It was the guy in the Hi-Rise pickup that broke the camel's back. On the trailing end of an absolutely lousy day, this jerk in his three-dimensional "I am a moron" sign, pulled up to my rear bumper and hit his running lights. Of course, it made no difference that I was doing 65, and that the guy in front of me was doing 64. This clown in a mutated Tonka toy was offended that I didn't beg his forgiveness and evaporate to let him pass. I was enough in control to realize that just the chrome add-ons to his Bubba Buggy outweighed my Honda, so I resisted the impulse to hit my brakes. But I knew then, as I slowly worked my way into the adjoining lane, that this snuff-dipping Ben Hur had sealed his own fate.
This guy, with his twenty eight running lights, double reinforced sterling silver rollbar, tires the size of Ohio, color-coded triple decker windshield wipers, snoot boot to keep low flying meteorites from nicking his paintjob, "I can drive over anything nature throws at me on my seven block drive to high school", thirty foot high, four-wheel drive caricature of a motor vehicle was going to take the rap for every bozo that had rubbed me the wrong way for the past thirty three years. This guy was going to put purpose back into my life.
It took some doing, but I managed to keep him in sight for the next three or four miles until he turned off of the interstate. During those few minutes, my brain practically perculated with the methods of my madness. After I followed him home, I would make a trip to my place for the required paraphernalia, and then back during the late night hours to begin the process of venting all the resentment I had horded for just such an occasion.
My plan was a diabolic delight. First, I was going to use both five-gallon cans of that super solvent I got from the plant. That stuff will turn everthing from polycarbonates to polyvinyles into a runny mess of goo in a handful of minutes. Ten gallons would just about cover those four mountain-climbing tires of his. When this guy got up in the morning, he'd find the stilts to his truck had become gooy slimy steel-belted puddles. Next, I'd pull out my cordless engraver and tatoo "Honk If I've Had A Lobotomy" in eight-inch letters across the rear window. Then, ahh then! I have this entire case of those aerosol cans of foam insulation. The kind that bloats up when it hits the air and turns into that ugly tan styrofoam. I was going to lower one window just a little, stick the nozzles in, and keep emptying cans until I turned the inside into a gigantic nerf-cab. Next, for the body of this macho machine, well, somehow I wound up with a couple of rolls of pink trash bags, which I of course have refused to use. Anyway, I figured with a couple of tubes of superglue, these rolls and a little creativity, I could build the nicest pink plastic tutu you ever saw around the bed of this macho truck. And finally, oh the last great stroke, I was going to drop a small wooden ball that I have into his gas tank. Then for months, after he thought he had repaired everything else, he'd hear this knocking, this metallic "boing" whenever he turned corners or was low on gas, and it would drive him absolutely crackers trying to find its source; the way it did me when my four-year-old dropped the exact same ball into my gas tank!
Then, my job done, I'd be happy! Happy? I'd be incredibly magnificently fulfilled. This one perfect act of retribution would somehow spread throughout the cosmos through the invisible psychic energy that links all of the humans who have been trampled upon by the "Clods" of the universe, and make us all a little happier, a little less downtrodden!!
OK, maybe it wouldn't. Whatever, at least I'd sure feel a heck of a of a lot better! Yes, this guy I was following was actually going to make my whole miserable life worthwhile!
Then he did it! After instilling my life with the hot blooded passion of revenge, after awaking all of my primal instincts from their long sleep, after putting the first real joy in my life of the last decade, he took it away. This focal point of my life left the highway and turned into a large complex of brick buildings. Catching up to him, I rounded a corner just in time to see him helping his "about-to-no-longer-be-pregnant wife" from the truck and into the emergency entrance to the hospital.
I was a beaten man. He had blown up my balloon of retribution and punctured it within a span of half a dozen minutes, and he never even knew it. The nothingness of my life took hold again. All that was left for me to do was to whimper my way home. Maybe I'd snarl at the goldfish . . . maybe not.
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© 1998 Jack Dow