A Trekkies' Guide to Road Rage (Jerome A. Holst © 2001)
Outside, the brisk air of autumn pummeled and
tossed a litter of golden leaves. Inside, I
looked up at the office clock and I realized
that it was five O'clock...it was Friday...and I
was on my way to a lovely weekend. But first, I
had to get home.
Scampering down two flights of stairs, I entered
into the evening and found my way to a brand new
Porsche 911 Carrera Coupé (Hey, its my story).
Turning the key, the engine roared and I zoomed
off down the highway. All was well until an
idiot in another car appeared, cut me off, and
forced me to swerve quickly to the right.
Now, in the past, an altercation like this would
have made me very, very mad. But this time,
instead of getting angry, I took a deep breath,
looked at the world through rose-colored glasses
and just "Spocked It" That's right I said "Spocked
It" like the guy from the Star Trek show.
You see, that situation in the car wasn't the
first time I've encountered an "idiot" on the
roadway. Previously, when I encountered such a
person I would have scanned my memory banks for
all sorts of learned insults and defiant cries.
I would have let my blood pressure rise to a
dangerous level as I shouted obscenities out the
window and I would have plotted plans to destroy
the idiot in front of me. Yes, I'd follow him
home and make the bastard nervous. Make him
wonder who the crazy guy is following behind.
I'd blow my horn and wake up the neighborhood to
make sure the idiot knew he's was the focus of
my ire. And I'd flip him the bird and let him
and the rest of the viewing public know I was
But that was the old me, but not any more, I've
learned my lesson. I have taken the road to
relaxation and restraint. I have chosen to be a
Vulcan for the moment. To control my rage and do
the "Logical" thing. I've come to the conclusion
that an idiot is an idiot is an idiot. And all
the frustration and wasted fury I channel at
"said" idiot won't do a thing to educate him.
He's an idiot and probably will always be an
And how did I come to this realization? Well,
one night as I returned home after encountering
one such idiot on the road, I turned on the TV
to relax and happened upon the SCI-FI channel
and an episode of Star Trek. It was the episode
called "Amok Time" where Mr. Spock has to go
through a recurring seven-year mating madness
called "Pon farr" (blood fever).
As I looked at Mr. Spock with his tortured
facial expressions, I saw myself just a few
hours earlier...out of control, focused on
mayhem and basically exhibiting all the
attributes of a crazed killer.
Looking at the reflection of myself in the TV
screen, I realized that sometimes in life you
just lose it. And, that, the end result of your
anger has consequences.
In Spock's case, he killed his Captain and had
to face the Federation and take his punishment.
(Spock really didn't kill Kirk, he just thought
he did). Any way, seeing the error of my ways, I
was left with a mission to control my anger. To
be like Mr. Spock and evaluate the next road
rage situation with "Logic" and "Self Control."
Now, I admit that Spock lost it in "Amok Time,"
but for those intervening seven years of his
adult life he was in control. And, so I, too,
would learn to be aware of the bigger picture.
Learn not to close off my mind to the dark side
and leave it open to receive the merits of
reason. To be a disciple of the Seven (as in
So, how do I react to an idiot now? I certainly
don't choose the arsenal that is available to
the road rager. Instead of saying "Hey, did you
see that idiot. Did you see what he just did,
Why I oughta..." I just take a deep breath,
exhale, maneuver my car properly to avoid any
trouble and remember there are no real problems
in the outside world but rather just our
inability to control our inner self. If we
control our inner world, we can cope with the
outside world and all its stimulus.
So the next time, your anger tries to get the
best of you, remember to do the logical thing
and "Just Spock It."
P.S. If you do begin to loose your cool, try
these substitutes. Instead of thrusting your
middle finger at the idiot, mold those angry
digits into a Vulcan "V" greeting. Or if you
feel something unkind coming out of you mouth
then redirect those vocal cords from saying "You
A**hole!" to "Live Long and Prosper" (you
idiot). At least give it a try.
Captain's Log addendum: I am aware of the debate
over whether to call a Star Trek enthusiast a "Trekkie"
or the later term "Trekker." I chose "Trekkie"
because I was there when the show first aired on
TV in the sixties and I followed the show's
success through the latest installment
"Enterprise." So it is with great honor that I
call myself a "Trekkie" although I do not go to
sci-fi conventions dressed in Star Trek
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