My Flipoff-Free Zone Is Way Too Big

Fuck you, douchebag, I hope you... Oh, hey boss!

There comes a time in almost everyone’s life when they really don’t give a rat’s ass what anyone else thinks about them or their actions, and that time is usually when people are in their early 20’s. There’s enough of a newfound sense of independence that these young adults scorn their parents (at least until they need bail money). Their lack of experience means that coworkers and supervisors are a favored target, of course, with the next shitty job just days away should one happened to be fired. And any friends worth having accept their friends for who they are, even if they did happen to drunkenly piss on the dishes in the sink last weekend.

Then, gradually at first, people start mattering again. This is the first sign that your youth is starting to slip away. I personally gauge this process by the number and size of my Flipoff-Free Zones. The Flipoff-Free Zone is a concept I came up with when trying to prevent my brash road demeanor from impacting my life in negative ways. For instance, I had a job for a long period of time that required me to drive on one highway for roughly 25 miles, then turn South on another highway for 2 miles. The drive South was a Flipoff-Free Zone so that the odds of me giving the finger to an executive I worked with were lower. That’s an encounter I don’t need to have.

Because, assume that the encounter begins like this:

Executive: Greg, I couldn’t help but notice that you gave me the finger after I swerved across three packed lanes of traffic and almost caused you to drive off of an overpass. Explain yourself.

No matter how you respond, you are either fired or you cannot live with yourself becoming such a giant tool.

Option 1: Meek Apology – I’m sorry, sir. I realize now that I was fully at fault and will accept a pay cut and a demeaning job assignment as my penance.

Option 2: Outright, Transparent Lie – Oh, was that you? Yeah, you cut me off before I had a chance to flip off the child molester next to me who was tonguing a 14 year old while looking up local elementary school addresses on his new Windows smartphone. (Yes, all pedophiles use Windows smartphones.)

Option 3: Go On The Offensive – What the fuck, asshole? You almost fucking killed me out there! You’re lucky all I did was flip you off. If I had the capability to castrate you while slamming on the brakes, I absolutely would have done it.

Yeah, I'm gonna need you to go ahead and clean the executive toilet seat with your tongue, okay? Super.

Yeah, I'm gonna need you to go ahead and clean the executive toilet seat with your tongue, okay? Super.

No matter what, you’re fucked. Likewise if you flip someone off too close to home. When you live in an apartment building, chances are that the neighbors you know are friends. Otherwise, they’re strangers and fuck ’em. But if you live in a house, you share some large common boundaries with total strangers who matter. They may turn out to be great friends, or they may be charter members of the All-World Asshole Team. Flip off a good neighbor and you’ve transformed him into a bad neighbor. Flip off a bad neighbor, and you are stuck in a hell so terrifying that people have walked away from their home to escape it.

As I grew older, I found my Flipoff-Free Zones getting larger and more numerous. Can’t flip off my kid’s teacher. Yeah, flipping off a parent near my toddler’s day care is going to cause some problems. Oh, shit, what if I flip off my in-laws? Better create a new zone centered around their house. Well, this is gang turf. I’m just gonna lower my head and get the fuck out of here.

Yes, yes, you're right. I shouldn't be on the road. Thank you for pointing that out. Have a nice day, I'll just get out of your hair.

Yes, yes, you're right. I shouldn't be on the road. Thank you for pointing that out. Have a nice day, I'll just get out of your hair.

It’s gotten to the point where I want to go on road trips just to be able to flip people off when they act like assholes. I used to love doing that. One time I had one of those obnoxious peckers behind me who switches lanes if they think it will gain them an extra 2 inches. Then they’ll switch back a second or two later if they decide they were wrong, all of this done while dangerously tailgating everyone in front of them. I found him right next to me and flipped him off in a very visible way. He didn’t like that, but aside from a momentary rude return gesture on his part, it didn’t change his driving.

