Monday, January 7, 2008

Are you tough enough? Road Rage #1

I live in a pretty friendly town, I believe.

But today, I was the recipient of road rage – of a sort. Gas pump rage, I guess you could call it.

I was cruising down the street when I heard a “ding!”…in my Yukon, that means, “Girl, you better fill this monster up!” I swung into HEB, and started pumping gas into the bottomless pit. There were several empty stalls – usually, this gas station is waiting room only, but it was mid-afternoon, and it was virtually deserted. As I waited for my truck to fill, I thumbed through the honkin’ stack of mail I had picked up at the post office. I had the driver door open, so I could hear the gas pump when it shut off. I settled back, and was reading a newsletter when it happened.

“Honk! Hoooooooooooonk!”

I looked up, and nose to nose with my Yukon, in the HEB gas station, was a white Nissan Exterra. I looked at the lady. Uh-oh. I’ve seen that look before. Just not vehicle to vehicle, parked nose to nose.

She mouthed to me, “Move!” as she waved her hands wildly.

I mouthed back, “What?” At this point, I look around – is my truck on fire? What is going on that has her so excited? Nothing is going on, so I look back at her, puzzled.

“Move!”, she said. “Get out of the way! You are finished! Move your truck!”

I look back over my left shoulder at the gas pump. I’m at 17 gallons. Not even full.

I said, “Ma’am, I’m not through yet – this is a big vehicle.”

Repeat the above conversation, all lip synched, one more time.

"Ma'am, try another pump. I am not finished."

Like she can hear me.

She shakes her head, cusses a blue streak, puts her Exterra in reverse, peels backwards, and pulls up to another gas pump. I am in shock, and it has nothing to do with the price of gas my monster truck is sucking down its guzzle.

My gas pump finally shuts off at $75. That's a joke, this puppy isn't even full. I put in my credit card, and go at it again, trying to get the monster satiated.

While fueling attempt #2 is pumping, I walk over to the lady in the Exterra, who has now moved to another pump and is filling up her vehicle. She is a small lady, of Hispanic origin. She still looks pissed.

“Ma’am? Was there a problem over there? Did I offend you in some way?”

She says, “No. Is okay.”

I said, “My truck holds almost 30 gallons. I wasn’t just sitting there – it takes a while to fill it up. It's still filling up, as I speak.”

She says, “Is okay. No problema.” She is still mad, and won’t look me in the eye.

I walked away. I still don’t understand it. I’m not easily spooked – but it kind of unnerved me. I told MLH about it, and he looked at me.

He said, "There's a lot of anger out there."

Sad, that. Makes my heart hurt.


Lone Chatelaine said...

Some days I feel tough enough, but then some days, not so much. Probably depends on what I'm having to be tough about.

That lady would have unnerved me a bit too. Never know when someone is going to go postal these days. I think it's funny that you confronted her, though :)

MLH is right about the anger thing. There seems to be so much more of it now days. I have a theory about that, but it's probably not PC to say it publically.

Rob said...

Its amazing how short-fused and impatient drivers are these days. And the skill-level and attitudes of drivers has dwindled to a level that's negligent.

How important is it really that you shave the 25 seconds off your commute to work by gunning it through a yellow light? Perhaps that dicey maneuver will prevent you from being late to work, but how much later for work will you be if you're dead? And how much will it matter is you arrived at work on time if, in doing so, you caused some other driver to be hurt or killed?

Think it can't happen? Perhaps people have forgotten that these are multi-ton behemoths that most drivers hurtle down the roadways. Accidents do happen and with that much mass and inertia, they can certainly be fatal.

Slow down, people! Use a little common sense. If the very worst thing to happen to you today is that you have to wait an extra 2 minutes at a traffic light or 5 minutes at a gas pump, well, you're leading a pretty charmed life.

Sandy Kessler said...

I don't understand when we began taking it out on every individual around us . Several years ago at christmas a woman trying to get a parking space was waving and cursing frantically. I simply shut off my engine and sat there.I see it in school, unkindness starts very early. I used to let all this pile up on me but now I say a little prayer and go on..I know a woman in Alabamba who forced a mother of 3 off the road in prision for a long time...never in trouble before . I cannot even imagine..what brings a person to this point??

Janie said...

Chatelaine - Now that it's over, I kind of think I was stupid to confront her. But I do hope she's having a better day than she was that day!

Rob - I know. And I try to be extra carefulto watch out for other drivers , cause I drive a behemoth and I've seen the damage they can do. We really do have it pretty good, traffic and otherwise, in the Permian Basin. Thanks so much for stopping by!

Sandy - I don't know what brings a person to that point, but I hope that little lady's feeling better now than she was that day. Who knows what could have set her off?

Rach said...

Yeah road rage is a danger... I once had a hamburger thrown at my car. Weird huh?

Janie said...

Rach - now, girl, that's funny. I mean, roadrage isn't funny, ever...but a hamburger???

Did it have a bite taken out of it??? ;)

I mean, if someone's going to throw a burger at me, I'd like to enjoy it!

Rob said...

Tossing hamburgers in anger? Crazy!!

I'm rather discriminating tho - if someone's gonna toss a burger at me, it better darned well be from White House Meat Market. (They do make the best burger in Odessa!)

Janie said...

Rob, well, I meant it in a fun way - of course, it's not good in anger. Nothing is.

Speaking of good burgers, did you read my Ft. Worth burger review?

Rob said...

I must've missed that, Janie! We're seldom in the Ft. Worth area tho...

Janie said...

Gotta go check it out,'ll be worth the drive once you get the munchkin home...