Friday, January 25, 2008


I was driving on the freeway just outside of Oakland yesterday. I had nowhere to be and was happy to just settle behind some slower traffiic, when a red Infiniti pulled up on my tail, filled my rearview mirror, and switched lanes to dart past me and tailgate someone further up the road.

That sort of thing happens all the time, and when I’m running late or really need to get to a bathroom or am listening to one of those songs that just makes me drive really fast, I am guilty of it as well. What made me remember this particular car, though, was a decal that had been stuck on the back windshield, filling at least the top two thirds. In white lettering it read:


At first I was taken aback. I thought, “C’mon, so you had a bad experience. Isn’t it better for you to deal with it, get past it, than to spread your anger around the bay area, to remind yourself of something enraging every time you check your mirror?”

And then the further I pondered it, as I watched him wind his way around the traffic ahead, I thought, “You know what? Good for you! How many people are dissatisfied and actually say something? How many people hold a grudge out in the open, for everyone to see? That must be pretty satisfying to know that wherever you go, people know that the folks at Infiniti of Modesto are crooks.”

And then I thought, “Wait a second. Are there not better, more accepted forums for expressing dissatisfaction or for warning others than the back of your car? Doesn’t pasting something in big angry letters and driving it recklessly around the highway make you look sort of like a crazy asshole? If everyone thinks you are a crazy asshole, will they really take your advice?”

I guess that person probably stuck the sign on their car more for themselves than anyone anyway. Then again, maybe that dealership really has been discriminating, or has been ripping folks off, or has been poorly servicing cars and endangering lives. Maybe it is a message that people in that region should all hear. But there was no explanation. I even did a Google search and found nothing.

People are so endlessly fascinating, especially when something really affects them. When I get hurt or angry or sad or feel anything extreme across the emotional spectrum, it ends up in a song. I’ve developed an outlet for it, I guess, and many people I know have some creative or productive end to their issues, and many just hold it in or ignore it, of course, and others try to drink it out or smoke it out.

I hadn’t seen anything like this in a while, though, and I certainly want to hear the full story…