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Road Rage

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One afternoon, I’m going to visit family near Dallas.  My boyfriend is driving, and my mother is in the back seat.  We’re on a 4 lane, divided highway, and the speed limit is 70.  We are in the left lane, and approach a woman in a sedan, doing about 60.  After waiting for traffic to clear in the right lane in order for us to get around her, we do so.  We see that she’s talking animatedly on a cell phone.  My boyfriend shoots her a dirty look and goes on around her, and gets back in the left lane.  Seconds later, she’s barreling down on us.  She whips around us, passing us on the right, and as she goes by, I see that she has her shirt pulled up, and her bare breast pressed against the window!  I’m shocked and appalled, to say the least, and more so when I see 3 children under the age of 12 in the back seat.

That’s class lady, way to set an example.



My father-in-law's temper can be volatile, and his road rage just takes the cake. One day we were waiting in line to exit the ferry as it arrived in Seattle. I never have seen cars off-load from the ferry the same way twice. But father-in-law always knows best, and jumped out of the vehicle when he saw what he thought was the "wrong way" to off-load the vehicles from the ferry (in other words, "his row" was not first to exit). We all sat in disbelief and embarrassment as he waved his arms and screamed at the ferry attendant that he was doing his job wrong. We have no idea what the ferry worker said back but we could see that he handled it well. Father-in-law just stormed back to the car, where mother-in-law calmly closed her eyes and said to him, "You will never do that again."



We were driving back from the coast and had to use a round about to take a road back to the highway and we were turning left and getting off at the second exit when this white utility pulls out over the line on the next entry to turn onto the round about and just about hits us as we were already on it. He jumped onto the horn and was yelling at me and my boyfriend (who was driving) and screamed out onto the roundabout and off at the same exit as us.

When the road opened up to two lanes, he sped up and pulled in front of us and almost ran us off of the road – flipping us off and swearing – he was pretty irate! His face was totally like a tomato! We kept going on this long stretch and this guy would get back into the right lane, while we stayed on the left, and kept trying to take us off the road and stop us on the shoulder. He managed to block us off after the 4th try of pulling in front of us and we almost rolled due to the speed and drop off of the side of the road. He got out, walked up to our window and started yelling – we had the window up and just drove off. He got back in, tried to follow us but almost ran up the behind of another car whilst trying to get back in front of us!!!

All of this because he didn’t follow the roundabout rule of give way to your left – MANIAC!!



I love your site, of course, although too much reading of it makes me despair of human nature!

Anyway, I have a parking story. Now I *hate* to go to malls, but I especially hate them around Christmastime as the parking is so dreadful. One day my son and daughter-in-law wanted to go to eat, and we had agreed to meet my DiL's parents at a restaurant we all like. However the restaurant happens to be at a mall, and it was not until we were driving there that I realized it was Christmas shopping season. I groaned a bit, but too late as no way to contact her parents en route and suggest somewhere else.

Well, we get to the mall, which happens to have several elevated multi-deck parking lots that don't adjoin one another, rather than large flat lots like most malls. We enter the lot nearest the restaurant we want, and I drive through the entire lot, all five levels, and there is not ONE single free parking spot, and lots of cars all cruising around the lot. I HATE that sort of situation, and after reaching the top with no luck, began driving back down. Well, as we did I noticed a couple going to their car, and no one else had spotted them yet! So we followed them, and when they reached their car we stopped, and put on our turn indicator blinker to show we were waiting for their spot.

Now, when a mall is crowded and I see someone waiting for my spot I make it point to exit the spot as quickly as possible, but these people took forever and we patiently waited as we had little choice. But in the meantime one of those little Austin Mini-Cooper cars came flying from the opposite direction, with three young teenagers in it, a young boy driving, and two girl passengers. They saw the couple getting into the car, and so they ALSO stopped and eyed the parking place. I caught their eye, and pointed to the space, and to my turn indicator, to indicate that we had been there first (for five minutes already!) and were waiting for the space. The three of them all just giggled hysterically and ALSO pointed into the space.

