There are tailgaters. And there are Tailgaters. And there are Grand Mal Tailgaters (GMT).
Firstly, I absolutely loathe tailgaters in any form. Let me make that very clear before I talk about GMT cretins.
Tailgating is the most offensive driving behavior imaginable. I imagine this practice is in greater abundance in metropolitan areas simply due to the sheer concentration of automobiles. I imagine that if you live in a sparsely populated rural area, your driving consists primarily of open highways or empty streets in which case the need to tailgate is somewhat diffused by the ability to avoid such noxious behavior by the amazing art of PASSING, something tailgaters seem intellectually unable to process. Yes, when the road is wide open, you can pass easily, there is no purpose in tailgating. I suppose it can also be assumed that if you tailgate someone in a rural zone, the presumed obscenity of such emptily aggressive driving is blatant and irredeemably offensive due to its unnecessary nature. In the big city where there is not much space to pass, the first thing you learn is that you will experience being tailgated all the time.
I despise tailgaters. I think this is one of the most passive-aggressive, pussy behaviors a driver can express. By tailgating you are essentially announcing, shrieking, to the driver you’re tailgating that “my time is more valuable than yours, my goals are more urgent than yours, my life is more important than yours, and I will ride your ass because I seek to manipulate other’s actions with impatience.” I hate impatience too, but tailgating absolutely sucks. Tailgaters should be castrated or tarred and feathered. They serve no use, and in fact, their actions are dangerous and tempt disaster because riding just a couple of feet from someone’s rear bumper is asking for an accident.
All tailgating irritates me. Tailgating can make me slow down in order to provoke more anger or impatience or it can make me turn around and tailgate the fucker who was tailgating me in return. I’m very childish that way! I don’t do it often, but I do it… There is the typical and common tailgating which is not particularly obnoxious. The tailgating car stays a safe enough distance from you but only by a hair. The distance they leave is still cutting it very close and it’s designed to let you know they are there and they are impatient and bothered, but they stop short of driving right up your tailpipe. There is the next level of Tailgater (note the capitalization) who drives closer. They leave the space that separates you from them dangerously short, but they still show a modicum of restraint because it is not egregious tailgating to the point where their car is filling the entirety of your rear view mirror. Still, the message they wave is loud and clear. You’re slowing me down. I’m in a hurry! I have places to be, people to see, I’m great. Move! Many times the Tailgater will alternately narrow and widen the space by easing up on his gas then stepping on it. Close, far, close, far, but never so close that you can’t see his front bumper.
And then, there’s the GMT. The Grand Mal Tailgater. The vehicular freak. I was followed by a GMT this evening on the way home for a minute or two. I could tell in my rear view mirror that it was a Volkswagen because the Germanic insignia literally jumped out of my rear view mirror such was the idiot’s proximity to my car. When the light turned green, I would begin moving while keeping a reasonable space between me and the car in front of me, but Mr. VW was literally riding my ass and one small sudden braking incident would leave half his car lodged under my drivetrain. Finally he realized my lane was not fast enough for his VIP schedule so he changed lanes and began tailgating a BMW in the same manner. The piece of crap finally turned left at Elysian Park Boulevard but not before I honked and gave him the finger. Granted, a cowardly gesture of futility on my part. It was a white guy with long hair and he looked strangely fixated on his driving.
The GMT is a sick person. This style of driving is provocative and disrespectful. The GMT needs a serious ass-kicking. There is no excuse for treating people like this. It is not confined to any specific ethnicity…I’ve been GMT’d by all races. It is a sick human condition. It is a diseased pathological behavior and such drivers should be stopped, arrested and mentally examined for serious underlying cognitive conditions, and if possible, lobotomized. They should be lobotomized and forced to travel around town in those special medical vans with ramps and wheelchair fasteners. The GMT is seriously afflicted and should not be on the road. You don’t treat strangers like this. You don’t walk so closely to slow walking people that you breathe on their neck, do you? Why would you drive like this? I’ve been very late to appointments before, and sure, I do rush…but I didn’t use the circumstance to brazenly assault others with my indifference and self-importance.