Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Strategy For Deflecting Obnoxious Drivers

File this one under "simple solutions to life's indignities" (e.g. my Two Strategies For Deflecting Cellphone Loudmouths):

Yesterday, as I sat in heavy traffic, a car which had cut ahead was trying to force his way in front of me. I edged up within two inches of the car in front of me, but he pointed the corner of his fender directly at the corner of mine. And so we sat in frozen battle, waiting for the car ahead to move.

His car window was cracked open. So I shouted over, with a friendly smile, "You know, you're driving a much nicer car than I am!".

The light changed, the car in front eased forward, and I leisurely followed, while he sat there, stone still.

Two aspects of this approach that I like:

1. The message I shouted at him couldn't possibly anger/provoke/offend him (I'm fully aware that armed gangsters and off-duty police officers lurk amid our populace, and I try not to set anyone off unless I'm confident they're not psychos who'd spend years avenging the perceived slight). In fact, I was paying a cheery compliment!

2. It would have worked even if his car WASN'T nicer than mine. Unless I was driving a shiny new Rolls or Ferrari - or he was driving a complete wreck - the message would have been just as effective.

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