Well, when the car finally began to back out it backed out in such a direction that the kids in the Mini-Cooper were able to reach it first, and while the parked car was still backing (and completely blocking my way) the kids in the Mini-Cooper whipped into the spot, still giggling hysterically over what a fast one they had pulled, and looking at me and my passengers with smirking looks. My son was livid with rage, but he didn't use obscenity, and just got out of our car and said that perhaps those young people had not realized we were waiting for the space (yeah, right). Again they all just giggled like it was the best joke in the world, and the young boy driving just said, "Yeah, but *we* got it!"

Well, it so happened I also had a cousin in the car with me. My son is a well-built young man in his early 20's, 200 pounds but with a 33-inch waist, and who works out, but my cousin is a very *large* man, 6'3" and about 300 pounds, in his early 30's, who also works out strenuously at the gym every day. He got out of our car also, and walked over to the young people, and he and my son stood on each side of the Mini-Cooper. My cousin just said, also mildly, "Well have a nice time looking for your car after you're done shopping then, because as soon as you go into the mall we're going to pick it up and carry it right out of this space so we can park in the spot we've been waiting for". At that point the boy driving the Mini-Cooper began spouting obscenities at us and gave us the finger, but my son and cousin both just stood there next to his car, and after a string of obscenities he put his car in reverse and did pull out of the spot, and went roaring away with squealing tires, burning rubber.

We then pulled into the spot, and met my DiL's parents inside who had also just parked, but with less incident than we had had. However I have never been near a mall at holiday time again, and hope never to have to be! Maybe we were in the wrong too, but when someone pulls something so blatant it's hard to keep your cool.



I was on my way to dinner with a few friends of mine in downtown Chicago. I was on LSD (Lake Shore Drive) approaching Chicago Avenue. I had to make a left onto Chicago, and needed to get into the left lane. Traffic was moving rather slowly, as it does in any city at 5pm on a Friday. The weather was beautiful, had the windows open, couldn't be better. I put my signal on, as I always do, and tried to get over into the left lane. This old Toyota didn't seem to want me to get into to his lane. Well, I sped up and had enough room and I merged (this is city driving). Well, he wasn't too happy, so this idiot lays on his horn, flashes his brights, flips me the bird while yelling stuff out his window. I can hear him with my windows open. So I just throw my hands up, like "What do you want, your the one who didn't want to let me in." 

Well, Chicago was still slightly up there and traffic was moving slowly in the left lane, so he changed lanes to the right, passed me, and then tried to enter my lane without a signal. So, me, being the idiot I am, decide I'm not letting him in. Well, he does it the "Chicago Way" and just enters my lane. I do the same to him, lay on the horn a bit, but no yelling, no flashing brights, none of that. Well, then he slams on the brakes for no reason (traffic was even starting to clear up in front of him). I then lay on the horn, flash my brights. He starts laying on his own horn (what good does that do, he's in front of me) and starts yelling out the window, again with the windows open I can hear him slightly, so I yell back, and ride his ass the entire way to Chicago Ave. Perhaps, it wasn't the best thing to do, especially when your driving a new car, and the guy in front of you would love some insurance money.


That was a pretty rude, dumb and dangerous response to someone else's rudeness.


I was driving home from work late one night, and had to go along a road that passes under a rail bridge. Whilst going under this bridge the road changes from 2 lanes to 1 lane each way. Typically I don't have to worry about letting people in or being let in, as I work the graveyard shift, and generally I am one of a few people on the roads at that time. This night for some reason there were quite a few cars on the road, and while going under the bridge, people usually go car from one lane car from the other lane. As I let the car next to me pull in to go under the bridge, I proceeded to drive forward. At this point, the car behind the car I had let in, pulls in, the only warning I had of him doing this was the flash of his headlights, as I swerved onto the other side of the road to avoid collision. Thankfully there was not any cars coming through, so I pulled quickly back in, after he had got in front of me. The car behind me beeped their horn as it occurred, so I was relieved someone else had seen what had happened. 

