Archive for the 'Vehicular issues' Category

Stop blocking the door or I will punch you

Every day, I ride the subway to and from work. Every day, I want to stab at least one person for pure idiocy. Every day, it gets harder to suppress that urge.

I always say that the worst part of public transportation is the public part. I’m positive I didn’t make that saying up, but it is SO TRUE. Putting a large number of people in a small space seems to lower everyone’s IQ exponentially, to the point of it being insufferable to anyone who takes ten seconds to notice. And you better believe that I have numerous specific issues with the way people behave on the subway.

First off, the people who block the doors for no good reason need to go to hell immediately. Right now. During rush hours, there are sometimes so many people in each subway car that it’s impossible to not be blocking the doors, so I’m not talking about that. I’m talking about the people who get on in the middle of the day when there are SEATS FREE and decide that they really need to stop right in front of the door. Sometimes when there are still people behind them trying to get on the train. GET THE FUCK OUT OF THE WAY, ASSHOLE. Even if you’re getting off at the next stop, the people behind you still need to get on the subway. And frankly, getting off at the next stop still isn’t a good enough excuse. Move the extra foot into the car and hold onto the pole. There are only signs everywhere that say DO NOT BLOCK THE DOORS and DO NOT LEAN ON THE DOORS. I didn’t realize so many people were fucking illiterate. I wonder how they even manage to navigate the subway if they can’t read. IT’S A FUCKING MYSTERY.

I mean, do they think that if the subway crashes or something, they’re going to magically survive because they were nearest to the door? Breaking news: If the subway were to crash, everyone would die. And if it just breaks down, everyone will be able to get off. SO THERE’S NO FUCKING POINT. Not to mention that if there were to be some kind of accident, you’d be better served standing near the doors at either end that you can (usually) slide open yourself. And yet I see more people blocking the other doors than those at the end of the cars. I just utterly fail to see any reasoning here except that these people are lazy, self-inflated assholes.

I draw that conclusion because 99% of the time, these people blocking the doors in a non-crowded subway won’t get out of the way for anyone, ever. Doesn’t matter if you’re getting on or off. They won’t even budge. And this just causes so much people traffic for NO FUCKING REASON. Is it really so important for you to stand in front of the door, even when the subway is stopped at a station, that you can’t move two feet to let everyone else on and off. Really? Is that location so coveted that you won’t even abandon it for the 30 seconds it takes for people to embark and disembark? You can’t just sit in one of the available seats? Or move to the center of the car and hold onto one of the numerous poles made available just for this purpose? No? You really need to stand there like an oblivious asshole? Then you better believe I’m going to hit you with every bag I’m holding as I enter/exit the train.

Anyone who blocks the door deserves to be shot in both kneecaps. Sadly, I do not own a gun.

But one of the biggest problems I have/see on the subway, which encompasses a lot of tiny qualms, is people who have no sense of the amount of space they are taking up. And this applies to people of all shapes and sizes. Sometimes, I’ll be sitting on one of the benches in a comfortable but not roomy way. There’s enough space between everyone on the bench that nobody is touching one another (a miracle!) but nobody is taking up two seats. This never lasts long. You better believe there is always someone who sees that “air” between people and asks everyone to squeeze together so their ass can sit. People, just because it looks like there is “space” doesn’t mean there actually is. I’ve seen people try to shove their kids on a bench where there just isn’t any room, and then suddenly the person next to me is practically sitting on my lap because some entitled asshole thought there was room for them on the bench. Now nobody’s comfortable, and I’m wondering what the fucking point was. Is it really such an effort for that asshole to stand that they need to make everyone else extremely uncomfortable so they can sit? They’d be better off just asking someone to give up their seat, because then they wouldn’t have five angry and uncomfortable people glaring at them. People come in all shapes and sizes, I know. But all of those shapes and sizes do not always fit well together spatially: sometimes it looks like there is a seat when really there isn’t. I just want people to be fucking aware of how much space they actually take up no matter what their size is. There are plenty of times when I avoid sitting on a bench because I think I might fit, but I’m not sure, and I don’t want to be that person that inconveniences everyone else for the sake of my laziness. It really is not that fucking hard to stand on the subway. And if you have a real reason for needing to sit (plenty of people have real problems, such as back issues, that aren’t immediately obvious), you really are better off politely (THAT IS THE KEY WORD) asking for a seat instead of making everyone grumpy and uncomfortable by squeezing in where you can’t fit.

Not to mention that in the summer, nothing is more gross than having a part of your bare arm come into contact with the bare arm of someone next to you, who is potentially sweaty. DO NOT WANT. And unfortunately, I am not able to voluntarily dislocate my shoulder, although more than once I’ve wished I could to avoid having some sweaty person come into contact with me when someone else shoves their ass where it doesn’t fit. STOP TRYING TO SIT WHERE YOU WON’T FIT, OKAY? IT IS NOT COMFORTABLE FOR ANYONE.

