My office has a great view of a very frustrating intersection. Accidents are a weekly occurrence, typically caused by some speedy driver thinking he can just make it, only to be proven wrong in the worst possible way. Everyone so far has walked away from the scene, shaken and hopefully a little more sober.

Yesterday, though, a triplet of drivers managed to take that impatience to the extreme.

It was late in the afternoon, around the time for the early escapees from the daily grind to filter into the streets. An oversize pickup, a 1990-something Corolla, and a black Spawn of Hell (a.k.a. PT Cruiser) were all trying to turn left onto Yosemite, a very busy street at that hour.

I’m not sure what set off the incident, but I can guess. There’s no left turn light at that particular intersection, and it only turns green for about 3 seconds, so if you’re not on your toes it’s easy to miss your chance. If I had to bet money on the spark that caused the explosion, I’d say that Mr. Pickup was not aggressive enough at the green light, causing him and those behind him to have to wait another 5 minutes to get their 3 seconds of opportunity.

That’s when the screaming started. From six floors up, I could hear it almost as if it were in the next room. The driver of the PT Cruiser was screaming at the Corolla, who was losing her mind yelling at the Pickup, who was blowing up at the other two.

Mr. Pickup eventually got out of his car, walked back and continued his tirade on the street, screaming something along the lines of “There’s nothing I can do” (though his version was much longer and so profanity laced that even the HBO censors would have cut the scene). Then he got back in his vehicle and sat, stoically staring straight ahead.

That left Ms. Corolla and Guy With No Taste In Cars Whatsoever (again, the PT Cruiser) trying to yell over each other.

At this point, no one could really do anything. Mr. Pickup was stuck at the red light. Ms. Corolla was sandwiched between the two other cars. Tasteless Dude could have backed up and turned right to take another way around (which is my preference 99% of the time because the light is so finicky), but clearly had no intention of doing so. So none of them could get what they wanted until the light turned green.

That didn’t stop Tasteless Dude from slowly pushing his car forward until he hit Ms. Corolla, then putting his car in neutral to slide backwards. Then he did it again, giving her car an angry bump before dropping back into neutral.

He did this again and again and again.

No serious damage was done. And when the light turned green they all made it through without a fistfight or a Fried Green Tomatoes car smashing incident (though I could tell Mr. Pickup took the turn as slow as he possible could without parking or putting the car in reverse).

I couldn’t help but thinking during this whole incident, “What is wrong with people?”

Did Mr. Pickup make a mistake? Possibly. Is this any reason to take out your bad day on Ms. Corolla, would could do literally nothing but sit there and scream? Of course not.

Let’s just keep calm, people. Being late or missing a light or getting stuck in a traffic jam all suck. Time is certainly valuable. But having a little civility–especially when screaming and impotently bumping into another car are more likely to result in a police call than getting you nearer to your destination–have value too.

And if you really feel like you need to hit another car, at least do it in style: