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Keep Your Ego OFF the Road

Last week, my partner, my dog, and I were driving over to have dinner with my mother for her birthday, since we were all vaccinated and it was the first special occasion to arise in a while. I pull out of the parking lot, prepare to take a left (I turned my signal on and everything), when some ass hat who thinks that saving ten seconds by jumping his turn at a busy intersection will make his trip that much better decides to accelerate into his turn, despite the fact that I am right there.

My mind flashed back to getting T-boned by another car in the same manner four years ago. Panic struck. I accelerated. Turned. Tried not to scream as I pressed the gas and not the brakes.

I managed to avoid getting crashed into.

In the process, I popped two tires on the curb and slightly misaligned my front wheels.

And I was pissed.

To the scruffy-faced booger-coated weasel who nearly crashed into me (did I mention he made eye contact?), Fuck. You.

To him, he went about having not hit anyone. I bet he gave himself a nice pat on the back for that one. But what he doesn’t know—because he didn’t stick around to find out—was that he stole two hours from my day, cost me nearly $1,000 in replacing my tires (because you can’t just replace two tires), and killed our enthusiastic energy so that when we did finally arrive at my mother’s house—two and a half hours later—we were tired, and ended up leaving sooner than we had planned.

You know what I call that? Rude. And quite frankly, dangerous. (I can’t even think about what would have happened to my dog if he had collided into us.)

So to anyone and everyone who gets behind the wheel to drive your massive chunk of metal at lethal speeds, do us all a favor: Keep your ego off the god damn road.

This piece of moldy trash thought it was so important that he go first that he probably thought risking a collision like he did was worth it. And he’s not the only one. You know what I’m talking about:

The sleaze bag who accelerates once you’ve put on your blinker so you can’t slip in front of him, even though there is ample room for you to do so.

The chatty Kathy on her phone who flips you off when you signal her to get her slow-moving self OUT of the passing lane, and then plays passive-aggressive driving games for several miles.

The inconsiderate, wannabe racecar driver who whips convolutedly about the four lanes on the road just to get ahead those few extra seconds and nearly causes at least four collisions.

You’ll notice the common theme here is saving those few extra seconds. Is there a race going on that I don’t know about? Did I miss the class on learning how to avoid idiots with a steering wheel?

There’s a reason it feels like idiotic nonsense when people act that way on the road: it’s not a fucking race.

These roads extend for miles in either direction, with numerous points of entry and exit. Any “starts” or “ends” are intersections with new roads that keep moving onward.

And do you know what that means, you dumbasses who don’t realize the damage you can cause flying 90 miles an hour through traffic?

It means there is no competition.

Yep, congratulations. You’ve been racing for nothing.

There’s no start line or finish line.

There’s no first place.

There’s no prize.

It is literally a journey from point A to point B. And sure, maybe you’ve got some extra stops along the way, but it is essentially a journey. Your beginning and end points are different from nearly everyone else’s.

And you know what? I’ll go so far as to say that not only is driving not a race, it is actually a collaborative, cooperative experience.

Driving at the scale that we do only works because we have all generally agreed to follow the same rules. Stop at red lights. Go on green. Use your blinker (hint hint). Alternate cars as you merge. Only use the left lane for passing (and if you’re not passing anyone, get out. You can always get back in when you need to). We stop together, we go together, we move at 60+ mph speeds together without crashing into each other because we’ve agreed to. Driving is cooperative, and none of us want to crash.

And I swear to god, the next person who either crashes into me, or nearly crashes into me, can get this monologue at full performance, in person.

Do everyone a favor: Keep your ego off the road.

Anna Petgrave

Seattle U '21

Anna Petgrave Major: English Creative Writing; Minor: Writing Studies Her Campus @ Seattle University Campus Correspondent and Senior Editor Anna Petgrave is passionate about learning and experiencing the world as much as she can. She has an insatiable itch to travel and connect with new and different people. She hopes one day to be a writer herself, but in the meantime she is chasing her dream of editing. Social justice, compassion, expression, and interpersonal understanding are merely a few of her passions--of which she is finding more and more every day.
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