It was rush hour on the Trans-Canada Highway. It was too hot to leave the windows rolled up, which made it too loud to hear the stereo. It's the classic lose-lose scenario of those without air conditioning.
The light ahead turns green well before I have to slow down, but the water truck ahead of me had already stopped, and was just starting its slow return to cruising speed. Too slowly for me, though. I signal and check my blind spot, and there's a Subaru behind me in the other lane. I try to accelerate, but I catch up with the water truck too quickly, and I'm forced to brake. The Subaru rushes past, and I humbly follow, returning to my lane once I'm ahead of the truck.
The next set of lights turns red, and I stop right next to the Subaru. He rolls down his window, and gestures for me to do the same. I comply, and he leans over...
"You had plenty of room to pass in front of me there, you know! I wouldn't have minded!"
"Oh, thanks! I was afraid I would have cut you off!"
"Oh, no, I saw you perfectly. Maybe I should have slowed down more, sorry!"
"No, it was my fault! I'll go faster next time. Thanks!"
And with that, the light turned green, and we rolled up our windows and drove off.
Now, I'll be the first to admit... the stereotype of the "polite Canadian" is just a myth. It's a comforting story we tell ourselves so that we don't feel quite so guilty about doing all the selfish, insensitive things that are a part of human nature. We're no saints. And yet... this actually happened. Could the legends be true? I don't know. All I know is that I just witnessed a crack between the worlds of fact and fiction, and in that unstable chaos, some things escaped. Perhaps a unicorn or two. Maybe Santa Claus. And definitely, the Spirit of Canadian Road Rage.
So, just in case there's an early snowfall this year... Merry Christmas!