Rainy Day Rage - The American Spectator | USA News and Politics
Rainy Day Rage

What a dreadful day. The rain, for which we had all prayed, has made traffic a nightmare. Plus, it is just strange to wake up and have the sky dark. That has not happened in a long time. There are the palm trees and the jacarandas, but no blue skies. No candy. Just gray clouds down to the deck and an incessant rain. I have to fight to remind myself to be grateful. That’s how stupid I am. I have everything but I am still too stupid and selfish to be grateful when something I desperately need comes along.

I did errands for most of the day. Then I went to buy some iced tea for my wife at the Pavilions. I was waiting for a parking space when a man in a truck started to back up rapidly towards me. I honked at him and he stopped. He glared at me, then pulled into a space near me. He walked towards me.

As I got out of my car, I said to him, “I’m sorry for beeping at you, but you were backing up towards me. I beg your pardon.”

“No. You did it because you’re stupid and you’re selfish and you couldn’t wait a minute for me to park my car. That’s how stupid you are,” screamed the man, who was about forty, I would say, and about six foot six and REEKING of alcohol.

“I am so sorry,” I said again, “but I was not the one who was beeping at you to hurry up. That was another driver. I just didn’t want you to hit me.”

“No,” he shouted. “You’re an idiot. I know who you are and you’re an idiot.”

He scared me and I thought for a moment of calling 911. I think it’s illegal to start screaming provocative words at someone out of the blue. Maybe I saw that on COPS. I was very glad that I was not armed because I could imagine the temptation to shoot when scared.

However, the man walked away from me and I had an idea. “That guy is going to key my car,” I thought. So I retraced my steps to my car and parked it far away from his truck. That parking lot of the Pavilions at Robertson and Santa Monica is Ground Zero of crazy people. It is the anti-Greenville. The anti-Sandpoint. Loaded with wildly anxious, nutty, and high people.

At home, I opened some bills. One of them was for immense charges for my son’s family in said Greenville. It was for so much money it made my head spin. There was also a good chunk for my wife’s (literally) dozens of animal charities. I was furious. I don’t want to go broke because I am supporting my son’s family as if I were a maharajah. I don’t want to go broke helping the zebras.  I yelled at my wife about it. She took it with head hung in shame and, of course, I felt like killing myself.

“I am sorry,” I said. “It’s not anything bad you’ve done. It’s all my fault for allowing so many people to live off me so lavishly. All my fault.”

She looked so thin, so frail, so guilty, I felt like shooting myself. I apologized much more. Then I slept, woke, and paid more bills. Thousands and thousands for vet bills and animal charities. Obviously, we will wind up broke. It’s clear-cut.

“My wife is living in a dream world,” I said to myself and then I laughed. If she were not at least partly crazy, she wouldn’t stay with me. The price I pay and it’s a small one, is those tens of thousands a month in credit card bills. Well worth it to have my glorious wifey.

As to the man at the Pavilions parking lot… I am glad I am not he. Some day someone much less careful than I am will plug him. Or maybe he’ll become mayor of New York.

Ben Stein
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Ben Stein is a writer, actor, economist, and lawyer living in Beverly Hills and Malibu. He writes “Ben Stein’s Diary” for every issue of The American Spectator.
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