Asshole #1...Over the Edge

Ok, if I’m going to do a frickin blog, might as well try to make it interesting. I was told to do the blog, initially, as a teaser to interest you in getting ahold of my novel. Thanks if you did. So, here’s the new deal: “Angels and assholes.” We all run into assholes. I’m sure you’ve wondered, as I have: why do people do asshole things? Why would anyone want to be an asshole?

Then there’s those ‘angels, ‘ which are most of us when we’re not too lazy or in too big a hurry to go out of our way to do the decent, right thing at the right time. I’m not talking about saving souls or finding a lord somewhere, but those daily acts of kindness that makes life worth living among other people.

Then, I’m going to suggest we (I in this case) take a shot at hypothesizing what might have spurred the asshole incident…as well as the ‘angel’ act. Not sure where this will go, but I’ll start with my own asshole and angel incidents. If you like this, I guess I’m supposed to ask you to “share” this with whomever to make it worth our time (mine mostly). I plan on enlisting other people’s encounters and diagnoses as well. I will select the next few ‘venters’ and then see what develops. I have a couple psychiatrist friends, or even a psychiatric class, that might enjoy, down the road, hypothesizing professionally the behaviors behind our angels and assholes.

Introducing this hair-brained scheme is getting long, so only my asshole incident this time; the angel next week:

I was driving on a residential bi-way going my standard couple miles over the posted speed limit of 35 mph. I had about 4 cars behind me backed up from the stop light behind us. After about 3 or 4 blocks the road narrows to one lane. Suddenly out of nowhere a car flies by me in the right lane going at least 60mph and comes inches from clipping my fender when he swerves in front of me to prevent himself from running over the curb. You get the picture? So, I’m going ‘man, is he in a hurry.’ Then, the asshole slows down to about 20-25 mph! At first I’m figuring the excitement of almost killing me gave him a stroke or something. So, initially, I keep a safe distance. But I can see him watching me in his rearview mirror obviously to see my reaction. Since there is no chance of passing on this road and we’ve got a ways to go, I do what any red-blooded human, male OR female would do…I tailgate the sucker, cars honking behind me like it’s MY fault. Being of Irish descendancy and thus a little more red-blooded than the average, I wanted to bump the asshole. But, fortunately, I’m driving my little MRII Spider so I refrain.

When we finally get to a stop light, the asshole pulls into the left turn lane and I sidle up next to him curious as to what a royal asshole might look like: there is this vanilla, very average looking dude who starts waving his arms and screaming indistinguishable word-like things at me. I catch an “off my ass” in there and so assume he’s talking about me, as well as the 10-12 cars that have now piled up behind me, tailgating. I wait out his rant, smiling pleasantly. (I’ve gained the wisdom from previous experiences that some assholes want to goad you into acting like themselves… and that smiling really pisses them off.) In the brief hiatus, I pleasantly ask him if he really didn’t think what he did was an asshole move. He looks at me like he’s surprised or something and then continues with his rant, arms again flailing. Just then the light changes to green I pull away happy to leave hopefully my only asshole of the day behind me. He hit the gas, but in his histrionics had lost his arrow and now had not only the car behind but one in front honking at him, and, best of all his car killed.

I drove on, somewhat satisfied that the asshole got what he deserved, but wondering if maybe the guy behind him when his car killed might have killed the asshole as well, putting him out of his misery. But, not being much of a fan of capital punishment, I figured it would an asshole thing to do to wish the poor sucker dead. Right?

My amateur (at the best) diagnosis: The poor guy may have been dominated all his life…maybe by his parent(s), maybe his wife (heaven forbid that he be married or, worse, has kids), maybe at work. His only means of having control over others in his life is using his car as an extension of his id and to him—alleluia!—control other drivers.

Next week a much shorter “Angel.”