About 1 minute later, we had to pull up at a red light. The guy that had cut in, jumps out of his car, comes running up to my window (which in my fear I had somehow managed to get up) and yells at me. The person behind me is flashing their lights and beeping their horn. I am petrified. He then runs back to his car, grabs something and comes charging back. He is hitting my window but I am refusing to look, and then I realize why I can hear him so well, I have left my sunroof open. I quickly go for the switch but make the mistake of looking up at the open sunroof. The insane guy leans right over the roof and then I realize in his hand he is holding a hunting knife. I am shaking, but manage to get the roof shut before he is able to do anything. The lights change and he runs back to his car, I am relieved thinking it is all over. I slow right down to put space between he and I. The car behind me passes slowly, and gestures if I am okay. I nod, but motion for them to pass me. I continue on home, and about 5 minutes from my house, I notice a car pull out from a side street I have just passed, and sped up rapidly behind me. I am certain it is the same guy, so I put my foot flat to the floor, with the intention of heading to a police station ASAP. The flashing blue lights behind me were the most treasured event to occur at that point!! After I had expelled all the terror I felt with a gush of tears, the policemen explained to me that the car that had passed me, had called the police on their car phone, explaining what they had seen. They had also taken down the license plate (what I had failed to do) and the police eventually got the man, all thanks to some lovely strangers that showed me that consideration still exists on the roads.



I'm a genealogy buff and drove about 80 miles to a historical library to do some research. Just before getting to the library, I had to turn left at a light, then move over two lanes to turn right onto a street that led to the parking lot.

I did so, and checked my rear-view mirror. To my surprise, my entire mirror was filled up with the grotesque visage of a woman whose face was twisted with rage. She looked like a gargoyle. I had no idea where she came from or what her problem was. I turned right; she turned right. I turned into the parking lot; so did she. I traveled down one lane of the lot; she tail-gated me. I found a parking space and turned into it; she stopped her truck right behind my car, blocking me in.

I didn't know what to do. I wasn't about to get out of my car. Who knew what her problem was, or whether or not she had a weapon? So I started my car alarm, which made my horn honk annoyingly. There was no one else in the lot, so I just sat there with the horn honking.

Eventually, she drove away, went to the next aisle and parked facing me. She just sat, glaring menacingly at me. I was baffled, and simply sat, pretending to fiddle with some papers. After a few minutes she got out of her truck and went into the building.

When I was sure she was inside, I got out of my car, went into the building, opened the first door I saw and called the police. When they arrived, I went outside and told them what had happened, described the woman and one of them went into the building.

He fetched her outside and told me that she said I'd cut her off. I didn't have any idea when or how this had happened, though I figured it out much later, after thinking about it awhile. When I turned left, she was in the go-straight lane without a turn indicator on and I reasonably assumed she was going to go straight. However, she turned left, too, and I must have moved over into her lane just when she was about to speed up and I got in her way. My fault, really, for thinking anyone who was going to turn left would be in the left turn lane and would have a blinker going.

Anyway, the police told me I'd done the right thing and gave her a huge lecture, saying she took an awful chance because I might have had a gun or other weapon and she could have gotten hurt. I didn't have any weapons, but if I had and she had come up to my car window, I felt threatened enough that I might have felt I needed to defend myself.

Her excuse? She said she was just going to talk to me. Yeah, right. Like a lion is just going to talk to you before it eats you.



My second submission! I keep remembering new things--   We live in a capital city, but traffic is usually not awful. Rush hour is more dangerous than normal, but any delays are usually do more to stupid/selfish drivers than to volume of traffic. The worst example ever-- Downtown five lane street, one of only two ways to the interstate from the city; three right lanes, two of these are outbound and one veers off (with a dividing, tall median) and turns  back into the city. Most people are intelligent enough to pick their lane and stick with it; merging at rush hour is usually difficult and certainly delays traffic for everyone else.   

Well. A few weeks ago, I'm driving along, trying to avoid a ratty fifteen passenger van in the far left lane with questionable characters hanging out of those windows which weren't painted shut. Nice. the first quarter of my station wagon overlapped the rear quarter of their van when, with less than a hundred yards before the median-- with NO turn signal, they start merging into me! My horn wasn't working at the time, and I was trying to slow down quickly enough, when one of the protruding men turned around and started waving me back... just laughing!-- still no signal! They did the same thing to the car in the next lane before barely clearing the median. The ridiculous thing is that they had at least half a mile to decide to change lanes. Why they did it at the last minute (risking many lives, or at least vehicles) is beyond me.  



