26 January 2009

Road rage hack: Don't flip the bird -- shake the maraca!

As if Kristen of Cool Mom Picks and Motherhood Uncensored fame doesn't make me laugh enough already. I invite you to picture what carrying this hack out would look like to your kids:

I was driving with a friend of mine a few years back and someone cut her off. Before I could say anything, she pulled out this maraca with a mean face drawn on it with a Sharpie. She proceeded to shake it at the offending driver with much vigor, and then went on her merry way. Turns out the "mean maraca" is a great way to sublimate your driving frustrations when your mouth (or fingers) might get the better of you, especially when you're in front of your kids.

My takeaways:

#1. Sharpies are indispensable (note the number of times Sharpies appear in past hacks).

#2. MEAN MARACA. Isn't that just priceless? How many times can you express frustration, boldly deal with a bully (I classify drivers who cut people off as bullies), and crack everyone up all at once?

Related: Oh, who am I kidding? This one's in a class by itself!

Your comments

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That is AWESOME.

Hilarious! I need to get myself a mean maraca. I don't tend to be a bird flipper, but whenever I talk sternly [interpret as you will] at other "Massholes" my daughter says, "Mommy, why are you talking to them, they can't hear you!"

I could have used this twice in the last week. My three year old was telling me to take a deep breath in the Whole Foods parking lot!

I am SO making one of these for my husband. haha

Oh. My. God. I must do this!! I love the idea. I admittedly have some serious road rage sometimes, and my husband and I are already trying to replace swear words in our vocabulary around our 18-month-old twins (now, any swear word becomes "awesome," as in: "let's just get our awesome bags and go home").

Anyways, this is perfect for me! Takes a moment of anger and frustration, and turns it into something viceral and then silly.

As someone who is currently trying to purge 'Damn it!' from their near three year old's vocabulary, I can appreciate this one. I'm certain it's a therapist approved tactic as well.

What a great idea! Although I think I will "dress" it up a bit...maybe add crazy hair, or a hat, stick-on googly eyes...who knows. I would definitely have to make the mouth look like a "yelling" mouth though for satisfaction.
As the poster above said, I have been trying very hard to watch what I say in front of my 16 mth old (my other son is 14 yrs old and I loosened up over the years). So I have been switching out certain words with silly words. It is so hard though when some bonehead driver does something dangerous. Makes me want to throw something at him/her. (The maraca maybe? hmmm)
Oh and when someone gives me the finger, I usually try to smile back and blow them a kiss. I have to admit that sometimes it does make the other driver pretty mad though.

Ok, this is a first, and I'm the Sharpie PR manager! Love this new idea. Way to "Write Out Loud!" I'm going to try it out with my teenage daughter. Grrrr!

It's not bad for tantruming, angry children either, so long as they don't actually beat someone with it.

Love what Goddess in Progress wrote about using "awesome" in place of swear words. So funny.

Sounds like a great idea for channeling anger for little kids, too.

That's flippin' fantastic!! (No pun intended...)

"Let's get our awesome bags..." made me LOL!

You could also use a ping pong paddle.

I'm with rookiemom:

This is a great hack for helping my son deal with his anger (um, FURY) at times. You know, those times when his strong will is thwarted by... well, ME. There's been lots of hi volume screaming and shaking and even trying to get in my face a bit (*sigh*) combined with a desperate desire to throw something. Having something loud to shake in fury might be a great way to redirect some of those overwhelming emotions. Either that, or I'll be ducking a maraca in my future!

My sister yells erudite curses (kind of like Shakespearean insults) at bully drivers. This gives her the satisfaction of expressing her anger, and the jerk doesn't realize she has just "said &%$# you," which might provoke a worse reaction from some of those bullies.

And now she has a toddler who mimics everything she says! I bet he'll have quite a vocabulary by kindergarten since they live in a place full of rude, aggressive drivers.

I love the mean maraca, but my sister's method doesn't require taking your hands off the wheel!

I just laughed until I cried over this one...I can imagine the expressions on the faces of other drivers while having a maraca shaken at them by a crazy voodoo woman in a minivan.

I am SO investing in maracas, VERY soon!

Love, love, LOVE this idea! We need the angry maraca asap! Otherwise, my 1-yr-olds first words will surely include profanity:-O.

love this one! i need to get my maraca sharpied up stat!

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