At quitting time in the City, there is a very narrow time frame in which to get off the surface streets and reach the freeway before gridlock sets in. If you are just minutes late leaving the job, you are stuck in traffic and go nowhere fast, for hours, not miles This incident took place on a Friday afternoon, the beginning of a three day hoilday, Easter, I think, I had barely made it to the freeway, and there was already so much traffic, some people were driving on the shoulder. Jockeying for position, getting into their particular lane, and just like the rest of us, wanting to get out of town, or in some cases just wanted to be infront of the car ahead of them. I was then and am even now uncomfortable driving with so much traffic. We were idiling, only just moving, but let there be a space big enough, or almost big enough that another car could squeeze into, it got filled. It had occoured to me previously that unfilled spaces were much like chum, shark food, so to speak and every car was a shark, because no sooner did a space open up, at least and never less than three cars made a bee line to plug the hole. Today the sharks were hungry, I found myself in a feeding frenzy.
While doing the commuter crawl, headed to the Bay Bridge, I saw ther approach lane, uh, approaching, and I am two lanes to far to the left. I knew I had to become a shark, only I had no time to wait for an openning, I needed to make one, soon. The exit was still pretty far away, bur with the traffic so thick, and us going so slow, I had to assume the driving style so often used at me. So I signaled, waited for the car to my right to slow some, and moved. OK, great, now to do it again. The cars in the far right wouldn't give me a break, and now I had to move over or it would be several miles at this speed before I could turn around and start the crawl over again. I signaled. Nothing. I gave other drivers an imploring look along with a shrug, I really REALLY needed to change places. I tapped the horn, to show intent, I pointed and gave a 'please, sir, may I move over' look. Fine, I began with an ever so slow drift, the car along side me slowed enough for another driver to try and fill the hole. Shark time, I was getting that spot or we would have a fender bender. The car, a rather older model of station wagon apparently felt the same way, and was determined as much as me to have that hole. So I struck, and filled the spot just in time to exit onto the de-acceleration lane. (funny, it being called a de-acceleration lane, I could have walked faster) The station wagon was furious at me, and using the shoulder, passed me, remember we are slower than a quick walk, and bumper to bumper. With both hands out the driver's winow, and screaming at the top of his lungs, I HEARD him, and my windows were up.` "FUCK YOU, YOU FUCKING ASSHOLE MOTHER FUCKER! SON OF A BITCH FUCKING DICK HEADED FUCKING FUCKER FUCK!!" Those were his exact words, I was stunned that he apparently thought I waited for him, cut HIM off, targeted HIM, because HE was the one I wanted to make angry. And I'm the one with anger issues? I was already off the freeway and on the Bay Bridge approach, he is passing me on the right, both hands off the wheel, looking real hard at me, all the time cussing and so angry that his spit hit my passenger window (!). Obviously I am some sort of, or exactly what he yelled to me. Wanting only to GTFO of town, I slowed down even slower to give him his space, one car lengh ahead, no more , no less, and no matter to me at all. Except, except, except that when he pulled ahead of me he jerked the wheel hard left, bounced over the gutter and got back on the freeway, into the hole I had made only a few seconds earlier. Now with his left hand out the window giving me the one finger 'hi' sign, he was looking into the mirror back at me and I could see that he was still telling me all the things I was to HIM, for what I had done to HIM, just as if I could hear HIM.
With that being the only exception, the trip home was stuffed with bumper to bumper traffic, but there was no reason for anyone to shark up, and the trip was relative uneventful.