I realize that we've been in the grip of extreme heat and humidity for about 3 weeks now. I also realize that folks are a bit more irritable than usual. Which must be why I've noticed that there seem to be more raging tempers, stupid and risky driving, provoking encounters, parents losing their cool with their small children...
At the public library yesterday, I saw a mother grab her very young
toddler, shake him rather violently, and smack his thigh because he
started to cry at being startled and shook. I was at the counter,
checking several books out, and the librarian stiffened and
gasped. I would like to think that we would have called her on
it, or called the authorities. But when the woman saw us gaping
at the spectacle, she grabbed her son up and stomped out quickly.
Following her, well, that didn't occur to me...
At a store today, the man in front of me was making absurd demands of
the employee. The employee was trying to explain, and at no time
lost control, although this man was obviously attempting to provoke
her. The calmer she remained, the more frustrated the "customer"
became. Eventually he too stomped away. I did ask for the
company phone number so that I could call to commend this employee for
her even-temper in the face of such customer abuse.
Driving home tonight, a vehicle sped up, swerved around me, and then
slowed to 35 mph in a 55 mph zone. At times like those, I wish I
did have a cell phone (which I loath). I put my caution-light on,
as I did not want someone to misjudge me speed and slam into me from
behind. The vehicle in front of me slowed even more so (if they
were going any slower, they would have been going backwards) and edged
to the right. So I saw that I could pass and did so.
Immediately, this vehicle's high-beams were brightened and miraculously
they sped up and stayed on my tail for a quarter mile. Then they
sped up and passed me, "poppin" at me when they were next to me, then
swerving in front of me once more. I noted the license's first 3
digits before they sped up. I rounded the next curve to find they
had slammed on their brakes and jerked into the oncoming lane, allowing
me to pass in the right lane. They swerved behind me and flashed
their high beams for about two miles. Just about the time I was
slowing down to turn off the main highway, they sped up and passed me,
cutting back into the right lane as a rig blow its horn in warning
already shifting and hissing. Totally uncalled for behavior!
So yeah, heat addles brains...