By Bruce Murray
The other day I listened to someone of similar age to me (a senior citizen) comment as he has gotten older his patience with other drivers has gotten less.
He explained how frustrated he got when pulling up to a red light he would inevitably be behind drivers that seemed to forget to move forward when the light turned green and they would slow the whole process down. Then to make matters worse — someone would then try to cut into his lane and this would cause more trouble and he would get caught with another red light.
He said about that time he would start talking to himself about the other drivers — calling them stupid or worse. His wife would then get tired of his muttered comments and remind him the other drivers could not hear him and please shut up.
I must confess — I have had similar thoughts about other drivers.
One thing that really annoys me is to see someone coming up behind me at a high rate of speed and then tailgate for miles. They don’t pass, they just sit there, as if riding my bumper will cause me to drive faster. This can go on for many kilometres and the longer it goes on the more I start to talk about them. “Why don’t they pass if they are in such a big hurry?” or “Are they afraid to turn the wheel?”
I recently had a driver speed up behind and then tailgated for 45 minutes. (Yes I timed
it.) When he finally passed me by speeding in a small town he made an obscene gesture on the way past. Why I don’t know but maybe it was his way of saying hello.
Construction zones are another source of annoyance.
Not the zone itself but other drivers’ responses. Do they slow down to the new speed limit? Nope, they just go merrily on their way passing those who are stupid enough to slowdown, as to protect the workers. That really gets me muttering under my breath.
Have you ever noticed how in a busy store when all the checkout lines are busy the one you choose will always be the slowest? Why I don’t know but the lines on both sides seem to move faster. I think it might have something to do with the person at the checkout counter visiting with friends, as they come through the line. Or it might be because the person checking out has two dozen coupons they need to process. Yup, I start muttering again.
One of my favourite peeves is at a Lethbridge Big Box store. They have a great deal on a hot dog and drink, so it is very popular around lunch time. Their lineups can get quite long and can create congestion. The store has kindly painted yellow lines on the floor in a U shape, so when standing there the main aisle is not blocked. Do you think people can figure out what those lines mean? Nope. They insist on a straight line — blocking the aisle until an employee comes and moves them to where they should be. I try to set a good example and stand where the lines indicate but all I get are strange looks — Aren’t you in the proper line? I tried to explain to others the purpose of the lines but no joy.
I heard one person mutter to another, “what a curmudgeon.” This peaked my interest, as I was pretty sure they were not complimenting me, so I looked up the definition of a curmudgeon.
According to the Merriam-Webster on line dictionary a curmudgeon is “a person, especially an old man, who is easily annoyed or angered and who often complains.”
Well, I have past my three score and ten, so that makes me an old man in some circles. Looking at my response to some situations, I guess I am easily annoyed. My wife would confirm I get angry way to easily at minor irritants.
Well that makes it official — I am a curmudgeon.