Driving in rush hour traffic in the middle of Boston is never any fun. I think we all share the notion that, in order to get anywhere, we have to drive like complete nut jobs. Well for one reason or another one particular driver didn't realize this, some months back. I was driving down busy Mass Ave and needed to get in the far right lane, me being in the left. I check my mirror, everything is clear, so I think. I scoot over and notice I cut off a little pick up truck. This was slightly dangerous, however I obviously had plenty of room NOT to hit him. But all the same I felt horrible. I tried my best to let him know it was a complete accident with hand gestures and sorrowful faces in the rearview, but he wasn't having any of this. His face was fire engine red, fists shaking, middle fingers up, horns blowing, voice screaming. These actions alone were enough to be ridiculous, as this is BOSTON during RUSH HOUR, things like this have to be expected. But a minute or so later we come to a red light, he's still behind me. I check my rearview and watch him jump out of his truck, run full force to my drivers side, and start banging on my window!! I forgot to mention, I'm a 20 yr old, fairly petite woman. This man had to have been about 45 with a construction workers build. All I could do was lock my doors and look at him in horror, but mostly disgust as he screamed profanities and banged on my window. By the time I really realized what was going on, the light had turned green and I was off, leaving him standing in the middle of Mass Ave.       I don't know if this counts as road rage or just pure insanity.



Hi, Jeanne!  Your stories have been great entertainment to a lowly work study faced with tedious tasks that require little thought, so it's nice to have something so interesting (and mind-boggling) to read while I'm working.

And on the subject of reading, it was while going through the Road Rage section that I realized I had another story to send.

Several years ago, a friend offered to drive me home from work (while this is a small town, home was nearly a 30 minute walk, and though I don't mind, the courtesy is welcome after being on my feet all day). I was looking at something she had bought for a young relative of hers, when I hear a horn behind us, the screech of tires, and the crunch of metal and plastic. Of course, the crunch was accompanied by a sudden jerk, from the impact of R's car hitting one in front of us.

Even though I hadn't been paying attention, it was obvious what had happened. We were on the left side of the road (a two-lane one-way), and the car in the right lane had decided they wanted to turn onto a street on the LEFT. That's right, smack in front of my friend's car - we were in the other vehicle's blind spot, and the other driver didn't bother to turn her head and look.

Well, we go a bit along the street where the other car wanted to turn, both cars park, and all four of us - the other car had a driver and a passenger, and I'd be surprised if both girls were over 18 - pile out to look at the damage. R's right headlight is shattered, the fender is scrunched, and there is some damage to the hood. The other car has a pretty good dent behind the left rear tire.

Immediately the two girls start begging R, "Please don't call the police, I left my insurance card at home on the kitchen table, it's a brand new car, I'll get in trouble, please don't call the police, my parents will kill me!"

Of course, R says she's going to, because she wants to get the insurance settled. So, she asks the pair if either have a cell phone. Nope, neither do, and R walks across the street to a restaurant and calls to report the accident.

A few minutes later, R comes out, and I turn to see the two girls huddled by their car... talking on a cell phone. Needless to say, R was even more irritated. A bit more time passes, and eventually a police car pulls up.

Okay, I admit, most policemen are good guys; I've met several in this town. But we happen to get the ONE bad apple in our bunch, and boy, did he make up for being the only one. He saunters over, looks at the cars, looks at us, and says, "So, anyone want to tell me what happens?"

Everyone glances at each other for a moment, and when the silence stretched, I started to talk, only to be interrupted by Jerk-cop.

"Are you a driver?"

"No, I was her passenger."

"Well, I don't want you to talk, I only need to hear from the drivers." Never mind the 'anyone' request, of course.

So, R decides to tell what happens. "We were driving, and their car came--"

"Came from where? Did it fall straight down out of the sky?" Jerk-cop again, of course.

This went on for about fifteen minutes. I don't remember much more of the conversation, only that it was more of the same rudeness, patronizing, and sarcasm. They got it straightened out, without either of us having to deal much with the two girls.

A while later, I met R again - she had left our employer to work somewhere else - and I asked her what happened with the insurance.

Turns out, the two girls had dug themselves in deeper. They didn't have insurance on the car, at all. When R's insurance company talked to them, they said it was all R's fault, that she was speeding (on a 25 mph road) and had swerved into them. When their inspector looked at the angle of the damage, the tire marks on the road, et cetera, he had quickly realized they were lying. Of course, R had made sure they knew about the cell phone, too.