This problem with space also comes into play during rush hour. People can be packed in tight during rush hour, so you just need to expect to get knocked into. But at the same time, there are ways to minimize this. Of course, not many people seem to take that into consideration. For example: if you have a big bag, put it on the ground between your feet. Everyone is skinnier at their ankles than at their shoulders, so putting your bag down there SAVES SPACE and then you don’t have to be hitting me every ten seconds with your giant bag swinging off your shoulder during rush hour. Because I really want nothing more than to rip it off your arm and beat you to death with it. JUST PUT IT ON THE GROUND.

Then there are the people who move into the car to hold the poles in the middle, but stand their full arm’s length away from the pole. That makes it impossible for people to get around them, and also takes up extra space because nobody is going to stand in the space between them and the pole where their arm is. BEND YOUR FUCKING ELBOW, ASSHOLE, AND MOVE CLOSER TO THE POLE. During rush hour, this behavior is entirely unacceptable. STOP TAKING UP UNNECESSARY AMOUNTS OF SPACE.

The other space-related issue I have is what I call clustering. When the subway is moderately full, meaning all the benches are full but there’s plenty of standing room, there seems to be a strange phenomenon where all the people standing want to be near one another even if they’re all strangers. I HATE HATE HATE this, because I value my personal space very much. I adjust it for the situation (for example, during rush hours I know to expect little to no personal space), so when the subway isn’t crowded, I expect to have some fucking breathing room. And yet, Significant Other and I will often get on a subway at a busy-ish stop, go into the middle of the car so as not to be blocking the door, and suddenly everyone who boarded the train with us is standing all around us, while the rest of the car is fucking wide open. WHAT IS THE POINT OF THIS? Trust me, I do not look like a friendly person. Nobody is going to be talking to me or trying to make friends. SO GET THE FUCK AWAY FROM ME. Usually, Significant Other and I will move to the empty areas of the subway car when this happens. But it’d be great if people didn’t feel compelled to cluster around me in the first fucking place when there’s no need to.

The final space-related issue I have is people who fall asleep on the subway and use their neighbors as pillows. Of course this is fine if your neighbor is someone you know. But man, the number of times I’ve been sitting next some stranger who nods off and then tries resting against my shoulder is RIDICULOUS AND UNACCEPTABLE. I don’t know you. You could have lice, or any number of diseases that I do not want. DO NOT PUT YOUR FUCKING HEAD ON MY SHOULDER. If you can’t manage to stay awake for a 20-minute subway ride, maybe you need to go to bed earlier or something. BUT DON’T PUT YOUR HEAD ON ME. Now, most the time it’s unintentional–they’re sleeping and can’t keep their head upright. But I don’t care. Don’t fucking fall asleep, because you know your head is going to fall forward or to either side. And I’m not just going to sit there and let it happen, because that’s fucking rude of you and I think it’s gross and creepy. I’ve been known to lean really far in the opposite direction (into Significant Other, not into a stranger) just to make sure some asshole’s head doesn’t touch me. My favorite is people who DO NOT TAKE THE HINT the first time they’re woken up by their head tilting to the side and continue to DOZE OFF AND TILT. KEEP YOUR FUCKING EYES OPEN, ASSHOLE. I AM NOT YOUR PILLOW.

Trust me when I say I have about a million more pet peeves when it comes to public transportation and the subway, but I’ll save those for another time. If I get even ONE PERSON to stop doing any of this shit, I will be happy. For five seconds. Before I start raging again.


This wouldn’t be a problem if I had a tank

Whenever I have to take a road trip of any kind, I am usually the copilot. I’m good at helping navigate, and I have enough road rage for an SUV full of people. My significant other just told me recently that she likes when I’m in the car with her because then she doesn’t have to get angry at other drivers, because I’m already angry on her behalf.

This past weekend, I went on a road trip that involved being in the car for 5 hours there and 5 hours back. As you can imagine, that is a lot of rage. And on the way back, I was driving. Funnily enough, when I’m driving, my rage is more subdued, expressed in snarky comments said at normal volume rather than with yelling and gesticulating (most the time, anyway, although I did roll my window down and give someone the finger at one point while I was driving. But I assure you they deserved it). But I get no joy out of driving because I am constantly worrying about the other drivers. The amount of crazy shit people do when we’re all going 65+ mph on a highway is absurd, I’m sure we all can agree, and enough to give anyone a conniption.

This weekend of driving led me to reach an important decision: If I were ever given an indestructible car for one day, I would use it to crash into people who don’t use their turn signals and people who don’t know how to yield.

