Neologism For Fun & Profit

Uncle AndrewUncle Andrew
Filed under: @ 4:05 pm

I came up with this one yesterday, as the result of a conversation with a friend of mine during a car trip.

Madmiration: a feeling of commingled respect and resentment.

Here’s the situation that prompted the word’s genesis: my friend was telling me about his ex-father-in-law (sort of—long story). The guy is apprently a real asshole. However, one day he did something on the road for which my friend—and I—had to give him real, albeit grudging, props.

The three of them (my friend, his girlfriend, and her dad) were out on an errand, with the father driving. He was coming up to a red light, in the left of two lanes. There were two cars stopped in his lane and none in the other. He pulled up behind the second car and noticed that the driver was not paying attention to the road, the traffic, or the rest of the world. You know the type: talking on his cell phone while reading stuff off a stack of stapled laser prints while eating a bagel. Probably while adjusting the rigging on a tiny ship-in-a-bottle-model on the passenger seat, too.

Dad says, “Watch this.” He pulls into the next lane, astride the distracted motorist, leaving a car-length space between himself and the front of the line. He waits a few seconds, then begins moving forward, as if the light had changed.

Not paying any attention to the real conditions of the road, the guy on the left takes his cue from Dad’s forward motion. Without looking up from his sheaf of papers, he moves his foot from brake to gas, surging forward and smashing into the car in front of him.

Moments later, the light changes, and Dad drives off, leaving the scene of the accident he had caused.

Such behavior is dangerous, rude and really unacceptable in a civillized society. Which is why I feel so bad about admiring it so much.

3 Responses to “Neologism For Fun & Profit”

  1. Joe Says:

    The other day Trish and I were driving up to visit Don. There was a fair amount of traffic in north Seattle so we took advantage of the HOV lane. As we tooled along, passing slower traffic and keeping pace with our lane I noticed somebody zipping up in the rearview mirror.

    Normally, when this happens, I look for an opening in the next lane right and move over out of courtesy. In this case, the guy zipped up onto my rear bumper and obviously tried to intimidate me out of the lane, even though traffic was too solid to allow me to move over.

    For the life of me I wanted to do something to defy the guy. I determined not to move over, figuring if he wants to be an a$$ he could work for it. I fought the urge to do an over the shoulder bird because provoking the guy would have been no help and provoking Trish by escalating the encounter while traveling at 65 mph would have been even more counterproductive. And, slamming on the breaks and letting the guy hit me is really only the sort of stupid thing that people daydream about.

    Eventually, traffic opened up and the guy pulled around me, only to start up the same $h1t on the guy in front of me. The crisis was averted, nobody came to blows and bumpers were unscratched all around. But, I felt unresolved. Like maybe if I were more clever I could have come away just as intact but having a greater sense of well-being at having stuck up for my end.

    What strikes me about your story is that your friend’s ex-father-in-law seems to have found a way to satisfy the desire that I felt the other day crusing up I-5.

  2. TriciaSB Says:

    I fully agree that the guy we encountered on our way to Don’s was a scary, reckless jerk, but let’s bear in mind that what the guy in Andrew’s anecdote did was not victimless, because the people in the front car got rear-ended.

    Whiplash sucks. My car was rear-ended in a low -speed crash back in January and I’m still in physical therapy for my injuries.

  3. Uncle Andrew Says:

    Yeah, that’s my point: you rub your hands together with glee thinking of all the discomfort and inconvenience the inattentive driver suffered as a result….until you think about the poor schmuck in front of him who did nothing but happen to exist in the wrong place at the wrong time. I could never do something like this, but like Joe (and most reasonable drivers these days), I wish I could come up with some method by which to hand back to these assholes a little of what they dish out on a daily basis. Short of a miracle, though, all we have at our disposal is the standard Puget Sound passive resistance. That, and the knowledge that we are right and they are headed for Hell. 😀

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