She ended up getting a pretty decent settlement from the accident, more than enough to fix the damage of the car. As for the two girls, I neither know nor care what happened to them - though Jerk-cop is still around, and still being himself, unfortunately.



Oh, goodie! A place to vent a little frustration regards the loonies the DMV issues licenses to because...well, I don't why. I have lived in my city for eighteen years now and the driving just gets worse and worse.

Until I moved here, I was unaware of what must be a new technological feature for cars. That would be the button that, when the driver behind you hits his horn, causes YOUR car to levitate into the air, allowing him to drive under you (and, I presume, do the same thing to all the other drivers stuck in traffic ahead of him. My car and my friends' cars do not have this device and have become sources of great irritation to other drivers in the city.

Case In Point One: I was carpooling with a friend. One morning there was an accident on the (very, very, very) busy street that led to our workplace. We could not go forward. We could not go back. There were no side streets and no places for wriggle room.

Behind us pulls Mr. Big Car and No Time. He begins to lay on the horn. And shake his fist. And his middle finger. He can SEE the forty two police cars, the ambulances and the rescue workers, can't he? He can see the other cars backed up into infinity, right? And yet he lay on that horn and cursed and howled and waved those middle fingers until we were finally allowed to move ahead a little bit at a time. Then stop again. (And again he lay on the horn, shook the middle fingers and we could see his mouth going a mile a minute in what must have been special, arcane ritual words to make the whole thing disappear.) And this continued to happen for another forty five minutes and two miles.

Case In Point Two: this happened a lot more recently. The weather this year was very bad and on one particular Thursday afternoon, we were thrilled when a freak blizzard closed the city down. We couldn't shut down until 3 p.m., but hey, that's something, right? Most likely it would have made more sense for them to shut us down at the usual time because EVERYONE was going home at three. Well, everyone but me. My boss kept me standing there complaining about my co-workers for another forty five minutes (then had the nerve to tell me to enjoy my free time...)

Well, every street in the city had problems as far as possibility (is that even a word?) goes. From where I work I could see the highway was a big parking lot, so I figured I would need to go across town to get home. I started up the main route, only to have to turn off because of snow plows and drifts. The next street was cut off because of a fender bender. Finally, I got to another main artery and had to crawl and crawl because the police had cordoned off the access ramp to the highway (never did find out what that was about: there were rescue trucks, zoo trucks and ambulances all over the place, but there was no accident or flashing lights. We sat in line for another forty five minutes...and that was when the idiot drove up behind the person behind me.

What is it about large soft white men with greasy hair and thick glasses that they become total morons when it snows? Or when traffic slows down? He promptly laid on the horn at the woman behind me. Forget that there is a cop directing traffic and only allowing a few cars thru at a time. Can he not see all the cars, the barricades and the pile ups on all four sides? Yes, but it doesn't matter: he has one of those special car devices that should make all our cars levitate when he blows his horn, but we are all too stupid to have purchased the complimentary device that will allow our cars to react to his levitation signal.

The woman behind me got out and, I guess, explained this to him. Or she pointed out the barricade and the fact that there were no other streets to turn on. He flipped her the bird, cursed her out and continued to honk the horn.

Finally, it was our turn and we started to move, very slowly, through the intersection. The woman behind me turned left (lucky girl) and I got stuck with HIM. Despite the ice, the spin outs, the cars sliding off to the sides, this guy continued to ride my trunk and lean on the horn. Finally, we came to a very slight incline. At the top of the incline a car was stuck, spinning his wheels. The poor driver would back up a little, move forward, and--get stuck. Mr. Sensitivity leaned on the horn and displayed his right middle finger. I put my hands up in a "shrug" ("What do you want me to do? I can't go anywhere.") A couple of cars ahead of me passed the stuck car on the right, so I followed them and--you guessed it--got stuck, too. Now, he's really being helpful. The horn just goes constantly. I got out of the car and tried to get at my trunk where I may have had some kitty litter. He continued to honk and curse and wave his arms around. I looked at h him, opened my palms up to show I was doing all I could. He honked some more. I wasn't going anywhere near him, believe me.

