One of the most popular contact sports in the United States is Road Rage. It is now played on the highways and byways of the country.
The great players are those drivers with short tempers who take out their anger on other cars. It used to be all verbal, but it is now getting more physical, particularly among people who forgot to take their Prozac.
Donald Anchorman, who wrote the best-selling book "I Spit on Your Windshield," told me, "Road Rage now involves more people than baseball, basketball, football and hockey combined. It's also responsible for more ulcers and migraine headaches than any other sport. It used to take place only during rush hour, but now it is played day and night, even on secondary roads."
Anchorman said the game begins as soon as the driver is on the highway, and it helps if the person has just had a fight with his wife. Suddenly he realizes the vehicle in front of him is going too slow. His first play is to put his hand on the horn. If this does no good, he passes alongside the car and shakes his fist at the driver. He also mouths some of the more familiar curse words. If this is not enough, the ultimate shot for the enraged driver is to stick his third finger up in the air at the other driver. This gesture is worth a thousand words.
"What makes Road Rage so exciting is when the other guy decides to fight back. Then you have two cars and two crazy people in play. They try to cut each other off or even hit the backs of each other's cars.
"By this time motorists on the highway have noticed what is going on. They pick up their cell phones and call 911. The Super Bowl of Road Rage comes when both the drivers signal to each other to pull over to the side of the road to punch it out.
"This is a true story. A friend of mine named Blake spent 10 years learning karate. He was on the highway in Los Angeles when a Porsche cut him off. Blake sped up and cut the Porsche off. The other gentleman then went into high gear and shot around Blake to cut him off again. Finally, Blake pulled up next to the Porsche and motioned to the driver to get over to the side of the road.
"After all those years Blake thought the karate lessons would finally pay off. He pulled up on the apron in front of the Porsche. In the mirror he saw the driver get out of his car and walk toward him.
"Blake reached down to unbuckle his seat belt. Unfortunately, it wouldn't unfasten. While Blake sat there fighting with his belt, the other driver walked up and punched him in the face. Then he got back in his Porsche and drove away."
Anchorman said, "This is Road Rage at its finest."
Anchorman told me the only thing worse than Road Rage is Parking Rage. He said, "This occurs when one person believes another has stolen his parking place. What makes Parking Rage so dangerous is that both automobiles are not moving. People have been known to go through the roof when they believe someone has stolen their spot.
"There are now police reports coming in from all over the country concerning violence between parkers. People will fight to the death for their space. If they don't fight, it is the only time you will see grown men cry."