way to navigate the infuriating antics of this tribe is to become more forgiving and less resistant. Like a gently sloping speed bump, letting them pass over me without a fight.