Finally, still honking the horn, he reared back, hit the gas and drove up ON THE SIDEWALK to my right. Yes, I had had it and I presented him with my extended right middle finger. (Not mature, not intelligent and certainly not recommended for a situation involving a nut job, but sometimes, the frustration is so high you just forget all your civilized manners.) Not to worry, though, as he drove 'round me, he not only matched my extended middle finger with his left (which had been in evidence for nearly an hour now) he also stuck his tongue out and LICKED THE WINDOW OF HIS CAR as he drove by. Perhaps that is some secret signal in creepdom.

The story has a happy ending for me. Two guys pulled up on to the next side street, got out of their truck and helped both me and the guy who were stuck. I'd love to end this with some well deserved Karmic revenge, but Mr. Hornblower disappeared into the snow and I haven't seen him since. I'm guessing his life is so unhappy it gives him pleasure to make others more so...but what an awful way to live your life!



Living in California, I have seen a lot of road rage. I am a little ashamed of this story, as it is about a couple friends of mine. Magee and Cheryl were out running errands one day and they noticed a lady in back of them following closely and honking. After a couple honks they start yelling at the lady, cursing her and using obscene hand gestures. This did not slow the lady down at all, she continued honking and waving at them. My friends are getting more and more upset and their curses became more intense. The lady finally caught up with them at a stop light. This little old lady got out of her car, walked up to Magee, the driver, and told him that she was trying to tell them that a set of their keys were hanging out of the trunk. They apologized profusely, but felt very small.



Driving the Autobahn one day between Frankfurt and Kitzingen, I was passing a truck in my little Austin Mini, precursor to the Mini Cooper.  The Austin Mini is small, folks.  In this vehicle, while driving at speed, I could manually roll down the passenger-side window.  Small.  Didn't like hills much either, and at that moment, we hit the Spesart Mountains.   I was half past a truck and was making time, until I slowed down.  I still managed to pass him but delayed (by countless, soul-tearing seconds!) several vehicles behind me.  One vehicle, an Audi, slowed as they passed me on the left and, LEANING on his horn, the driver gave me three gestures:  Half the peace sign (not the forefinger), pointed to his skull vigorously ("Idiot!") and put his palm to his temple and eyes ("Driving with blinders!").  He was steamed.  His wife was mortified.   

In Germany, three things are pretty much verboten, morally and legally:  Insult (fines probable, especially putting down someone's intelligence), inappropriate use of the horn (falls under Insult, I think) and running out of fuel on the Autobahn (Fines?  Think "toast")   Guess who I saw roadside about 15 kilometers later?   Pulled up in front of him with my US Army license plate quite noticeable and figured on the perfect way to fix his wagon and teach this jackanapes a lesson.  I keep 10 liters (~2 1/2 gallons) of gas in my trunk.  I took it out, went to the passenger side window out of traffic flow and asked him "Benzin, Herr?" (Gasoline, sir?)  He just stared forward, grinding his teeth.  The wife answered "Ja, bitte." (Yes, please.)  The fuel door was thankfully on the right so I put in the gas out of traffic flow, went to the wife's window and said with as warm a smile as I could muster, "Sie sind fertig, Herr, Frau.  Schoen Tag und auf wiedersehen!" (You're ready, sir, ma'am.  Have a nice day and I'll see you later!")   Pulling away, I could hear the wife finally blowing up in the driver's ear.  I'm not sure if this would qualify for the "Insult" part of the German legal code, but a fourth rule was broken by me:  With the exception of road workers and a few others, you're not allowed to walk on or by the Autobahn or stop to help.  I'll keep his secrets if he'll keep mine!...   Dang, I miss Germany!



I was driving down a local street in Oakland, CA a few years ago. I didn't know the area very well, so I must have been driving a little slower than usual. The guy behind me was being a real jerk, honking his horn and tailgating me. So I moved over a little to allow him to pass. As he passed, I flipped him off. (Not the best move!)  Uhh, no, it wasn't. 

He proceeded to cut in front of me, park his car in the middle of the road (I was trapped!). Out comes this very big, tall guy. He comes over to my window and yells at me: "DO YOU WANT ME TO BREAK OFF THAT FINGER??!?!? I'LL BREAK YOUR F-ING FINGER OFF!!!" etc, etc.

Needless to say, I was terrified and vowed never to flip anyone off again, no matter how rudely they are behaving.


Page Last Updated May 15, 2007