Outside, the brisk air of autumn pummeled
and tossed a litter of golden leaves. Inside,
I looked up at the office clock and I realized
that it was five O'clock...it was Friday...and
I was on my way to a lovely weekend. But
first, I had to get home.
Trotting down two flights of stairs, I
entered into the evening and found my way to a
brand new Porsche 911 Carrera Coupé (Hey, its
my story). Turning the key, the engine roared
and I zoomed off down the highway. All was
well until an idiot in another car appeared,
cut me off, and forced me to swerve quickly to
the right. Now, in the past, an altercation
like this would have made me very, very mad.
But this time, instead of getting angry, I
took a deep breath, looked at the world
through rose-colored glasses and just "Spocked
It" That's right I said "Spocked It" like the
guy from the Star Trek show.
You see that situation in the car wasn't the
first time I've encountered an "idiot" on the
roadway. Previously, when I encountered such a
person I would have scanned my memory banks
for all sorts of learned insults and defiant
cries. I would have let my blood pressure rise
to a dangerous level as I shouted obscenities
out the window and I would have plotted plans
to destroy the idiot in front of me. Yes, I'd
follow him home and make the bastard nervous.
Make him wonder who the crazy guy is following
behind. I'd blow my horn and wake up the
neighborhood to make sure the idiot knew he's
was the focus of my ire. And I'd flip him the
bird and let him and the rest of the viewing
public know I was pissed. But that was the old
me, but not any more, I've learned my lesson.
I have taken the road to relaxation and
restraint. I have chosen to be a Vulcan for
the moment. To control my rage and do the
logical thing. I've come to the conclusion
that an idiot is an idiot is an idiot. And all
the frustration and wasted fury I channel at
"said" idiot won't do a thing to educate him.
He's an idiot and probably will always be an
And how did I come to this realization? Well,
one night as I returned home after
encountering one such idiot on the road, I
turned on the TV to relax and happened upon
the SCI-FI channel and an episode of Star
Trek. It was the episode called "Amok
Time" where Mr. Spock has to go through a
recurring seven-year mating madness called "Pon
farr" (blood fever). As I looked at Mr. Spock
with his tortured facial expressions, I saw
myself just a few hours earlier...out of
control, focused on mayhem and basically
exhibiting all the attributes of a crazed
killer. Looking at the reflection of myself in
the TV screen, I realized that sometimes in
life you just lose it. And, that, the end
result of your anger has consequences. In
Spock's case, he killed his Captain and had to
face the Federation and take his punishment.
(Spock really didn't kill Kirk, he just
thought he did). Any way, seeing the error of
my ways, I was left with a mission to control
my anger. To be like Mr. Spock and evaluate
the next road rage situation with "Logic" and
Now, I admit that Spock lost it in "Amok
Time," but for those intervening seven years
of his adult life he was in control. And, so
I, too, would learn to be aware of the bigger
picture. Learn not to close off my mind to the
dark side and leave it open to receive the
merits of reason. To be a disciple of the
So, how do I react to an idiot now? I
certainly don't choose the arsenal that is
available to the road rager. Instead of saying
"Hey, did you see that idiot. Did you see what
he just did, Why I oughta..." I just take a
deep breath, exhale, maneuver my car properly
to avoid any trouble and remember there are no
real problems in the outside world but rather
just our inability to control our inner self.
If we control our inner world, we can cope
with the outside world and all its stimulus.
So the next time, your anger tries to get the
best of you, remember to do the logical thing
and "Just Spock It."
P.S. If you do begin to loose your
cool, try these substitutes. Instead of
thrusting your middle finger at the idiot,
mold those angry digits into a Vulcan "V"
greeting. Or if you feel something unkind
coming out of you mouth then redirect those
vocal cords from saying "You A**hole!" to
"Live Long and Prosper" (you idiot). At least
give it a try.
Captain's Log addendum: I am aware of the debate
over whether to call a Star Trek
enthusiast a "Trekkie" or the later term
"Trekker." I chose "Trekkie" because I was there
when the show first aired on TV in the sixties
and I followed the show's success through the
latest installment "Enterprise." So it is with
great honor that I call myself a "Trekkie"
although I do not go to sci-fi conventions
dressed in Star Trek uniforms.