The patrol officer walked up to the driver of the car he had just pulled over on the interstate.
"Good afternoon, sir. I need to see your license."
"What do you want?" the driver snapped. "I'm in a hurry."
"I noticed that, sir. I clocked you going 95 - on the on ramp. You were weaving in traffic, tailgating, blowing your horn, making obscene gestures, passing on the right shoulder and, at one point, you were hanging out of your window mooning traffic. You also tossed your child-safety seat out your window and smashed someone's windshield."
"Yeah, so what? There was no baby in the seat, so don't get all heavy-handed on me."
"The point is, you can't go doing those things, sir," the officer said. "Such driving is dangerous, unwise and illegal. Our highways have no room for such a blatant display of road rage."
"Look, Barney Fife, that shows what an idiot you are. I don't have road rage. Don't you read the news? I've got IED."
The officer stepped back and pulled out his pistol.
"An IED? Are you saying you have an improvised explosive device?" he asked the driver. "Get out of the car, sir."
"IED stands for intermittent explosive disorder. That means I am not responsible for my actions. It means that I'm sick and that you should just leave me alone, moron."
"Sir, I'm going to have to ask you to watch your mouth," the officer said, putting away his gun.
"Hey, not my fault. IED, remember?" the motorist said. "According to an Associated Press article I read a few days ago, it's an emotional disorder that maybe 16 million Americans have. Scientists say it could be responsible for what is called road rage.
"That article said IED also could be responsible for such things as tantrums and abuse. It first appears in teenagers and keeps building from there."
"So you've had this all your life?" the officer asked.
"Ever since I read that article, at least. Until then, I figured I was just an angry guy. That's what my family told me - as if those losers know anything."
"This sounds like you're just trying to get out of these tickets," the officer said.
"That shows what you know, pig. As it turns out, I'm the victim here, not that guy with my car seat in his windshield. I used to blame all those imbeciles out there, but now I know I simply have a mental illness.
"That means that when I get behind some clown driving 55 in a 55 mph zone and I run him off the road, I now realize no one is to blame."
"Let me get this straight, sir," the officer said. "You're saying this outrageous behavior, which looks and walks and quacks like road rage to me, should be considered normal?"
"Sure, for a person who has intermittent explosive disorder, which I apparently do. It's a pretty good defense, if I do say so myself. Let's face it, if I didn't have IED, I'd be on my way to jail right now for the things I've said and done today, lamebrain."
"I warned you to watch your language, sir."
"Don't blame me; blame the researchers who put a name on what I have. If you write me a ticket, I'll just go to court, play the IED card and be on my way."
"If you know you have this illness, why don't you stay off the highways so you won't endanger the rest of us?" the officer said.
"Why, officer, I believe you're discriminating against a person with a disability. They have laws against that. I need to jot down what you said so I can tell my lawyer. Can I use your pen?"
Sighing, the officer closed his ticket book.
"I'll let you off this time, sir," he said. "But please try to drive more safely."
"No, thanks. I don't have to," the motorist said before flooring his gas pedal and speeding away.
Reach Glynn Moore at (706) 823-3419 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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