I originally started writing the Loonies on the Path series about traffic simply for the purpose of recording what I observed in the way of a correlation between weather changes and other external stimuli and people acting crazy in traffic. I got away from that gradually, as my daily drive through Cordova, Tennessee involved dealing with mentally deficient assholes and bitches so often that the weather and such clearly had nothing to do with it. But this time is different.
Yesterday, Thursday, I had to drive 200 miles in the evening. I headed out at around 7 pm and got home after 11:30 pm. During my drive I saw the worst insanity I have ever experienced in traffic.
I was in my 4-wheel-drive truck, which is not small, but not a gigantic intimidating monster either. It's just an old SUV. I wasn't in a bad mood and I wasn't in the mood to play with idiots in traffic. Yet over and over I kept having other drivers blow up around me for seemingly no reason at all.
I had people get pissed off if I was behind them, slowing down for no reason and then getting behind me and riding my ass, then hitting their brights when they reached a point at which they needed to turn off the highway. I checked how I was following people. Was I riding their asses? No. Were my headlights on high beam? No, they were on the normal setting, and were not especially bright.
Speaking of headlights on high, I noticed an unusually high number of drivers running around with their high beams on, and when anyone flashed at them they would refuse to turn them off, or else they would turn them off briefly, until they were right up at the oncoming car who had flashed them at which point they would flip them on again, blinding the person intentionally as they passed in the opposite direction, as if that person had somehow insulted them by informing them that their high beams were on.
I had an idiot in a white Ford Escort wagon driving slow in the left-hand lane ahead of me. I was on cruise control and slowly caught up with him. I was in the right-hand lane and of no concern to him whatever. Yet when he saw that I was passing by him, he got angry and sped up, flying up the highway for a ways and then slowing down again. Of course, I caught up with him again. And once again, he got his panties in a wad and punched the gas again, speeding off in a rage. He did this three times before really getting mad and flipping his brights on and off and noticeably screaming at me as he threw a hissy fit inside his car. I don't know what he said, but I decided not to react.
Yes, I know you may find this hard to believe, especially if you've read my blog for any length of time and are familiar with this series of traffic-related posts. But something was seriously off with everyone and I decided that the best thing I could do if I wanted to make it home as fast as possible and with minimal bullet holes in my truck was to do absolutely nothing when these idiots starting flipping out. Because EVERYONE was flipping out.
So I let Billy Bob Escort have his tantrum and speed off again without responding to him. I didn't even cuss him silently to myself. Instead, I started looking up to see if I could find the moon. Was it a full moon? Not that I could see. And the weather, anything odd happening with that? No, it was a normal spring day, not too hot and not too cool. The pollen count was up a bit, so allergies were a possible explanation. Still, this seemed way too extreme and too widespread to be allergies. EVERYONE was a fucking lunatic tonight. I couldn't come up with any explanation at all.
I had several people driving slow in the passing lane who got mad when I or anyone else went past them. I had several people riding my ass like a gay Boy Scout leader in the woods, even though they could have easily passed me if they actually wanted to. But no, they WANTED to ride my ass.
I kept my cruise control on. I kept a watch on my blinkers to make sure I wasn't driving around with either of them on, which seems to send a signal to everyone that you are a fuck up, although it can just as easily mean that you drive a Ford truck and thus have blinkers that make no sound to alert you that they are still on (what is up with that, Ford?) I made sure, over and over, that my headlights were not on high. I made sure not to tailgate anyone.
All night long, insane fucker after insane fucker played games with me and flew into rages even as I kept my middle fingers to myself, kept my mouth shut, and didn't show the slightest hint of reaction.
What the hell is wrong with everyone? Is it because Hillary and Obama are not playing nice? Is it because McCain got the nomination and now all the conservatives are voting for Ron Paul? Is it because President Bush was filming a surprise appearance on Deal or No Deal that very day? Did someone get kicked off the island, off American Idol, or booted from the house on Big Brother that shouldn't have been? Is Julia Roberts making another lousy, preachy, misandric movie? For God's sake, what is it?!
I made it home alive and without being forced to kill anyone. A miracle, to be sure. It was late. The moon was up and the stars were out. It seemed like a nice night. I was baffled as to what could possibly explain all the crazy constipated jackasses and jackassettes on the highway. When I got inside the house, my wife was asleep, but the cats were waiting for me. And they were bonkers. Stinky, in particular, was completely out of control.
The following morning, on Friday, I was listening to the news. They said there was an earthquake in Illinois at 4:37 am this morning. It was a 5.4 on the Richter scale and equaled the largest ever recorded in the region. "The quake occurred in the Illinois basin-Ozark dome region that covers parts of Indiana, Kentucky, Illinois, Missouri, and Arkansas and stretches from Indianapolis and St. Louis to Memphis, according to the U.S. Geological Survey." It was felt as far away as Atlanta.
So, I believe I have my answer. Apparently it isn't just pets that can sense when an earthquake is coming. It would seem that humans have some capacity in that regard as well, even if we don't know precisely what it is that is upsetting our mental balance exactly. Who knew that all those assholes and bitches on the highway were merely prophets of coming natural disaster? I guess I should thank them. I'd much rather punch them in the throat, but just this once I have decided to be nice.