Friday night topic: terrible, terrible things


— 5:05 PM on March 21, 2014

I'm pretty sure I'm not a troll on the Internet. Aggravating people to get a rise out of them just isn't the way I like to spend time, generally speaking.

However, I do have some pet peeves in life, things other people do that really bug the heck out of me.

One of those is when a fellow driver speeds up after I move out into the left lane in order to pass. I don't think it's an entirely conscious reaction, but a lot of people seem to be competitive about getting passed on the roadway. Once you creep past their blind spot and begin to overtake, they tend to push on the gas pedal a little bit harder. That means you have to be going even faster in order to pass, perhaps risking a speeding ticket.

This I do not like.

But over time, I've learned to have fun with it—as long as the road isn't too busy. If I notice someone responding aggressively to being passed, rather than speeding way up to overtake, I'll just nudge my own speed up a little bit at a time, to see how far I can push the other driver to respond. Since people who defend against the pass seem committed to their cause, this gambit can be startlingly effective. I've been able to push people 15-20 MPH or more over their original speeds, and some of them will hold in formation with you for quite some time, like this is the Thunderbirds or something.

It's friggin' hilarious—and a way better response to the insanity than the rage I used to feel.

Well, perhaps I'm just channeling the rage, but whatever. I realize my own behavior is probably not ideal in that situation. But I have a pretty good radar detector.

I'm wondering: is there something people do reflexively that really bothers you? Have you found a way to turn it against them? Discuss.

   
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