02 August 2006

caution: heat addles brains

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...

1 comment:

  1. You were the victim of a bunch of jerks who have nothing better to do than torment other drivers. We recommend Stinger missiles.
    Bonnie and Walt


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