No, I didn’t mean ‘bonkers’. You read it right, honkers. As in honking the horn, or in South African terms, blowing the hooter.
I generally consider myself to be a rather tolerant person; I often make excuses for other people where they may fall short. Sometimes the excuses I make for others are exaggerated and annoy the people around me, and they may even be excuses that I don’t believe myself, but, for some reason, I always feel like I need to defend people–even when they don’t ask for it. Actually, they never ask for it. It’s a really silly habit I have and it gets me into trouble a lot, because it usually leads to a heated discussion–no, debate– and it means that I’m sticking my nose in where it doesn’t belong, because, you see, people usually just want to go on rants about someone, or something or some organisation or some whatever, and not have anyone defend that person/thing/organisation; they just want me to silently listen and nod along. I find the nodding to be a bit hard though (I cannot nod to something I do not agree with), so I just silently and stoically sit and stare at the person doing the ranting. Perhaps not the best solution, but it’s the only one I can do without getting into much trouble.
So, baring in mind this annoying habit I have of being everyone’s defender, when I’m a passenger in the car while my dad is driving, and he gets upset with some driver on the road who is doing some or other very upsetting thing, I usually try to placate my father and make up some excuses for this other driver. For what reason? I honestly don’t know. However, when I am the driver behind the wheel… things change. I think the driver’s seat of all cars have some kind of secret power (or curse) to transform ordinary, mild-mannered individuals into raging mad lunatics on the road. When I get behind the wheel of my car, I go from Defender of All Who Does Not Even Ask To Be Defended to The Super Accuser of All Drivers. Every driver is at fault–even when they’re not. But most of the time they are. Though, granted, I could never claim to be of the best drivers around, but hey, come on, are you going to try to rationalise with The Super Accuser of All Drivers? There is no rationalising; that man in front of me was wrong to hit his brakes so suddenly and for no reason, and that woman shouldn’t be driving that slow on the highway.
Driving used to be one of my hobbies. I used to enjoy the solitude of hitting the road on my own, only my thoughts and imaginary passengers as my company. The hold of the accursed Driver’s Seat was not that strong over me. I would guess that this is because, previously, it was a more luxurious driver’s seat (my father’s car), while now, in my own car, it is not as luxurious. Sadly. Perhaps the more luxurious the driver’s seat is, the less evil it is? It’s just a theory. So lately, I’m finding driving to be much more frustrating–and my hooter is my best friend. My evil sidekick, you could say.
I can cite at least three causes for my move over to The Dark Side:
1. I have a less-than-luxurious new car.
Need I say more?
2. Driving the same same same same route everyday. [Yes, you read the SAME word over and over again, because that is how I feel, driving the SAME route everyday.]
I work 6 days a week, going the same way the morning and the same way back the afternoon. I’ve considered trying alternate routes, but in the mornings I am in way too much of a rush, and in the afternoons I am usually too tired and just want to get home. At least, though, I am blessed to not have to deal with traffic either way since I travel against it. I get a bit of a kick every morning when I’m driving up the M5, facing no traffic, and I see the absolutely, horrendously long line of traffic heading to Town on the other side. Ha! Poor people. They must be on The Dark Side, too.
This is the one I’ve been denying to myself since it happened. I didn’t want to be a typical ‘victim of a car accident’. How lame. But, fact is, I’m more of a defensive and aggro driver now, after it happened, than I was before it happened. I’m not traumatised or scarred, or anything of the sort. After it happened, I wasn’t too afraid to get behind the wheel again. On the contrary, immediately after it happened (okay, immediately after I gave the culprit a good shouting at, got his details and allowed my legs to stop shaking), I got right back in the car and drove the rest of the way to my destination. My eldest sister couldn’t understand why I didn’t call her or someone to come fetch me there. But the thought never occurred to me; I was fine. It wasn’t a fatal accident–I’m still alive to write about it (alhamdulillah), and my car was still driveable afterwards. But it made me angry. It was a stupid and inconsiderate thing the other driver did, and it caused damage to my car and gave me unnecessary shaky legs.
In case you’re curious about how the accident actually happened: The other driver turned into the lane I was driving in, without indicating that he wanted to change lanes, and without checking to see if it was safe for him to do so. He just moved to the next lane and I was too close to him that I didn’t have enough time to hit the brakes, and into me he collided.
Every evil villain has a story to tell of how they came over to The Dark Side. This is mine. I am the The Super Accuser of All Drivers. I honk at everyone who cuts in front of me rudely and unnecessarily, and I honk at people who brake in the middle of the road for no reason. Okay, truthfully, I don’t blow the hooter nearly as much as I sit in my car, broodingly, glaring with severe anger at the offender, and complaining about his/her bad driving… to my imaginary passengers. I try not to blow my hooter much, I think it’s annoying and sounds too angry (I save it for the really bad drivers). But the accusations that go on in my head cannot be tamed.
In all fairness, however, I do also get my fair share of hooting directed at me. I feel compelled to admit that. I don’t think there is a single driver on the road that can claim otherwise. None of us are perfect drivers all the time. Don’t deny it, you’re not the World’s Best Driver. You’re not.
Share your thoughts with me below. I like reading them. I really do.