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Opinion >  Column

The Slice: There’s no cure for Ms. X

The patient, a Spokane resident I shall refer to as Ms. X, was directed to me for evaluation and treatment recommendation. Here is my report.

Before meeting with Ms. X, a blonde businesswoman who owns a Mercedes, I reviewed her case file.

This individual first came to the attention of mental health authorities as a result of her driving habits. Specifically, it was one feature of her driving that triggered this intervention process.

When road construction or other factors require that two lanes of same-direction traffic merge into one, it is standard behavior to begin attempting to merge shortly after seeing the signs indicating a need to do so.

But invariably Ms. X would ignore said signs and speed all the way to the point where her now-abandoned lane of traffic ends. Then she would bully her way into the line of vehicles proceeding in the remaining lane.

The patient was seen doing this over and over.

When I first met with Ms. X, I asked her if she understood the concept of creating one lane of traffic out of two. She indicated that she did.

But when I asked what she thought would happen if all drivers used her tactics, she became indignant. “I’m a very busy person,” she said. “I don’t have time for waiting. Besides, nobody minds.”

When I suggested that many people do, in fact, object to her behavior, she attempted to wave away my observation, saying “Well, they’re just jealous because I have a life and they don’t.”

During my second meeting with Ms. X, she was placed in a hypnotic trance. But my attempts to probe her subconscious were stymied by her nonstop mumbling of the words “My cell phone is ringing … my cell phone is ringing … my cell phone is ringing.”

I then administered electro-convulsive therapy, after which the patient seemed calm and ready to listen.

I explained the concept of “taking turns.” And I noted that the quasi-anonymity afforded by being in a motor vehicle cannot be regarded as an excuse to behave in selfish or antisocial ways.

My hopes for a breakthrough were dashed moments later, however. Here is an excerpt from the transcript of that session.

Dr. Slice: “So what have we learned today?”

Ms. X: “I’ve learned that I am more important than everyone else and my needs and desires always come first.”

Our third and final session was conducted in her car. To observe Ms. X behind the wheel, I rode in the passenger seat. See attached newspaper story — “Flipped-Off Trucker Fires Back” — about the road rage incident she precipitated on the Maple Street Bridge.

It is my determination that diversion programs or community service will not help this patient. She shows no remorse.

Thus it is my recommendation that Ms. X be committed to the Spokane Regional Obnoxious Driver Detention Campus until such a time as the global oil supply is exhausted.

“Today’s Slice question: When is it OK to reclaim a room vacated by a family member away at college?

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