Growing up in Chicago, I saw my share of road rage. I had two crazy uncles who taught me that when someone gives you the finger, you’re supposed to cut them off, get out of your car and beat the crap out of them and their car with a tire-iron. Of course I never did that though. They did, but I knew better.
Well, back around 1990, I used to have an old Chevy that refused to die. It was a 1979 Impala. I had to check all of my fluids everyday because everything leaked. It had a knock in the engine, bad brakes, it smoked, it overheated, the transmission slipped, the front end clunked every time I turned the wheel, the only door that opened was the right rear door, and when it got hot, it wouldn’t start. Well, I drove it like that for a while, but when I woke up one day and saw my windshield busted, I knew it was time to take it to the junk yard. So I took all of my stuff out of it and drove it in.
On the way there, I had a little trouble. I turned left onto a four lane road and cut off a driver who was speeding. I tried to speed up enough to get out of his way, but he was going too fast and my car was too slow. He blasted his horn at me and then switched lanes to pass me on the right side.
When he got right next to me he began to cuss me out. I tried to ignore him. I slowed down and pulled into the right lane behind him. He moved into the left lane again and when we stopped at the next red light, he was right next to me on my left. \
He rolled down his passenger window to cuss me out some more. He had leather gloves on that had the finger tips cut off. He said, “Who taught you how to drive, faggot? You drive like shit, faggot. I ought to get out of this car and kick your ass, faggot.”
I answered, “I am sorry, this piece of junk isn’t very fast and I did the best I could.”
He retorted, “Get a real car, faggot. If you can’t do thirty miles an hour, you shouldn’t be on the road, faggot.”
Just for the record, I’m not gay. But still, the f-word was beginning to get on my nerves. Once again, I apologized, “I’m sorry, I’m trying to make it to the junk yard now.”
He called me a faggot about ten more times. And every time he said it, I could feel my anger rising. Finally, after being called a faggot about twenty-five times, I responded with anger, “Hey, screw you, you’re the faggot!”
Now he was really mad. “I’ll get out of this car and bust you up, faggot,” he said, pointing a partially gloved finger at me. So I answered, “I wont break a fingernail on you, if you get out of that car, I will smash this piece of junk right into your nice new car.”
On that note, he jumped out and ran around his car to confront me. He had a small, flexible club in his hand, which I immediately thought of as a pimp-slapper. I turned my wheels to the right and tried to go into a doughnut shop that was right next to me. I hit the high curb and had to back up to turn sharper, so that I could make it into the driveway.
As soon as I turned the steering wheel and put it in reverse, he was at my door. He reached in to try to hit me. I ducked and floored it in reverse, right into the side of his car. I broadsided him squarely, smashing his passenger door and front fender, on purpose. I knew I was going to have to hit his car just to be able to get away. I didn’t really hit him for spite, it honestly was the only way out. Which I thought, served him right. Then I put it in drive and proceeded to cut through the doughnut shop parking lot.
He jumped back into his car and chased me. I couldn’t lose him. I drove down one-ways the wrong way, I ran red lights, I cut through a park, but I couldn’t shake him because he had a faster car than I did and I was afraid to go too fast because I had bad brakes. I finally decided to head to the nearest police station- 25th district on Grand and Central.
I parked at the front door and ran inside. “This guy is trying to kill me” I said to the several officers that where there. And then he came in right behind me and said, “This guy” pointing at me “hit my car and took off.”
I told my story truthfully. And his story was that I started a fight with him after I hit his car.
They charged us both with disorderly conduct and put us in separate jail cells that where right next to each other. We couldn’t see each other because there was a solid steel wall between us, but we could easily talk.
In the next cell past him, was another man. So, he said to the stranger, “What do you think about a guy with no heart? He wouldn’t even fight me. I challenged him to a fight and he ran away like a sissy.” But the stranger ignored him. He taunted me a little more than that, pretending to talk to the quiet man next door.
So finally, I said, “Hey stupid, you got your ass kicked and don’t even know it. I told you I wouldn’t break a finger nail on you. And now look at you. Sitting in jail with a smashed car waiting outside. Who won this fight?”
He went crazy then, punching and kicking the steel wall. And I laughed. “I can’t wait until we go on the bus to the county jail, I’m going to kill you” he said. I stopped laughing.
Just then, a police officer walked in and unlocked my door. He said to me, “We talked to some witnesses at the doughnut shop and everybody said the same thing you said. So we are going to let you go. Plus, we found out that this guy is wanted and he has a warrant for his arrest.”
The idiot was still screaming at me as I walked past his cell. And I couldn’t resist one more hearty laugh as I looked at him.