Tuesday 24 April 2012

The Stare

This morning as I turned my car into my office lane, I was almost hit by an oncoming car whose driver chose not to slow down at the intersection. I halted in my tracks forcing the other car to go around me. As the cars passed each other, I and the other driver looked in to each other's eyes and certainly not in any loving manner. It was the icy cold look that said "whaddya think of yourself?" It was the "STARE" that auto drivers give each other when each one thinks he is right and the other one has wronged.

The Stare comes in variations and accompaniments as well. You can squint a little bit or widen your eyes depending on what you want to convey. The squinty stare may mean "You dirty scoundrel born in a cess pool". The wide eyed stare may convey "People like you who break laws with impunity ought to be publicly flogged". Sometimes there is a showing of a certain finger or even the whole fist. Words usually spring out after the cars have passed and mostly to the displeasure of the co-passengers.

Trouble begins when one driver does not know how to stare back. That's when words take centre stage and a passing issue deteriorates into fist fights and even road rage.

No one would be perfectly able to ascertain when the Stare evolved. It probably did when two horse riders almost hit each other head on. But then horses can detect oncoming horses or other animals so it could probably have been when two horse drawn carriages collided or blocked each other's path. Usually such incidents happen only when each rider or driver is claiming his right of way.

Be that as it may. If you follow the rules, you will always be in the right and with a greater right for a rightful Stare. Happy driving folks.

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