By Rev. Ryan Colt Weber
Well I’ve been out of the loop awhile my fellow Dudes. I had eye surgery and couldn’t read my damn computer. But its good to be back. All that emotional stuff aside I have noticed one aspect of life that needs way more of the Take ‘er Easy Manifesto applied to it… and that’s driving. Since I don’t partake in the automotive pastime myself I usually get rides from various people or I just walk. When I do get a ride I see even the tamest pussycat turn into a rabies infected lion:
"Get the hell outta my way!" "Move into the other lane dammit!" "Why the hell is this person going so slow?" "Why is this jerk riding my ass?"
Now does any of that sound like someone who is takin’ er easy for all those sinners out there? I think not. A more interesting question is: What makes us lose our cool on the road? Is it the fast paced society we live in? Is it our inability to directly control what is happening around us? Maybe its the stress of knowing that cars kill more people every day than violence and drugs combined. Research has shown that males are generally more aggressive on the road especially those under the age of thirty five. They say this has to do with our hormones. Perhaps we need to spend more time with our special ladies…I mean our fuckin’ lady friends. So the next time you get in your green and brown…uh…rust colored car consider these helpful hints to just take it easy man.
1. Leave yourself plenty of time to get where you are going. If it takes thirty minutes to get somewhere and you leave thirty minutes before you are supposed to be there then every slow driver, construction barrel, and accident is going to cause you stress. I’d advise leaving an extra fifteen minutes early depending on how long your trip is and whether or not you are going to hit any rush hour.
2. Ignore other rude drivers. You can’t control what they do or say so just relax. If some other driver is being an asshole then pity them but don’t react. Sadly, not everyone is going to be laid back but don’t let others interrupt your peace of mind, on the road or otherwise.
3. Have something in the car to relax you. Of course open containers and Js are a no no in most US states so I wouldn’t advise those. You can, however, have some Creedence or other music to listen too or download some Big Lebowski scenes on your iPod to listen to for good fun and peace of mind.
4. Check conditions for when you are going to be driving. Studies show that heat, noise, and traffic congestion are the three biggest environmental contributors to road rage. It is also said that the afternoon rush hour is by far the worst time of day to be driving around. Now some of us had to do what our parents did and get-a-job-sir so we gotta get home somehow right? Well consider finding a back way home if possible. Not only can you avoid road rage but it will be way easier to spot a Brother Shamus in a VW Beetle who may be tailing you at the behest of a farmer family in Minnesota.
5. The number one thing nearly all experts agree on is to NOT confront a hostile driver. While this aggression will not stand you may not be standing long either if you decide to confront them. There have been stories of road rage where a lawyer and former state legislator belted a pregnant woman in the face! How messed up and verrry unDude is that?
So keep calm dudes! Relax! I mean if the Dude himself can remain calm while watching Nihilists burn his car, then is the person riding your bumper on the highway THAT big of a deal? Dudeism is meant to be applied to all aspects of life and that includes the time you spend getting from one aspect to another.
Well that about wraps her up. Westward the wagons my fellow dudes but remember not to get too uptight in your wagon lest you crash your plane into the mountain, die face down in the muck, kill that poor woman, kill your fucking car, cross the center divider in the sand, or just generally be a cleft asshole. It’s your roll, Dude. This is not ‘Nam. Take er easy. This is especially important if you happen to have an occasional acid flashback while driving around.