Training for Nascar? No, Just Carpool
Twenty-three hours a day, these people are the pillars of my community here in Suburbia, USA. They are business owners, soccer moms, executives, volunteers, and, — oh, hey, there’s my pastor’s wife. But for half an hour in the morning and half an hour in the afternoon, they appear to be training to drive a taxi in Mumbai.
What is this? Demolition derby practice? Early Nascar elimination? Oh, no. It’s public school drop off and pick up line. Each of these drivers appear to be perfectly level-headed and kind individuals. Then they get within 250 feet of school property, and they are ready to rub paint with anyone who is making more progress in this eternal parade of slow moving vehicles.
My family recently moved from a smaller town where our school system resembled an inner-city area. Now in suburbia I have found that carpool line rage transcends all genders, races and socioeconomic levels. The egocentric driving can occur in cars held together by their inspection sticker up to the most expensive luxury SUV.
The most baffling of this nationwide phenomena is that minutes prior to engaging in this parking lot road jockeying, these drivers were doing something for the good of society: giving blood, driving a Meals on Wheels route, helping a neighbor finish her taxes, taking a casserole to a sick friend.
As the car approaches school: the blood pressure rises, the hands grip the wheel, and all sense and thought of fellow man are gone. Those are no longer neighbors, picking up children from a day of learning. They are foes to be conquered, evil to be vanquished. It all must be done quickly, quickly ‘lest they, too, be pulled into the vortex of evil.
Except for the one driver inciting the ire of all the other drivers. You know the one. The driver parking in the drive-thru lane. The dropper-off who needs to reconstruct PTA’s financial records and by-laws with the driver in the other lane. The momma who needs to give one last reminder/ hug and kiss/ piece of paper or write that note while sitting in the drop off lane. All of these people are innocently conducting business. But they are making the minions angry, very angry.Continued on the next page