Then I saw a flash of gold way, way ahead on the highway and quickly put together the perfect plan. I slowed down to box the guy in to my right while making sure some space opened up in front of me. Then I sped up slightly, which caused the guy to fall in behind me. Then I matched the speed of the car next to me, causing him to cool his heels while all of this delicious open road yawned ahead of us. I could tell by his expression and the total lack of space between our vehicles that he was dying to blow past me at full speed.

So at the last second, I let him. I sped up and quickly changed lanes, flashing him another bird as he floored it and raced past me and the gold-helmeted motorcycle cop I’d seen hide behind the overpass pillar. And as he pulled over to the left shoulder, you’d better believe he got a quick toot of the horn and a double-bird salute from me as I passed. God, I miss that.

Meet my friend, fuckface. He doesn't like assholes either.

Meet my friend, fuckface. He doesn't like assholes either.

8 Responses to “My Flipoff-Free Zone Is Way Too Big”

  1. Rusty says:

    Bang! Take that arsehole!

    • Greg says:

      Arsehole? You better watch it with that language. Next thing you know, you’ll find yourself driving on the wrong side of the road.

  2. This was a strangely reflective post. For me, I went into my “I don’t give a f**k about what you think” stage when I turned 17. Pretty liberating actually. I think I’m still in it (I’m 20 now), but mellowed out a bit.

    “Yes, all pedophiles use Windows smartphones” – I was wondering who is buying all those damn phones.

    • Greg says:

      It’s either pedophiles buying them, or Steve Ballmer is buying them 30,000 at a time. And acting on the advice of my lawyer, I refuse to make a connection between the two.

  3. Vesta Vayne says:

    My dad got married a couple years ago, and my sister and I were on our way to the church, but weren’t exactly sure where we were headed, where to park, blah blah. It was in a residential area, so we were doing about 30, which was the speed limit, mind you. Anyway, a woman behind us had been right on our ass for several blocks, beeping, waving her hands around, flipped us off, and though we couldn’t hear her words, it was crystal clear they were all of the 4 leter variety.

    She was one of our new “step-mommy’s” bridesmaids. I’d like to think she now has a flip-off free zone too.

    • Greg says:

      Oh, I love it when I’m on the other end of the inappropriate flipoff and I know I’ve done nothing wrong. They hem and haw and stammer, and then you say, “Hey, can I borrow $10?” And both of you know you’re never going to pay it back, but they’re not going to refuse so you just charged them for being an asshole. Beautiful.

  4. Ah, true story time. At my last most awesome job, our Human Resources manager pulled some faulking shit one day on the roads. She cut me off, cause me to swerve into the left turn lane to avoid hitting her, a block from our office. And since she drove a silver lexus 300series, like 90% of the mindless LA losers in this town with just a little bit of money, I had no way of recognizing her until well after I was blaring my horn and flipping her off.

    THEN we entered the parking structure together and since her shitty parking space was a level lower than mine, I never figured we’d end up in the same elevator. I actually didn’t care, because (a) I was still torked, and (b) I was an exec, and (c) she was a bitch who should have been worried about cutting the executive/lawyer off.

    But of course we did end up in the same elevator and the bitch the nerve to say, “nice attitude”, as I got in. So I said “Nice being an asshole on the roads. No wonder that guy in the H3 smashed your hood with a baseball bat.”

    Apparently, THAT is going too far, because she cried to my boss who asked me what I thought my reprimand would accomplish. I told him it would help in the future lawsuit against her that is sure to involve her causing me to get into an accident, As would this reprimand and conversation. Luckily, My boss put up with a lot of my antics. Also I was right.

    • Greg says:

      You know, I love how people officially complain when someone says something they don’t like. I expect that from my kids (for instance, my daughter walked home from the bus stop this morning to inform me that her brother was copying her), but adults?

      So this lady says something snotty like “nice attitude”, and you respond with a single barely-vulgar word and that’s an HR issue? Fuck her. Give me her name and phone number. I’ll give her a reason to complain. (Rubs hands, breaks into evil laugh.)

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