On my way to work this morning, I had occasion to laugh out loud.
Traffic slowed in the lane in front of me; traffic was moving at exactly the same speed as me in the lane to my left. There was a nice, several-car-length gap. Excellent! I thought. I can move over, not slow down, and not inconvenience anyone in the process! Or something a bit like that. Probably more like, Check blind spot. Clear. Gap sufficient. Recheck traffic in front of me and in mirror. Good. Move.
Either way, I made my decision, flipped my blinker on for two seconds, and then moved lanes. I then promptly received the horn-and-brights treatment, not to mention a fiery glare from the woman in the minivan behind me. Who was moving the same speed as me, who still had several car-lengths between her and me. Why did she feel such anger? I am not sure, but I can surmise:
She was angry because I stole her space! After all, everyone knows that you own all of the space between you and the car in front of you, and you have the right to be affronted if anyone moves into it.
I shrugged and thought the incident over. How wrong I was. Moments later, the lady moved over to the middle lane, then again to the right lane. I note: she first moved into a gap the same size as the one I moved into in front of her, then another only slightly larger. Then she glared at me. Her eyes shouted hatred, or at least intense annoyance.
Then the killer moment: she moved back into the middle lane, and then (wait for it), moved into the space between me and the SUV in front of me. It was smaller than the space between her and the same vehicle had been when I moved in.
Cue the outburst of laughter. I rather hope the lady risked another angry and self-satisfied glance into her rearview mirror and thus was rewarded with my deep bemusement.