QOTD: Am I the A-Hole?

Tim Healey
by Tim Healey
qotd am i the a hole

Many of you are no doubt familiar with the Am I the Asshole section of Reddit. For those who aren’t, the gist is this — some anonymous user posts about a situation in which they acted a certain way and then ask the reader to determine if they acted like an asshole or if they were in the right.

Well, I encountered a situation Friday evening that could qualify for an AITA, but I am deciding to ask you guys, publicly, if I am the asshole, since this involves a subject near and dear to this blog’s heart: Driving.

Here’s the skinny: Friday evening, I was driving to see my special lady friend to kick off the holiday weekend by taking in a Chicago White Sox game. Heading south on Chicago’s Lake Shore Drive. It was pouring rain, and also rush hour on a holiday weekend, so traffic was crawling. I often get impatient in that situation but there was plenty of time before first pitch and it was likely to be delayed (it ended up being a washout) so I was relaxed. But someone near me wasn’t so sanguine.

Someone kept beeping their horn. Not the long blatttttt of the frustrated or in a hurry, but the tap-tap of someone trying to get the car in front to move with traffic. I kept looking around to see who was honking, and who was being honked at, but it was unclear. Eventually, I realized it was either a late-model Fusion with California plates in the lane next to me or a lifted brodozer Silverado of recent vintage that was following the Ford.

After a few minutes, it got to be quite obnoxious. Traffic often jams on southbound LSD approaching the famed S curve, and the weather and timing were making it worse. Surely the honked-off driver would understand that? Surely he or she would also know that traffic would likely clear just past that area, after drivers clear a couple of stoplights?

Whatever the case, I figured out the mystery musician — it was the Fusion driver. He pulled alongside me, for reasons I still don’t know, and we rolled down our windows. As I looked at him, I saw he looked vaguely familiar — maybe he was honking because he knew me?

It didn’t take me long to realize he didn’t know me and I didn’t know him. So I asked if I could help him. Maybe he needed directions — though why he’d ask someone with out-of-state manufacturer plates on a car is beyond me — or maybe something had gone wrong with my test car. Had I cut a tire and not yet realized it? Was the trunk or door open and somehow the warning light not notifying me? I was eager to hear his answer.

“You’re being an asshole.”

This stunned me. Had I cut him off in traffic without realizing it? Or done something else untoward? I am generally a diligent and courteous driver but all of us occasionally do something dumb without even noticing.

“I’m sorry. What did I do?” I asked my new adversary. He replied that he was honking at everyone and I was an asshole for asking him about it. He also bleated the horn and said “that’s for you.”

I rolled up my window, further baffled. I was the asshole for asking why someone was continually honking? Was he not the asshole for being obnoxious and honking constantly when it was clear it would not move traffic? I mean, I’m guilty of the occasional long blattttttttt when traffic is bad and I lose my cool, but that’s one and done. Not constant.

Not to mention that this dude was doing shorter taps — the kind that is meant to get your attention, not express frustration with a traffic jam.

So maybe he’s the asshole?

I don’t know. I sit here Tuesday morning still mystified. Somewhere out there, the mystery honker roams, ready to bring noise and what I think is poor driving etiquette to another part of the Chicagoland and Northwest Indiana metro area.

Since I can’t make heads or tails of it, I ask of you — who’s the asshole?

Keep it specific to this situation, please. If you have unkind thoughts towards yours truly for other reasons, my email inbox is always open.

[Image: Shutterstock user Lobroart]

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  • Lostboy Lostboy on Jun 03, 2021

    That guys def an asshole - maybe a jackass at least but could have been an overall tool that was impatient - surprised that you took it so well btw. (not that i know you but i'd been pissed off by that response) but in the interest of fairness, his being an asshole doesn't negate the possibility of you being one yourself :) but your restaint says otherwise. (now if that happened in texas.. florida or new jersey?! - cnn worthy for sure)

  • GoFaster58 GoFaster58 on Jun 05, 2021

    The asshole was the asshole! Tim is alright!

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  • Lou_BC ERay? A southern model will be the BillyRay.
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