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Jeremy's Ramblings, Babblings, and Other Pretentious Bullshit.
Wednesday, August 31, 2005
 
This morning I discovered an example of a human being's close relationship to primates, to our need for a primal release of our emotions.

I overslept today and, in a rush to make it to work on time, I was following a blue Jaguar a little too closely. I often forget that - though this is common practice in Los Angeles - people in Orange County see this as some sort of threat. So when the car suddenly stopped, I wondered if there was going to be a problem. When the guy got out of his car, I knew there was going to be a problem. When I saw that he was wearing a namebadge from the same company I work for, I knew there was going to be a big problem.

I rolled down the window and the following ensues:

HE (shouting): Why don't you get off my fucking ass--
ME: I'm sorry.
HE: ...and back the fuck up?
ME: I'm sorry.
HE: Do you work for *COMPANY NAME*, because if you do...Where do you work?
ME: I'm sorry.
HE: Where do you work?
ME (holding my hands up as if he's pointing a gun at me): I'm really sorry.
HE: Where do you work?
ME: I'm really...I don't work for *COMPANY NAME*.
HE: Okay, good. (Muttering as he goes back to his car)
ME: I'm really sorry, sir.

Obviously, pulling up next to him in the parking lot is the worst of ideas. So I took a leisurely drive around the company building as I waited for him to park and go inside. I tried to see where he parked, making sure to avoid that area. As I took a drive around the building, I noticed a pair of headlights behind me. The kind that belong to a Jaguar. Sure enough, Screaming Primate Man was following me. Whether he was really following me, or he was just finding a parking spot, I don't know. But I suddenly thought about those dreams I have every so often, where someone is chasing me around my old house in Idaho, and I'm trying to figure out which area I should run to in an attempt to outsmart him.

Now, I'm looking around me every time I get up to go to the bathroom and constantly checking my car to make sure nothing has been done to it. I realize that this is foolish, and that he has probably forgotten about me already, but I proudly live a lifestyle that reduces the number of people that yell in my face. On those occasions that it happens, it is not that easy to simply recover from.

On one hand, the guy was insanely belligerent. Yes, I was riding on his ass, and yes, I shouldn't have, but yelling in the face of some twentysomething driving a Toyota Echo and dressed in a wrinkled shirt, tuxedo pants and white socks (when I oversleep, it shows) is not the answer. It is the ultimate image of evolution. A man wearing a nice suit getting out of his Jaguar so that he can scream on the side of a road in a business area.

On the other hand, I feel I should applaud him. So often people go through life keeping the things that bother them locked up. Especially in the business world, there is this inclination to put a smile behind your anger. So if this guy had a serious problem with me, why shouldn't he call me on it and show me that he will not put up with that type of behavior? After all, it worked. I gave him room (so much so that I was going 20 mph in a 35 mph zone).

As I made it to my desk, slightly shaking, I heard about how hundreds of people were killed in a human stampede in Baghdad. I have to take a second to register the words: "HUMAN stampede". And I realized that, in both ways small and large, the relationship between man and animal, one of the greatest questions we have concerning nature, is a lot closer than we may care to recognize.

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