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Intermittent Explosive Disorder


That’s psycho-speak for the rage you may feel when someone cuts you off on the highway. Apparently, it’s the same thing that’s at work when someone cuts you off on a sidewalk. That’s right- it’s the latest cause for worry: sidewalk rage.

It happens a lot in New York City as 1010 WINS reports here.

I’ve had the feeling myself; walking at a fast clip on a crowded street and running into a slow moving couple, a tourist with a camera—anybody not moving equally as fast as moi. Except I got my comeuppance and have, ever since, injected a little more sense of Zen to my gate.

I remember it was August, 2008. I was in a hurry, ran into an ambling, slow-walking elderly couple at La Guardia airport, muttered several obscenities quietly but fervently, shook my head and walked around them. I recall thinking to myself, “damn, I’ve become a New Yorker- officially now.”

I swear, within a week it was outdoor Salsa night at the Lincoln Center and there I was on a date, pretending to dance. This is not something I do well, especially without at least five drinks. Oh, I move. Move quite rapidly- they’re just not moves traditionally catalogued in the official catalogue of Salsa moves. And then it happened. Pop. The movement stopped suddenly. The knee had gone out.

At first, I tried to dismiss it. Man up, I told myself. Just a little knee sprain. I even met a friend for a drink at nearby Columbus circle a few hours later. Nope. That particular body part had just bitten the dust like some leaky radiator or snapped timing belt in a ’66 Chevy.

Soon there would be arthroscopic surgery, about 20% of my right meniscus shaved off, a month of walking with a cane and-voila- I had immediately been converted into a slow walker. I could hear the fast walkers cursing me as they sped up from behind. I watched as they did the impatient pass. I could hear the low grumble of the private curse.

And every time I thought of that old couple at La Guardia I had passed in a huff.

They say God works in mysterious ways. Well, I’m here to tell you that sometimes- it’s not mysterious at all.

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  1. Jim Howard
    February 23, 2011 at 10:07 pm | #1

    “Oh, I move. Move quite rapidly- they’re just not moves traditionally catalogued in the official catalogue of Salsa moves.” LOL – Robert, one of my favorite lines yet on this blog.

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