Monday, January 30, 2006

rage against the steering wheel

If you've surfed Toronto-based sites over the weekend, you've seen the pictures of a motorist and courier involved in a friendly tete-a-tete in Kensington Market (warning: diving too deep into the comments section may drop your IQ by several points. To me, the driver loses points off the bat for being a litterbug).

While I manage to share the roads just fine with cyclists (usually giving them the benefit of any doubt, unless they are breaking rules at traffic lights), other motorists make me wonder why I was so eager to get my driver's license. Especially in Scarberia.

Here's my TO road rage tale.


August 1999. I've just been hired by my current employer and need to find a place to live in a hurry. The temporary commute between Toronto and Guelph is draining me, and I need to be out of my $140/month sublet by Sep 1st. I spend a Sunday afternoon looking a place, frustrated that there are no signs of life in at least two apartments on my list (one on Spadina Rd, the other I've forgotten). Dejected, I head back up to 401 along Avenue Rd.

Just north of Eglinton, past the first curve, another driver nearly smacks into me while changing lanes quickly. Cue involuntary reflexes. I hit the horn. The other driver stops in front of me at the next red light, gets out of his car and motions to me with his finger.

Cue panic attack.

I stay put in the car and lock my doors. The other driver walks towards my car.

Quickly, and without really looking to see if any other traffic was coming, I hit the gas, do a u-turn, then speed down the next side street. Nobody follows.

Cue sigh of relief as I head up Yonge. Welcome to life in the big city.


When I told Dad about the incident, he suggested I put my childhood baseball bat in the car, just to be on the safe side. I never did. My method is to ride it out - lock the doors, roll up the window, look straight ahead, take a side street if necessary. - JB

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