Over the past two or three years, since the post-Katrina population explosion created one endless traffic jam on Baton Rouge area roads, I’ve developed an unpleasant habit. I find that in the semi-soundproof sanctuary of my automobile, where I’m sure no one can hear me, I have begun to state out loud my opinion of other drivers and to address them by names that seem appropriate only in the heat of the moment.”
Sometimes I do it in the form of a statement: “That’s really smart, (expletive deleted).”
Or it may be in the form of a question: “What the hell kind of signal was that, (expletive deleted)?”
To be clear, the drivers who tick me off are doing stupid things, creating traffic hazards, and possibly putting my life in danger, so they totally deserve to have it called to their attention. Still, I’m too
But last week? Last week I was driving on a little residential side street. There was no traffic at all. Half a block ahead of me, I spotted a squirrel in the grass near the curb on my left. I could tell by looking at him that he was thinking about crossing the road, so I slowed down and watched carefully. Just before I pulled up even with the squirrel, he darted into my path. I braked hard, and I promise you my first thought was, “Ohhhh, be careful little squirrel!”
I didn’t hit the squirrel. But the squirrel didn’t cross the road, either. He stopped directly in front of my right front tire and looked from one side of the street to the other, back and forth, back and forth. “Hmm, what should I do?” he seemed to be thinking. “Should I go back to where I started? Or would it make more sense to go the rest of the way to the other side of the street? Let me think...I’m just. Not. Sure. What I want to do. This lady doesn’t seem inclined to run over me, so I have some time to make up my mind. Hum-de-dum-de-dum, eeny, meeny, miney, mo.” And then he turned around and crossed in front of me again, right back to where he’d started.
That’s when I called a squirrel an a$$hole, right out loud.
I'm worried that I may have crossed some kind of a line.