As I was driving home after picking my daughters up from a end of summer party, I was feeling pretty good about what I accomplished today. I noticed some interesting license plates and complimenting myself on my good driving. (My daughters were busy reading so somebody had to.) When we got to within a couple traffic lights of the house, the right lane was merger over. And, this is where the contrast between “old man” and young, aggressive driver became clear.
As I projected onto the driver behind me and how I would my handle the situation, I anticipated the driver doing the necessary mental calculations and deciding his best path was easing his car into the middle lane (my lane) before the merger took place. So much for projecting! As the road sign screamed “MERGE” and the cones echoed merger, the car to my right kept speeding up. Knowing the speed limit, I knew I could bump up my speed a little more to teach this young whipper-snapper a lesson. As the cones began to squeeze the driver into the center lane, the trickle of “I-must-conquer-juice” in my system was completely exhausted. I had to be content blowing on my horn for what seemed like a really long time (likely just a second or so). No birds flew, and based on the other driver’s lack of hesitation when he had to decide on pushing the accelerator, he probably didn’t even use a small portion of his available testosterone.
All parties survived without any scratches being administered. This incident only confirmed what many previous events implied–I am not meant to play chicken. It may be fun to pretend how you would handle “chicken” should you agree to participate, but when it is thrust upon you, I will choose the horn over the accelerator any time.