You all see them. Maybe you have them. They block out the sun, and they’re a lot easier to remember than a pair of sunglasses that you could just leave in your car. What are they? Tinted windows. They make sense. I get it. And they also make you feel safe, right?
When you drive a vehicle you want to feel like you’re in a control, you want to feel free. It’s a very American feeling … “Being on the open road.” And when you feel like you’re in control everybody else falls to the wayside. You’re the one moving in your car. The whole world outside your windows is zipping by like yesterday’s news. You’re in control of where you’re going, which way you’re taking to get there, and every one of your decisions and actions count towards this goal.
Until you see other cars. Other people that are in your way doing the same thing you’re doing, going the same way you’re going, only that they’re doing it wrong because you don’t have any control over what they’re doing. All the other drivers are either assholes or dumb asses: They’re either driving too fast like a maniac or they’re driving too slow like a nincompoop. If they were driving the cor-rect way, then they’d let you drive.
But that’s not possible. You can’t control everything and everybody while you’re driving your vehicle, feeling free, separated from the world by tinted windows. There’s other people out there, just like you, with the same feeling of freedom and control. You’re the one who’s really in the way.
“Me? What did I do?”
Exactly. Nobody did anything, because nobody’s in control. It’s an illusion … and we all know it. Yet we tint our windows to mask the fact that we’re not in control. We hide from the reality that I’m a person and you’re a person, we’re both in cars, and we’re both trying to go somewhere and we’re sharing the road. People forget that.
It’s not like you shout “Hey!” (as if your larynx is a car horn) to the couple in front of you at the grocery store who’s taking their sweet time at the register. If somebody’s walking on your heels down the sidewalk downtown you don’t let them pass and then sucker punch them (Road Rage). You don’t do that.
But if you’re in a vehicle — what your mind and body interpret as an extension of yourself — feeling safe, enjoying the bliss of hiding behind tinted glass and then, suddenly, “WTF?!” There’s another car driving past the entrance of your neighborhood. “This is unheard of! I shouldn’t have to stop.” You didn’t anticipate this. You didn’t expect to stop at a stop sign. Well, then, this might send you into a rage … especially if you spill your liquid morning drug all over your pressed pants or if they interrupt your daily singalong to your favorite Billboard hit.
And you can’t stand it! You cuss. You hate. Then your aggressiveness bounces off those tinted windows and glares back into your skull and courses through your blood like the lightning the Dark Lord from Star Wars shoots out with his fingers. So you get even more upset, it compounds, all the way to work or all the way to the hair dresser’s. Thus you, my friend, are an asshole.
Or maybe you do the opposite. Maybe you didn’t even see that car as you pulled out of your neighborhood because of your tinted windows and your blissful singing. Maybe you’d rather not worry about what’s going on around you. Maybe you prefer hermit crabs as pets. Block out the sun, block out the world. Thus you, my friend, are a dumb ass, because you aren’t aware of what’s going on around you and won’t take the time to think.
Don’t be a dumb ass. Don’t be an asshole. Because, really, there’s nothing you can do to stop people like me calling you one of those two types of asses. Just be polite as you drive and think twice about your tinted windows. Maybe buy a pair of cheap ZZ Top sunglasses instead. Save some money. Because if I’m walking my dog, trying to cross the street, or if I have my blinker on and I’m trying to merge with traffic, and all I see is black glass and no human being behind the wheel, then all communication is lost and society as we know and love starts to crumble.
I can’t tell if the invisible driver sees me and is waving at me to proceed on my merry way. I can’t tell if s/he is on the phone, or clutched in the grips of murderous rage and has an FN 57 already drawn. I don’t know. So how polite can I be? Only as polite as you let me.