Sunday, August 5, 2012

The Rise of the Road Toads ( or simply, how to handle rage- crazy drivers on the roads)

Does your self esteem take a blow every time you take your car out on the roads? Do you find yourself incapable of suitably responding to aggressive, unwarranted gestures of other drivers? Do you, at times, get frustrated and consider giving up driving all together?

If your answer to any of these questions is a little nod with closed eyes, and a pained expression, then you are probably suffering from the Road Toad syndrome.

The Road Toad syndrome is a condition in which a driver experiences frequent bouts of humiliation on the road. Just like a toad, he is always noticed, despised, and then kicked away.
In case, you've ever lived or driven in Delhi, you are likely to have experienced the effects of this syndrome. The city has the largest population of super aggressive, vengeful drivers on the prowl. Here's what goes on in the mind of a super aggressive, vengeful driver as he leaves his house in the morning:

"Aha ! What pleasant weather ! I must get into a heated argument with a toad on the road, and possibly, bash him up to make the best of this wonderful day !"

Is there a way to keep these monsters at bay and stop being pushed around ? There are two actually - you could pick up one of those evil eye amulets, or alternatively, you could follow my lead. I am assuming you chose the latter, as all intelligent beings would. So, here goes :

How To Avoid Being Toad Bashed : A beginner's guide

If you are a Road Toad, the only way you can sort out your life on the road is by assuming one of the following 4 personalities when you are driving.

1. The Death Stare Daddy Persona:
In Shakespeare's comedy- As You Like It, a scathing Phoebe says to a lovelorn Silvius:

"Now I do frown on thee with all my heart,
And if mine eyes can wound, now let them kill thee."

I think Shakespeare was a bit of a Road Toad himself, because in these two lines, he had pretty much captured the essence of the Death Stare Daddy persona. If you've got big eyes that you can keep open without blinking, this personality would fit you well. The next time you find yourself in a conflict situation with a fellow driver, all you need to do is bulge those big eyes out, and stare at him like hell, as you overtake / pass by him.

The effect works even better if you are blessed with big nostrils too. Flare them up when you bulge your eyes out for maximum impact.The look, if executed well, would intimidate the subject and obliterate any possibility of being Toad Bashed. If the subject is a faint-hearted individual, he might even pee his pants.

2. The Aggressive Histrionic Persona:
If you don't think you are gifted when it comes to eyes and nostrils, consider taking up the Aggressive Hitrionic persona. It is easy to slip into this personality by following a simple 3 step process:

Step 1: Roll up your window glass and check, if the doors are locked from inside.

Step 2: Start screaming at the subject while contorting your face into hideous expressions.

0Step 3: Move your hands violently in various directions, in tandem with your screams, to complete the act.

A bit of practice, probably a lesson or two in theatre, can work wonders. The rolled up glass and the locked doors ensure that you are safe while the subject is taken aback by the burst of violent expressions on your face.

3. The Super Cool Dude Persona:
Do you like being the strong, silent types? If yes, then this is the image you need to paint for yourself.

To be a Super Cool Dude, you've got to teach yourself to be expressionless. When the situation demands, you must turn stoic with no regards to the subject who might be shouting, screaming, or hurling anatomically unimaginable expletives at you.

It is highly recommended that you carry a little chessboard in your car at all times. In such moments, lay out the chess board and start a game while still inside your car. Your absolute apathy would make the subject feel insignificant, and he would drive away, quite and helpless.

4. The Intrepid Joker Persona:
This is a personal favorite. The Intrepid Joker persona suits those who have a sense of humour.

The trick, is to simply laugh away everything that's happening around you. If you are the expressive kinds, you must consider clapping your hands and grasping your belly, as you burst into peels of laughter to whatever the subject says. Occasionally, roll down the window and beg him to stop amidst your fit of laughter, to make a strong impression.

I must warn though, that the behavior can end up infuriating the subject, causing him to throw stones at your car. However, under normal circumstances, he might feel really embarrassed and leave the scene, crying silently.

Dear Road Toads, I urge you to choose your persona and practice it well. The reign of the Toad Bashers is about to end, it's time for you all to take the steering wheels in your hands. Arise and Croak.

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  1. That was awesome tips brother.. Sure I will try and tell you the results soon :)

  2. Very nice one Saad..

  3. That was some piece of writing! And useful tips as well! Especially as I'm new to the roads.

    1. Thanks Anil! Now you know how to hit the roads :D


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