It is a fairly accepted fact that gossip is one of the more destructive forces in society. If you ruin someone’s reputation, it can often never be repaired. I used to be a courtesy driver for the service department at a local Ford dealership. I would not recommend that anyone pursue a career as a courtesy driver. It is a thankless job. I would never have accepted the position had it not been sweetened by the empty promises of higher employment in the company. I didn’t get anything from that company that I did not fight to get.
I would have done well to be driving an armored version of a Cobra with run-flat tires, non-descript paint job, and no license plates. Alas, my assigned vehicle was a Windstar minivan with the dealership name, logo, and phone number in giant sheets of vinyl pasted all over the little van. People in general are pissy, moany turds that have nothing better to do than piss and moan about everything. Since you are reading my blog, you are clearly no stranger to this concept.
As a matter of routine, there were road complaints that were directed to the service managers about their terrible drivers. Several times, the service manager would pull me into his office to tell me that I had complaints called in on my. You know those “how’s my driving?” stickers? People really take advantage of those. The service manager really was a nice guy, and made it a point to tell me that he was pretty sure that these calls were B. S., but that he had to let me know about them. I think his philosophy was that if I was the bat-out-of-hell that the callers wanted to believe I was, I would straighten up my act on the honor system. It seemed reasonable to me.
In one of these encounters, he offhandedly commented that if a complaint call came in that I had flipped someone off, that we would be having a different conversation. His office door was open at the time, and his office was near the front desk. There sat the front desk lady. She had nothing better to do than eavesdrop, gossip, and screw somebody else’s husband in her off time. What she observed was that I was in the boss’ office, and he said something about a complaint of me flipping someone off. This is where the gossip started.
All of a sudden, every employee of the dealership was all-a-titter about how I had gotten in trouble for flipping someone off on the road. First of all, I find the hand gesture to be grotesque and a completely unintelligent cliche. If I am to make a disgusting hand gesture at someone, I’ll get creative with it. They will feel unclean for some time after the fact. If I am going to go to the trouble, I will make them feel disturbed and violated. Usually, that’s only in response to being flipped off. It’s like, “Oh, I know you didn’t just go there. Try this one on for size, honey!” Suffice it to say that I did not make hand gestures from my van.
There were a few brave souls that started asking me about flipping people off on the road. After the first couple, I decided to handle the situation like I prefer to handle most such situations – up the ante. My response went from denial to embellishment as follows:
Dude, no. Get it right. If you are going to be talking about what I did on the road, at least find out what really happened. It was just like this:
I was speeding down the highway while texting and listening to heavy metal as loud as I could crank the stereo. I had some really important businessmen that had places to be in the van with me, so I needed all the motivation I could get to keep that gas pedal well-planted against the floorboards.
All of a sudden, this school bus came out from nowhere! Some nun was driving the bus, and it was full of orphans, and she totally cut me off. So, I ran her off the road. I made a second pass back by to see where she had run off the road. When I got out, I could see the burning remains of the bus in the ditch. I flipped them off as they all burned alive, and pissed on the smoking mess.
I then cackled loudly as I burned the tires and took off down the road. I suppose the nun was able to drag herself from the wreckage and make the complaint call. I knew that I should have finished her off when I had the chance…
The strangest thing happened. Nobody was interested in talking about my escapades anymore. I don’t think that this approach would work every time rumors are flying about, but it worked like a charm there!