I was giving my son and some of his friends a ride to school yesterday, when one friend commented that I was “such a calm driver.” (We were stuck in some very slow-moving traffic.) She compared me to her mother, who she said would rant and rage, and get extremely angry whenever she got into driving situations like the one we were in. I smiled inwardly, feeling secretly pleased with the compliment, until my son loudly snorted, pulling my dirty little secret weapon out of the glove box to show her.
You see, I used to be very much like this girl’s mother. When I was younger, I would bluster and fume while stuck in bumper-to-bumper rush-hour traffic. I would shoot evil glares combined with loud car honking toward all those cars that cut me off/drove too slow/fill in the blank.
But now, as a mature driver in my forties, I simply take a deep breath, and blow it out, releasing all those negative feelings. Then, when I deem the situation appropriate, I calmly pull out my secret weapon.
My secret weapon is a packet of parking tickets which I bought at a local gag/gift shop. Instead of scribbling a frustrated, angry note to leave on the F-150 truck which couldn’t possibly have been squeezed into one regular-size parking space, or one for the driver who was in such a hurry he simply didn’t have time to park between the lines, I’ve found it necessary to leave one of my tickets safely tucked under the wipers of the offending automobiles. I do this in the hope that their drivers will benefit from the sage advice printed there.
At first glance, the tickets appear real, with a space to fill in the date, time, delinquent driver’s vehicle make and model, etc. But they read as follows:
Unfortunately, this is not a real parking ticket. You are part of a small group of inconsiderate drivers who think they are better than everyone else. Your inability to park like a human being (probably not the first time) has caused the rest of us to waste time searching for additional parking. You have taken enough space to generously house three herds of elephants, a black zebra with white stripes, a white zebra with black stripes, two orangutans (one of each sex—and obviously your parents!)
The reason for giving you this ticket is so that maybe in the future you may consider someone else. Try to compensate for your multitude of inadequacies in other ways that do not affect the rest of us.
Since someone like you will probably never understand the point of this ticket, I hope your motor falls out while you are driving on some remote road and that a swarm of bees and their relatives decide to create their next hive in your underwear!
Yes, at times I truly feel it is my duty to give out one of these tickets. I mean really, I’m only trying to help these individuals become better drivers. (My son is rolling his eyes right now.) Maybe some day, I’ll actually grow up. But for now, drivers beware, I’m armed and ready!