Son of a Hitch: Tips to Prevent Road Rage in 2008

By: Andrew Bernhardt
I recently decided to give up swearing. It began as a goofy bar bet that my friend Ryan thought I’d never be able to win. I had bet him a beer that I wouldn’t say a four letter word for a week straight. Here’s how it went down:Ryan: “Ok dude, no swearing"Me: “No sweat, punk"Ryan (pointing behind me): “Woah, check out that hot chick over there"Me: (turning and catching sight of the said chick): “Ahhhh, holy @#!%$!" And so I lost the bet in under a minute. After buying Ryan a pint of his favorite “foamy lager", I asked for a redo. The stakes were raised this time. I could not swear for a month, and if I did, I would have to hand over my prized possessions: My Ford F250, trailer and all my hitch accessories. Now I have to admit, I have a bit of a problem with road rage, and driving in Southern California is no help.

Here, drivers speed, cut each other off without signaling, and indulge in drug induced high speed chases. It is also common to wave to a fellow motorist with a certain one fingered gesture and scream out, you guessed it, @#!%$!So I prepared a list of tips that I believed would help prevent road rage and hopefully win me the bet:--Shouting funny words: When angry, I shout out a goofy word, rather than a swear. For example, “Persnickity!!"--Breathing deeply: When people start tailgating me, I breathe deeply and say to myself, “it is just another human being, full of the same fears and insecurities as myself"--Playing relaxing music: I used to always pump up death metal, but now I’ve switched to Kenny G and yes, even Yanni--Removing the tire iron from my trunk (Just in case)--Keeping a fixed smile on my face as I drive: This psychological trick is one where thought can follow action and I end up in a better mood!I tried all of the above and met with great success. The drivers around me no longer seemed like threats, but comrades on the road of life. We were all in this driving thing together, and that was ok. On the 30th, day I was out on a drive with Ryan when a hot blonde in a convertible pulled up next to me and blew me a kiss.... “Sweet @#!%$!," I whooped, leaning on the hornFind Article, and then I looked at Ryan and my face fell…Oh @#!%$!

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