I hate SUVs. I hate irresponsible drivers. I hate Telegraph Road. I hate them I hate them I hate them.
There. It’s out of my system. I feel a whole lot better now.

Wait. I’m not supposed to hate drivers. OK, fine. I hate it when people drive irresponsibly. Put the newspaper away and save it for when you get there. (Not that it’s worth reading anyway, if it’s the St. Louis Post-Disgrace.) If you drop your cell phone, kick it away so it won’t get wedged under one of your pedals, then pull over to pick it up. OK?

And whatever you do, don’t ever, EVER, EVER (why don’t all browsers support the blink tag? This is perfectly appropriate use of it) stop for no reason whatsoever. OK?

There are people behind you, and you’re encased in a two-ton deadly weapon. Don’t you ever, ever forget that.

Here’s what happened to me today.

It was 2:45 pm. I was on my way to church. Special service. I was scheduled to ush. What’s ushing? Whatever ushers do. It was the intersection of I-255 and Telegraph Rd. The bad news is, when you pass that intersection, your IQ temporarily drops to whatever the square root of your IQ is. The worse news is, so does everyone else’s.

Well, some IDIOT went through the stoplight and immediately slammed on its brakes (yeah, I know the proper is “his or her,” but when you’re that stupid, you relinquish the right to human pronouns) for no good reason. The woman in the SUV ahead of me slammed on her brakes. I slammed on my brakes. I skidded into her. My license plate slammed into her trailer hitch. A woman in an SUV behind me slammed on her brakes and slammed into me. She put a tear in my rear bumper and put a dent in my trunk. I didn’t notice the damage on the scene–only later. She tore her front bumper up pretty good–I think she hit me pretty hard.

The IDIOT zoomed off unscathed, and probably blissfully unaware.

We were all in a huge hurry–which probably square-rooted all of our IQs yet again–and we didn’t want any trouble. None of us was hurt, our vehicles were all capable of driving and just sustained cosmetic damage, and none of us needed our insurance rates to go up, and certainly none of us needed a ticket. We didn’t even bother to exchange phone numbers.

The lady who slammed into me was going the same place I was, it turned out. Good thing I kept my cool, eh?

But I’m really sick of how people drive these days. Everyone thinks they’re so blasted important. They drive around yakking on the phone. They slam on their brakes because they think they’re about to miss a turn. Well, if you miss a turn on account of your own stupidity, who are you to inconvenience the two dozen people behind you? Turn off at the next road and loop back. Yeah, it costs you five minutes. But who are you to take time from two dozen other people?

In my case, I’m going to have to take off work to take my car into the shop, its going to cost me a few hundred bucks to replace a bumper, and I’m going to have to get a rental. But at least that IDIOT wasn’t inconvenienced at all. And that’s all that matters. In the IDIOT‘s mind. And when you’re King of the Universe, that’s fine. You can think that way.

Incidentally, detouring when I mess up is my standard practice. It’s called courtesy. It used to be called common courtesy, but it’s pretty rare these days. Probably because people notice discourtesy, but it’s often impossible to see courtesy, so courtesy isn’t appreciated. But I’d rather be unnoticed than get noticed because I inconvenienced someone.

But stopping suddenly isn’t the only thing IDIOTs do. They cut you off and then they slow down. They run red lights because it’s much more important for them to get where they’re going than it is for you to get where you’re going. That’s my really big pet peeve. I stick my car’s nose into the intersection with my horn blaring when they do that. Usually they smile and wave. The nerve of them.

Once I even saw an IDIOT in a left-turn lane wait through a light, then cut across two lanes of traffic going straight and make a right turn! No one ever taught that IDIOT that three lefts make a right.

But rather than shaming people into obeying the law, or enforcing red lights with cameras, instead we buy ever bigger and bigger cars and Station-wagon Utility Vehicles. It’s a big arms race. Guys like me lose out. I’m 5’9″. A Dodge Neon has more headroom than I need. A Station-wagon Utility Vehicle is completely impractical for me. I can’t afford the sticker price, and I can’t afford to keep gas in it. Neither can most of the people who buy them, but I guess that’s what credit cards are for.

If the only people who bought Station-wagon Utility Vehicles were the people who really needed them, it wouldn’t be a problem. The problem is, every other person has one. So we make our roads unsafe by killing everyone’s visibility and ensuring that accidents are more serious by driving cars with twice as much mass as we need, and we make our world unsafe by unnecessarily funneling billions of dollars to the Middle East, so Mohammedan millionaires can turn around and fund terrorists who blow up Israelis and Americans.

So I guess it isn’t just the intersection of I-255 and Telegraph that square-roots our intelligence, huh? Maybe it’s the water. Nah, I’ll blame television.

If we’d all just come down off our pedestals and realize our proper place in life, we’d all be a whole lot better off. We’d be a lot safer, and I’ll bet you anything we’d all get just as much done.

But the way we act right now? No wonder the rest of the world hates us. We deserve it.