The Road Doesn’t Lie: Americans are Stressed the Fuck Out

I am in my car for about 180 minutes a day. Over the course of a week, I spend nearly two full workdays behind the wheel. And I have been doing this for almost three years.

So, I feel I know a thing or two about the country’s collective sense of well-being by the way people drive. Look, I’ll rely on the scientists to tell me billions of gallons of ice water are melting into the seas. And I’ll let the political pundits tell me that if the Roman Empire only lasted a weekend, this would be about 11 PM on a Sunday night. But I don’t need to be that smart.

I can tell the world is ending because people are fucking driving like it is.

Case in point: I drive home along the G.W. Parkway every day. It’s a beautiful drive, with sweeping views of the Potomac from the hills on the Virginia side of the river. The speed limit is anywhere between 40 and 50 miles per-hour.

A 75 year-old woman going her age, speed-wise, nearly Road-Warrior’d me into Turkey Run Park tonight. My attempts to move over brought her front bumper so close to my rear one, I thought she would “PIT” me, as they say on Live PD.

No matter where you live, people can be nasty on the road. But over the last couple of years (for some reason, I can’t imagine what!) people have been at war with each other in the streets. I’m not talking an aggravated honking of a horn, or the occasional insults passed between suddenly brave ordinary people who want to feel tough and in charge of their own destinies. No. I am talking about uncorked hatred and irrational vitriol that is perhaps unprecedented in the brief history of modern commuting.

In just the past week, I have seen drivers chasing each other in rage, purposely blocking lane changes and interstate exiting, multiple DEAD-RED red-light runnings, a fender bender on the interstate in which everyone was out of their cars — IN THE MIDDLE OF AN ACTIVE HIGHWAY AT RUSH HOUR — screaming and gesturing wildly at each other. All of them simultaneously filming the accident scene on their smart phones.

And let us not forget the young woman driving a Ford FuckifIKnow, who literally threw a water bottle at my car because, moments before, I failed to throw myself into the right lane so she could pass me doing nearly 92 in a 65.

Scientists will tell you the world is heating up. The D.C. wonks will tell you our American civility is in peril.

I’ll simply tell you people are gassed-up, completely distracted and driving like it’s the end of days. Beep beep.

Poppy is a pleasant little melody. It is splashy and smoothly fruity. It has enough personality for passed hors d’oeuvres, yet enough humility to be paired pleasantly with fish and pork. It has what I call “crutch wine” potential; you’d buy it again and again if faced with snobbier yet-unproven competitors. Perfect after a blood-curdling commute.

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