The Difference Between Us and Them


It came up quickly behind my Jeep Wrangler, hugging my tail at 75 mph for 15 seconds before careening around me, cutting me off and suddenly slowing to 56 mph causing me to brake hard.

Clad with bumper stickers (the obligatory “Coexist”, faded “Obama-Biden 2012″ and newer “Ready for Hillary”) the Toyota Pious Prius was a traveling cliche with a serious attitude problem.

My anger was palpable.

‘Hell, I’m driving a Wrangler! I could do some serious damage to that little beta clown car without inflicting much harm to myself or my alpha macho truck.’

Of course, I didn’t allow my violent fantasy to control my driving. I have kids, a business and thankfully impulse control.

I breathed and started to contemplate my upcoming exit.

As I pulled to the right, the Prius also veered right. It continued over the lanes, and I realized it wanted off the freeway at my same exit.

I was behind the object of my ire all the way down the off-ramp.

It was making a right. So was I.

First intersection: Right turn.

My route too.

This idiots gonna think I’m following him. (Admittedly, I was enjoying the thought of instilling fear).

Four streets later, Prius made a Left. My girlfriends street.

I turned Left.

The Prius found a parking spot. Opposite the Prius, across from my girlfriends building was another spot. A 3-point-turn and I slinked in.

With one eye gathering my effects, the other was watching the Prius to see who got out.

Nothing.

Maybe they are petrified. I would have been nervous if I was the driver. At 6.0′ tall, I’m no giant, but I look like I can hold my own.

Got my overnight bag and laptop, closed and remotely locked the doors and walked across the street in the same direction as the building, which was behind the Prius. The driver (who I couldn’t tell if was an effeminate male or masculine female) started wildly honking.

I stopped, pointed to my girlfriends building and then kept walking. After I was buzzed into the building I told my girlfriend what happened.

She asked “what if they key your car”?

“Why would they do that?” I replied. “I didn’t do anything.”

“Liberals. They do things like that.”

I thought about it. Most Conservatives don’t broadcast their politics on the rear of their car. In Southern California, especially during election season, you can’t drive a block without seeing several passionate mobile displays of liberal expression (as well as 3 Zumba studios, 2 pot shops and 7 Botox clinics).

Yet, Conservatives don’t act out when they see Marxist graffiti. We clench our jaws, and, at most, look into the car with a tacit look of disapproval. That’s it.

But my girlfriend was right. Liberals do act out.

I remembered 2012. I was driving miles to work and it was weeks from the election. I felt more and more angry with each passing day. So I started putting on this simple bumper sticker (MAGNETIC… because, people).

bumper-sticker-political-dissent-is-not-racism

Peoples heads exploded. There was botox everywhere.

The looks of sheer disdain from every Prius, Subaru and pre-1997 Volvo driver was priceless.

I got the middle finger at least once a week.

One of the few times I didn’t remove my sticker at a market, my car was keyed. Yes. Keyed.

The messy scrawl appearing to make up the message: “Selfish Basterd” (their spelling, not mine).

The resulting paint job required a $500 deductible.

I was angry, yes, but also disgusted with humanity. Then the election turned disastrous, and I became downright depressed.

I now no longer will express myself on the road. It’s not worth it, as obviously, even magnetic bumper stickers have to be constantly attended to.

_____

The next morning, I left the condo and headed out to my truck. The Prius was still there. I surveyed if there was any damage to my Jeep and it looked clean.

I went to my glove box and took out one of many printed copies of a note and went across the street and placed it under the windshield wiper.

Hi Friend!

I just wanted to let you know that someone vandalized your car and stuck an Obama sticker on it…

Don’t want you to drive around looking like an idiot! 🙂

Sincerely,

A Good Samaritan


Dave

Don’t be afraid to see what you see. – Ronald Reagan

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