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Genevieve A. Suzuki

Tuesday, June 24, 2003


Woman’s road rage
takes a different turn


Road rage is something that seems to be increasing in our state, despite its nickname of "The Aloha State." Most of the time, the nickname seems accurate. We're all brimming with aloha. As long as we're not on the freeway.

Not that I'm innocent. In fact, I am slowly becoming more enraged.

The other day while stuck in rush-hour, bumper-to-bumper, gas-guzzling morning traffic, I watched a man driving a black Toyota truck spit out the window every 30 seconds.

At first I let it go. Everyone spits once in a while. Then he did it again. And again. How much spit can a person have? Even if he were chewing tobacco, what kind of a person chews at 6:30 in the morning?

There really should be a law against expelling anything from a car window. There's no reason for it, and there really isn't anything that needs to be thrown from a car, except maybe the man with the overactive salivary gland.

The problem with Spit Man brings me to my next point of how we need to flog people who pitch drinks from their moving vehicles. Singapore's got the right idea.

I sat there horrified in Waimanalo during what was supposed to be a beautiful Sunday drive to Sea Life Park as a kid threw his medium-size drink out the window.

The litter fine is $500, right? Can we as civilians issue these tickets? Because you know that as ignorant as these violators are, they aren't stupid enough to throw a drink to the side of the road in front of a police officer.

My husband sat there patiently as I screamed bloody murder with the windows up. "You guys are so lucky the police aren't here. I swear I'm taking your license plate down and reporting you. Can I report these guys? I'm doing it! They have to pay! They will pay! Somehow, some way! They'll pay! It's bad karma!"

SO I'M COMPLAINING even though I'm unable to do anything about it. The one time I did something about it, I couldn't believe I had to be the one to take action.

Driving home to Mililani, once again in that same rush-hour, bumper-to-bumper, gas-guzzling traffic, I sat there helpless as the people in the car in front of me had a domestic argument.

At first I thought they were playing. The man at the wheel faked a slap at the woman beside him. Weird game for a man with a family to be playing, I thought, noticing the little boy in the back seat.

Then he shoved her. He turned to her and yelled angrily before striking out at her shoulder. I watched her crying from my helpless position.

My cell phone handy, I called the police and reported license plate, car make and everything else I could see.

It was a horrifying experience as well as the first, and only, time I've ever wanted to get out of my car and take my Maglite to someone's window. It's the true meaning of rage.

Recently I came along literature regarding road rage from the Texas Workers' Compensation Commission, which directs drivers to avoid tailgating people, allow plenty of time to get to your destination and to ignore agitated drivers.

I've yet to find anyone with suggestions about drivers who agitate you. Bad behavior, bad driver's etiquette -- there needs to be a school.

Not a school for people like me, who get a little -- OK, a lot -- agitated at fellow drivers who should be forced to take tests to ensure they've fully evolved, but a school that will teach these primates manners that will in the end go a long way toward saving their own necks.


Genevieve A. Suzuki is a Honolulu-based freelance writer.



The Goddess Speaks is a feature column by and
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