Gas Prices Down, Yet Drivers Still Cranky — Must Be Something Else

With the recent plummet in gas prices, one might think that commuters saddled with the burden of paying for it would be in, collectively, a rosier mood.

Not so, says an encounter I had this morning at Fourth & William.  Northbound on Fourth and slowing for the light, (which I don’t typically get stopped at, because of timings at Packard) actually coasting in the parking lane for the adjacent church.  I’m not big on parking lanes, because they’re full of debris and/or vehicles typically, but it was empty, so as far right as is practicable seemed logical.

Enter a grey Honda Civic S-Type; it passes uncomfortably close to my left, engine roaring.  We’re far enough to the right on this wide street that she would have hit any car parked at the curb.  Hard.

The car stops abruptly at the light (hypermiling is going out of style amidst ~$2.00 gas.)  I coast up the right, and up to the stopline to wait for a green.  I turn back with the dual purpose of glaring and ensuring that the driver has in fact seen me, and won’t be attempting to turn through me.  The car creeps along, and rolls down the window.  The driver ducks her head down to say something

“—- — —- —– —–?” I can’t hear her through my hat.  “What’s that, I can’t hear you?”  “Did. You. Say. Something?” bewildered, I respond in the negative.  Was she looking for a conversation?  “Did… you?” I add.  She flashed me a smile which I can only describe as ‘less than wholly genuine,’ then rolled the window up, and gunned it for a Right-On-Red.

There must be another explanation, then, for this rush-hour irritability.  Perhaps some sort of serotonin imbalance.  More research is clearly necessary.