PERRY: Driving me crazy — travailing on Colorado’s endless roads to hell

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Hate is such a strong word. That’s part of its charm.

There is no substitute, save for obscenity, that describes how unpleasant it is when the dolt driving the car in front of you sits through the green left-turn arrow at the worst intersection in Colorado, while he stares at his phone instead of the road.

Totally hate that. Hate him. Hate his clean car. Hate the shape of his ears.

I used to be one of those fairly, relatively, somewhat mellow mile-high drivers who sighed loudly when traffic on I-70 slowed up during what was once known as this thing we called “rush hour.” It lasted about an hour. Isn’t that funny?

These days, slow traffic on I-70 is a bonus. It’s been a parking lot long before Denver and state officials decided to spend most of Colorado’s highway allowance on building a soccer park over the new-I-70 in Denver, which will be just as excruciating as the old one.

Really hate that, too.

Now, I’ve become one of the millions of white-knuckle, Front-Range road warriors, seething from the moment I clip my seat-belt until I peel my clenched fingers from the wheel and bail from the driver’s seat.

Where the hell are these people coming from? Where are they taught to weave through barely moving traffic in SUVs far too big for the feat and their brains?

Once a rare and outrageous oddity, acts of motoring mayhem occur a few times during every single interstate commute I make.

Hate interstate ass hats.

With so much to hate coming from my commutes these days, my friends and family have voiced concern over my growing obsession for devising methods of torture for people convicted of specific acts of endless felonious freeway follies.

So while spending a few hours commuting home the other night, I narrowed the catalogue of aggravations to my top five. Feel free to chime in with yours.

5. I’m parallel parking at home or on Broadway — the worst — and even though I signal, slow down, stop next to the empty curb, and look over my shoulder into the eyes of the jerk behind me who has his or her front bumper pushing impatiently on my ass, they don’t get it. “I’m parking you freak,” I say loudly enough for everyone to hear me in Kansas. The only fun part is the look of pant-wetting exasperation on their faces when they realize I’m not giving up the only place to park within miles of my front door. On the other hand, I enjoy hours of amusement watching people try the lost art of parallel parking for themselves. It’s Colorado’s version of bull fighting.

4. I always end up behind the RTD bus that takes up residence at the bus stop. I’m not a total ass. We need buses, and buses need the roads, too. But really, how long does it take to get on or off a bus when you’re the only one on the damn thing? I’ve had bananas go ripe in the car I’ve waited so long. Meanwhile, other motorists buzz by you, flashing looks of deep sympathy or callous indifference.

3. Move the hell over. I live on old narrow streets. These are streets that were old before cars even became a thing. If I see another car coming toward me, I look for a way out. That’s because the creature inside the giant SUV barreling toward me doesn’t understand the thing about two objects being unable to occupy the same space at the same time. Loathe the lowlife lane hog.

2. Death to the budger. You know who you are. You’re the entitled miscreant who, like the rest of us, sees the flashing lights in the right lane up ahead. But unlike everyone obeying the “merge left” command, you take the opportunity to ignore it and glide unimpeded right up to the conundrum. Then you expect those who suffered through the delay to just let you the hell in. As good as winning the lottery is watching other motorists lock bumpers in solidarity that would impress Norma Rae to keep you from budging in. The look of fear and unbelieving on your face as reflected in your rear-view mirror are some of life’s sweetest moments. Justice.

1. The Nellie. Oh, how I hate the Nervous Nellies on the on-ramps on every highway I drive. If you’re driving in the right lane of a highway, you are supposed to maintain your speed when you see a car coming down the on-ramp, preparing to merge. I know this because I paid attention in driver’s ed, and because I’m smarter than the dangling air freshener in my car. Instead, The Nellie keeps speeding up and then slowing down, meaning that I have to keep doing the same as we race toward certain death at the merge point. Invariably, I slam on the brakes to let Nellie get by, because he or she just can’t freaking handle it.

Of course there are dozens of assorted transgressions I’m certain I’m not guilty of to fill out my list. But these are the ones that keep me off the road these days and missing my anger management classes.

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