Two nights in a row, in the last week, I was a victim of bullying.
Not schoolyard bullying. Not gay-hate bullying. Not even "you're an arrogant fuck" bullying (which often may be quite justified). No, lovers and dreamers, this was traffic bullying. Yes: Traffic Bullying.
Picture the scene. I am driving home, city-bound along the brilliantly designed and perfectly maintained (har har!) Monash Freeway. It is dark. It is raining. Most of the traffic is doing around 80-90kms/hour, which is quite annoying. I must admit, I am a little bit of a lead-foot. Well, maybe not lead: perhaps some kind of a semi-heavy alloy. Anyhoo... I have my cruise-control coasting at about 105 which is yes, a bit too fast - but not insane.
Suddenly, I am blinded by a bright explosion of light, reflected in my rear-view mirror. Another car is hurtling towards me from behind, flashing its high-beams. Clearly I am not going fast enough for his tastes. But there is a steady stream of much-slower traffic beside me, and I am not prepared to speed (even more than I already am) to please some tiny-cocked bogan in a hotted-up ute. He proceeds to tailgate me - literally so close behind me I cannot see his front bumper in the mirror.
Now I'm not one of those vindictive bastards who will deliberately slow down just to piss someone off further. But I also will not do something that makes me feel unsafe, merely because someone else is trying to intimidate me. So I simply continue. The cruise-control keeps my speed constant, and I continue to pass the slower cars in the other lanes. Mr Dickwad behind me now begins swerving back and forth within the lane - still flashing his high-beams all the while - as if hoping to magically find a way to sneak around me. What does he want me to do? Swerve into the stream of traffic in the other lane, just to get out of his way? Pull off the freeway altogether into the emergency lane? Speed up to Ludicrous-Speed - and probably lose control in the rain and end up a corpse? Not gonna happen. I'll admit I was quite scared by his behaviour. But that wasn't going to make me change mine. As I may have mentioned above, I can be an arrogant fuck with the best of them.
I was bullied quite horribly at my first High-School. Sadly, my twelve-year-old self let it get to me, and my self-esteem took a long time to recover. What I had yet to realise then, is now very clear to me in my elderly wisdom: people who bully - in any form - only do so because they have no sense of self-worth themselves. If you need to make someone else feel like shit in order to survive, you clearly don't have a very high opinion of yourself.
At any rate, finally the traffic thinned in the lane to our left, and Speedy Gonfuckwit darted around me and zoomed away. Soon came my exit... turns out it was also his. I follow him up the off-ramp, and end up waiting at the traffic lights, right behind him. So this is the grand reward for his incredibly dangerous, childish actions: being stopped exactly one car-length ahead of where he would have been if he hadn't all-but committed vehicular sodomy on my person.
Imagine my exasperation when, almost exactly 24 hours later, I had a sense of déjà-vu. Again, it was dark. Again it was raining. Again I was zooming every-so-slightly too fast down the Monash. Again, it began with the flash of high-beams in the rear-vision mirror. Again I stood my ground and drove exactly as I normally would (only even more carefully than usual, since this assclown was endangering me so recklessly). The exact same thing proceeded to happen, only this time it wasn't a ute, but a four-wheel-drive which finally zipped around me and disappeared into the night.
Why? For the love of God, why?! What have you achieved? Does it really make you feel more masculine or powerful to act like a six-year-old? Do you honestly think anyone is impressed by your pathetic attempts to intimidate others?
Don't get me wrong. I'm the first to shake my fist and fill my car with swear-words when a Volvo-driver is going 40 in an 80 zone. I also once wound down the window and shouted "CUNT!" at a cyclist who was holding up traffic on a narrow road (although that was more for the effect of making Snaz laugh in horror). But there is absolutely no need to dangerously bully your fellow drivers.
So, to all the hoon-wankers out there: Drop the ego and try some self-esteem instead. Your over-inflated Death Drive is not impressive, and neither is your willingness to endanger others. Attempting to make someone feel small does not make you look big. It makes you look even smaller. Go back to the Asshole Farm, and shut the gate. Thankyou.
Labels: munkey's life, soap box