Breaking news: Cars come with the turn signals built in. They serve a purpose. They make everyone’s lives easier and less stressful. They are not optional. If you are in the right lane on a highway, and you want to move to the left lane, use your damn turn signal so the people around you know what you’re going to do! This way it is less likely you will be in/cause an accident. CRAZY, I KNOW. I mean, when I’m driving, it doesn’t seem that cumbersome to push that little lever up or down in order to let people know “Hey, I’m turning here” or “Excuse me, I’d really like to get into that lane.” Yeah, you might look a little silly if you are accidentally driving with your blinker on after merging (although I also don’t find it that hard to remember that my blinker is on, but maybe that’s just me), but I find that far less enraging than having a car dart in front of my car without warning. Gee, I wonder why.

Speaking of darting cars, after people get their licenses, do they forget about safe following distance? I don’t think you need to be 5 miles behind the car in front of you, but tailgating isn’t cute, people. If I had that indestructible car, I would brake check every tailgating asshole. Tailgating is not necessary. I’m not going to speed so you can get to your destination 5 minutes earlier than if you went the speed limit,* so back off. And to you crazy non-signaling mergers, if there is a car-sized space between my car and the one in front of me, that is not a space for you. It is there because if there is a sudden stop, I don’t want to rear-end the car in front of me. So if you aren’t going to bother to signal when you take that safe distance away, don’t give me dirty looks when I give you the middle finger.

Moving on, can someone explain to me what is so hard about yielding? I never considered yield signs, or the concept of yielding to oncoming traffic, to be that difficult. If there is oncoming traffic and you have a yield sign, you have to slow and possibly stop until there is a space for you to merge. If there is no traffic, you can just keep going, and that is the only time they are “optional,” if you want to call it that. That’s how yield signs work, right? Or have I been mistaken my entire life? Because the last leg of my 5-hour journey was on a one-lane highway with on ramps that have yield signs because the on ramps are very short. And the number of people who just blew through the yield as my car was coming up, and then had the nerve to honk at me as if I had done something wrong, was unbelievable. Traffic on the highway has the right of way! LEARN TO YIELD BEFORE YOU CAUSE AN ACCIDENT. And this was at like 11 p.m., so there wasn’t even massive traffic. If they had just slowed down a smidge, there would be no reason for rage. But at least three cars blew their yield sign and then honked at me. What the hell? YOU HAVE THE YIELD. I wasn’t even driving at the time; I was just sitting shotgun. And boy, did I wish I really had a shotgun at that point. If you’re the one breaking traffic rules, don’t go honking at me. If I had my indestructible car, you would have been so sorry, assholes.

People always talk about how dangerous going too far over the speed limit is, but you know what else is dangerous? Going too far under the speed limit. When you are in the farthest right lane on any given highway, you should be doing at least the speed limit. I don’t believe that in the slow lane you have to be “keeping up with traffic.” I believe you should be doing the speed limit. It’s enraging to be in the slow lane, sometimes stuck there due to traffic, and have the person in front of you doing 60 in a 65, and not because of the traffic–just because they fucking feel like it. Look, the speed limit is what you should be doing. If you aren’t or can’t for some reason, put your goddamn hazard lights on so people can see you from a distance and pass you. I-95 in some parts of Connecticut, I think, even has a minimum and a maximum speed limit posted. I am a proponent of this, although the minimum is 40 and the max 65. Frankly, there shouldn’t be more than a 15-mph difference in those numbers, but I would rather have a posted minimum than none at all, because I’m sure some of you right now are thinking “But Anger Ball, the speed limit is the maximum you should do, not the speed you have to do!” Are you really going to try and tell me that if you’re stuck behind someone going under the speed limit for no observable reason, you don’t get pissed? Don’t even try it, because I won’t believe you. It pisses everyone off. It’s fine if someone doesn’t feel safe going 65, but then put the hazard lights on. Again, cars come with them for a reason! I don’t think it’s too much to ask to use something that comes standard on all cars.

The passing lane is another story. You need to keep with traffic when you are in the passing lane. You do not get into the passing lane to pass a car going 60 by doing 65. If all the cars in the passing lane are going 80, you have to go 80 at least until you can get back into the slow lane. The passing lane is there for passing. If you are in that lane and are pacing the slow traffic, you need to get back into the slow lane. I do not advocate speeding, but I do think that you need to keep with traffic in the fast lane. If you aren’t comfortable going 80 even for 10 seconds to get around one car, then it looks like you’re stuck behind Mr./Mrs./Ms. 60-in-a-65 for your whole trip, buddy, because otherwise you are now causing traffic by being that slow asshole in the fast lane.

I think it’s pretty clear now why, when given the choice, I like to be a copilot instead of the driver. I have too many pet peeves related to driving, and one of them usually comes up pretty quickly at the start of any road trip, so being behind the wheel of a car just isn’t good for my blood pressure.

But if I ever got that indestructible car, I would have a field day.

*Seriously, I took a class in college where we calculated how much time you actually save by speeding, and you have to go at least 20 miles over the speed limit to make any significant difference in arrival time.

Monthly Raging

October 2018
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