Cars can behave like bulls charging at or by a toreador, depending upon who is driving them. I have become a car
toreador, so I know. Being a car toreador requires that you be able to psychoanalyze drivers, if you want to survive. There are some definite dangers much as those faced by the men who challenge bulls but perhaps not as severe, I hope.
I did not set out to be a car toreador; rather I set out to get some exercise in a quick and easy fashion each morning. To accomplish this goal, I bought a good pair of Nike running shoes (Pegasus) and made sure I got up early enough to watch the sunrise as I walked down the mountain road I live on.
I live out in the country where sidewalks are non-existent. Instead we have “shoulders” to the road which also require a bit of imagination to actually find. Sometimes there is a hill of rock ledge rising up at a tight corner, so no amount of imagination will help you find a shoulder. Until the last second, cars charging around those corners don’t see you, you don’t see them and the yellow line is to be trampled on. On occasion there is grass and that will do fine. You learn quickly to change sides of the road before those hairpin turns or else you become roadkill. It’s kind of like riding a motorcycle, you learn to avoid oncoming vehicles by a planned pattern of evasive maneuvers.
In any event the first survival lesson I learned was while walking down my dead end street, early in the morning. Quite a few drivers are up early, as I was, on their way to work (which I do later as I work near my home). It is busy enough to imagine it is not a dead end street. I often have ear-buds in my ears and a smartphone playing music while monitoring my walking distance and speed. I keep the volume down so that I can hear a car or truck coming and avoid getting gored by a charging Chevy or Hyundai . One secret I learned is that drivers have an attitude even before they meet others drivers and acquire road rage.
Each car has its own and distinctive attitude and though the type of car is often related it is not the main cause. I say cars because you usually cannot see the drivers. They are hidden by the early morning glare of sunrise on their windshields or shadows from the many trees that line the side of the road. The trees are everywhere with long branches hugging the side of the road as if it were a sleeping child cradled in its mothers extended arms. It is very rural up here. We even have some dirt roads that are well used and accepted.
The car’s attitude was easy enough to see since I had begun to learn to walk towards traffic so as to give me some opportunity to side step a charging vehicle. Matadors must make quick decisions if they wish to continue in the sport. Some cars charged down the quiet country roads like mad bulls hoping to gore a matador; others, glided gracefully by and frequently moved completely into the opposing lane with far more care than need to avoid the matador. Some, by the way, actually came closer in a very confrontational manner. I began to wonder what caused this difference?
Many days of being a car matador, has taught me something about these differences. Big SUV’s with petite women driving them are frequently the most dangerous but this happens around 3:00 pm and not that commonly in the morning. On the occasion that I might get a glance at the driver, I will see a female face that is somewhat twisted with stress and suppressed rage. They are late to pick up their children and anyone in their way on the road will be gored to death! When on my motorcycle, I always avoid SUV’s for this reason. They will literally run you off the road.
Other cars are less bullish then SUV’s. However, as you might suspect the sporty ones like to make a mad rush at you as that is their thrill or perhaps how they burn off the 3 cups of coffee that got them awake and now running on adrenalin. They want to play with you and regret having past you; but, they know there is another day coming.
The more nondescript cars have their attitude too and after a while you get to know which ones have which attitude. There are exceptions however as I can tell that the black and white Hyundais that come one after another each morning have attitudes depending upon how the two drivers where communicating over breakfast. I am predicting that without a lot of marriage counseling the black and white cars will be living separately in the near future.
Then there are the cars you know are driven by older drivers. The will come around the corner see you and cross to the opposite lane, hopefully when there is no oncoming traffic. Moving over 3 or 4 feet would be fine but they want to show you how much you matter. I do not think they are bulls, I think these are out to pasture cows. I do prefer to have a road full of cows, by the way.
Finally there are those bulls that want to literally gore you and end your miserable existence. They know you are messing up their trip by being on the road! They know you have no reason to be there trying to walk and stay fit while they have to go to work, drink more high test coffee and possibly have a heart attack running with the rest of the bulls on the expressway at 90 mph. They are pissed! Most of them however shrink from the final act at the last moment, simply satisfied that they have terrorized you and will get to do it again tomorrow. I wish it were not true but most of these drivers, when I get to see them, are the petite women who probably drive the SUV’s on weekends. This is why I am seriously considering selling my Yamaha Silverado. I have discovered that iron ponies are no match for a charging bull SUVs.
I would like to think that females are the gentler sex, but I am no longer so sure. I think they are gentler face to face because God made them physically weaker, in most cases. However, give them control over a 400 bull power engine and they act out their Napoleonic dreams.
If you decide to get up early and walk, take a walk after lunch, walk before the sun sets or do all 3 as I do, keep in mind that you should develop the art of being a car toreador and knowing when to dodge the charging bull. Especially if you want to stay alive. You may also get to know the neighbors, you never meet.