5195 KW – Massachusetts, please drink decaf

May 8, 2007

This is an open letter to the woman who enthusiastically gave me the finger this morning on the way to work.

Dear Miss Directed Anger:

I think you should try decaf. Not because your pristine Infinity requires the precise, jitter-free touch of a skilled pilot. Not because your carefully coiffed hair and prim lips might rot from the high-test at Starbucks. And not because you might apply your scads of make-up and eyeliner faster if you were unencumbered by caffeine.

Nope. I think you need to go with decaf because you’re clearly not in control of your emotions.

Let’s revisit 7:01AM on Route 3A in Hingham. An accident had just occurred right beyond the five-way intersection near Brooks Drugs and Crow Point Pizzeria. It looked to be a two-car accident and there were two cruisers and three other emergency vehicles on scene. Traffic was being routed to the passing lane and a police officer was directing cars around the accident.

Flash to you in your car. License plate number 5195KW – Massachusetts.

I can only assume you saw the carnage ahead and immediately thought about your morning meeting at the firm. According to a recent Boston.com article, women are more frequently giving up their professional aspirations to become more well-rounded members of society. I guess you missed this article.

So, gripped by the panic that you might be one minute late, you neglected to use a blinker and slid left into my lane coming close to my vehicle, but not putting either of us in danger.

I pressed my horn and it made a short, friendly BEEEEEEP. About as long as it took to read that word, maybe less.

You, dealing with your own inadequacies and demands placed on you from other external forces, immediately rolled down your window and stuck a carefully manicured middle finger out the window at me.

I smiled and waved and you seemed to seethe a little. In about 14 seconds we were both past the excitement of the accident and cruising nicely down 3A.

I repeatedly tried to pull alongside to wave at you and get your attention. To give you a chance to apologize for your knee-jerk reaction. Mostly because I bet we both live in the same neighborhood and it would be a shame for you to ruin our relationship with your frantic, dismissive and antagonistic finger flinging.

Alas, you wouldn’t slow down. Luckily traffic helped me and you got stuck behind left-turning vehicles. I wrote on my reporter’s notebook in big block letters DECAF and I rolled down my window to show you. You wouldn’t look.

So I yelled, “DECAF. YOU NEED DECAF” a bunch of times at you. You didn’t respond.

Then traffic took over and I left you way behind. Since you were driving so poorly it made me think even more about how you had thought that getting ahead of one car would help you make partner.

I don’t think getting to the office early is going to make you partner, Miss. I also fear for your heart. Many more women than you realize have heart disease and die from stress-related incidents.

Office Stress

But as fate would have it, you caught up to me after what I imagine was driving like a maniac all over Quincy. But then you slammed on the brakes when you saw it was me. You were afraid to even pull along side for fear I might yell, “DECAF” at you again.

Well I’m yelling it here for all the world to see. You need a massage, some perspective, some manners and some decaf.

Please get some or find an island to live on where you won’t have to interact with society. Because you haven’t learned how yet.

Road Rage

Oh, if anyone missed that license plate number, it’s 5195KW, Massachusetts.

More to come…