For this one: You must talk a monster down from its anger over a speeding ticket.
ROAD RAGE (any gender early twenties to late life)
[focus is upward, addressing something very large]
Wait. WAIT! Not yet, okay. Do you understand me? Or have you morphed beyond that?
Okay. Thanks. Maybe you can lower your fist-- okay, okay OKAY! Keep it up there if you need to... but hear me out first.
I understand you're angry. But look at it from my side, okay?
I don't LIKE doing this. My perfect night: No traffic at all. Nothing.
If I can't have that, I'll take a night where nobody speeds. That would be nice.
If I can't have that, then maybe a night where I catch one or two speeders. And that's it.
And if I can't have that, then it's a typical night. Ten speeders every night. The boss puts me in a zone where the speed limit changes from 45 miles per hour to 30. And guess what? The change begins at the bottom of a HILL. I am indeed the keeper of what you'd call a "speed-trap." I didn't set the trap, I just have to keep it.
So, maybe you can cut me a break, sir. I can take a dirty look, an argument, I'm even used to handling tears. But I'm not equipped to deal with a sudden change of skin color and rapidly expanding muscles. I didn't take this job so I could be smashed under the fist of an angry muscle giant.
I used to have a temper too, ya know. I went to therapy and learned non-violent language: "I" statements. Here's a perfect example:
I FEEL-- frightened --WHEN YOU-- turn into a monster. CAN YOU PLEASE-- calm down, shrink down, turn back into a human and just take your twenty dollar ticket?
Copyright 2016 by Matt Haynes.
If you would like to use this piece, please credit: "Courtesy of Matt Haynes and The Pulp Stage"