How to Deal With A-Holes on the Road (A short story)

Drawing of a typewriterSuppose you were driving down the road one fine afternoon and someone suddenly over-speeds from your right and cuts into your lane? Well, the very first thing you need to know about that person is that he is an a-hole.

Here is how you should deal with him.

Press down on your horn for several seconds and let the a-hole know that he is an a-hole. If he speeds away and escapes, that’s alright; at least you caught his attention and you made your point. You don’t have to chase him. Now, if he pulls over, that is extremely good, because that is exactly what you want him to do.

The a-hole will then roll down his window and will expect some kind of reaction from you. Stop your car beside his, roll down your own window, and yell, “What the hell is your problem?”

The a-hole will most likely turn defensive and retort, “My problem? What’s your problem?”

You are angry. You are pissed. Acknowledge that. Now, take a deep breath, exhale, and take possession of your emotions and say this as calmly and as firmly as you can, “You over-sped and cut into my lane without warning. You didn’t honk your horn nor used your signal light.”

The a-hole will then say, “So what? Do you own the road?”

That is further proof that the a-hole is really an a-hole.

So you will say (Remember, it is crucial that you be perfectly calm and rational during this encounter, otherwise you’ll run the risk of turning into an a-hole yourself), “No, I don’t own the road. It’s the other way around. It is you who is acting like you own the road.”

The a-hole will then change the topic and will mutter some nonsense or other that is irrelevant to the situation. If he starts resorting to ad hominem attacks, that is okay, because the a-hole will get his comeuppance soon enough. If he starts insulting you, the a-hole is going to get whacked.

But give him another chance. Suppose he’s driving a BMW and he looks respectable enough — that is to say, he’s dressed well and looks like a professional: Maybe he’s a corporate executive. Maybe he’s a businessman. Maybe he’s a doctor. Maybe he’s a lawyer. Maybe… But what does it matter? An a-hole is an a-hole, regardless of whether he has a Law or MBA degree or not, and he deserves a beating. You don’t give a crap about who or what he is. It also doesn’t matter if he’s big and muscular, or if his arms are covered with tattoos. Big, muscular, tattooed a-holes get beat up all the time.

Still, every a-hole deserves a second chance. So calmly repeat to him his offense. Say, “You cut into my lane without any warning. You didn’t honk. You didn’t use your signal light.”

But the a-hole insists on being an a-hole. Alright. Very well.

Park in front of his vehicle. Step out of the car and approach him calmly. If the a-hole has balls, he will step out of his own car. Now, reason with him for the last time. Tell him (Use gestures if that will help) what he did and why he is in the wrong. If he is hot-tempered and has a thick skull, he will begin to press a finger down your chest. Big, but welcome, mistake.

Make sure that you’re ready for what you are about to do.

Hit his jaw with a stiff jab. That will slam him against his car. If he’s lucky, he will still be standing up after that. Don’t wait until he can counter with a jab of his own. Follow it up quickly with a stiff jab to his face. That will knock the glasses off his eyes. Then, use your right elbow to strike his left cheek. Be prepared for any kind of offence. But that is highly unlikely. Unless he is also a mixed martial artist, he will be too stunned and frightened out of his wits to strike back. Use your right elbow again. Hit him hard. Use another jab. Hit his face, his nose, his chest, his abdomen. Don’t neglect your footwork. Hit him again and again without mercy until he drops to the ground. The a-hole had it coming. Mount him. Ground and pound him. Hit his face, his head, his filthy mouth, his stomach. Then you can lock his arm and switch into a Kimura until he taps.

If the a-hole has any common sense, he will not provoke you any further. Otherwise, you will have to slap his face to humiliate him, step on his neck, and say, “Say that again, a-hole.”

You drove home your point. Now, walk away. Be quick but also don’t break your composure. Start your engine and drive away slowly. Someone will get to the a-hole before long and give him medical attention. What didn’t kill him will make him less of an a-hole in the future.

Now, if you were with your mother, and she has a history of hypertension, or if she has a medical condition of any kind, you cannot, I repeat, you cannot do any of the things suggested above. Otherwise, you are the a-hole. Your mother did not raise an a-hole, and she certainly will not suffer the consequences of his sons’s actions. But you can still honk your horn at the a-hole, and if he pulls over, you can still roll down your window and tell him that what he did was wrong. Then, you have to drive away, regardless of whether the a-hole admitted to his mistake, which is highly unlikely, or not.

Also, if the a-hole was with someone, say his wife, mother, or children, the same rule applies. You cannot, I cannot emphasize this clearly enough, harm him, physically or verbally. You can still call his attention, and if he pulls over, you can still open your window and tell him, albeit more respectfully, that what he did was wrong. But you can never step out of your car and beat him up in front of his family. Otherwise, you’re a psychopathic a-hole.

What it boils down to really is that the a-hole caught you in your worse mood at that moment, and you caught the a-hole in his worse mood at that moment.

If you are a Christian, you can still be angry, you can still honk your horn, and you can still express your displeasure at the a-hole, but you must do all these with the spirit of charity. You can correct him, but you cannot insult him. You certainly cannot hurt him. Moreover, you cannot call him an “a-hole”, publicly or privately. Also, you are obligated to pray for him. But pray for yourself first.

At dinner time, you will sit with your mother, and she will look at you across the table. She will have a very tired expression, and the lines on her face, which run from below her eyes to her cheeks, will be more pronounced. You will notice her eyes and eye bags. She will age a year or two, and she will gaze at you in silence. She will heave a sigh, but you won’t notice it. You will never know what she is thinking of. Maybe images from your childhood will flash through her mind. Maybe she will think of your father who died not too long ago. She will look at you and she will look away. She will ask you a question that has nothing to do with what just happened, such as, “What is that book you are holding?”

You will say, “A book of poetry.”

She will try to sound interested, “Really? Where did you buy it? Is it any good?”

You will say, “Yes. A friend gave it to me. I haven’t read it yet.”

Then, after a long pause, she will finally say, “I was frightened. What would have happened if he had a gun or some kind of weapon with him? Did you want me to get shot or drop dead from a heart attack? Think of your wife and baby.”

By this time, perhaps you’ve already turned into an a-hole yourself, and you will not tell her that you’re sorry.

You will say, “He deserved it. The guy was cocky. I needed to give him a piece of my mind.”

Your mother will say, “Maybe he was obnoxious. Maybe it was his fault…”

You will quickly say, “It was his fault. He was cocky and it just so happened that he messed with the wrong person. I hate being disrespected like that. I hate it.”

Your mother will say, “Even so. Still, it’s not good to lose your patience. It’s not good to allow your pride to get the better of you. It’s not good for your wife or your baby to hear those words.”

You will say, “He’s lucky you were with me. Otherwise, I would’ve…”

She will say, “You would’ve what? Brawl with him? Hurt him? And then what?”

You will be silent. You will look down at the table — at the book, at your hands, at the wooden table itself. You will glance sideways at the empty chairs around the room. You will notice the yellow light from the ceiling, how it lights her shoulders and casts a shadow down her face.

Then you will look at your mother and she will look at you.

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