It’s yet another form of dickdom.

And not the kind you eat, either. No, I’m talking about the game, and when you think about it, we play ‘chicken’ pretty much daily in one form or another. In the store, on the road, pretty much everywhere. You can see two guys make the eye contact, as they both rush for the same spot, while trying to look casual.

Grocery store chicken: This is a lot more common than you think, and when you really think about it, you do it almost subconciously. You’re pushing your cart full o’ stuff, about to head for the checkstand, and it happens. Another guy, or girl, is eyeing the same spot. And the race ensues. Could you imagine if we drove our cars the way we push our grocery carts?

I don’t routinely get tapped in traffic. Doesn’t mean it won’t happen. How much more fun would your daily commute be if you could drive by NASCAR rules. The first bump means ‘I’m here.’ Second bump means ‘Please get out of my way’. Third bump means ‘I am moving you out of my way’.

I haven’t quite gotten to this point, thank god.

Wait. Some do.

Highway Chicken: This takes many forms. The one I’m most familiar with, happens at night. I think there’s some sort of male pride issue that happens with regard to dimming high beams for oncoming traffic. I’m apparently not the alpha male, since I’m almost always the first one to dim my lights.

Another version involves letting someone into a long line of stopped cars, and I’m guilty of this too. The driver waiting to turn tries to make eye contact, and if it’s made, you’re committed. You have to let that person in. The game becomes avoiding this persons eyes, while still seeing what you need to see to drive. This is my personal dick move. Sorry, you knew it’s next to impossible to turn left out of that gas station. Go around the block like everyone else.

A version that is peculiar to Denver and other large urban areas – the ramp meter drag race. At some point back in the 70’s, the various eggheads thought it would be a good idea to put a traffic light on the on-ramps to the freeway. Now, I’m open to there being things that are beyond my understanding. But this, I don’t get. At the point where your right foot should be near the floor, to make a smooth merge at highways speed, instead they make you STOP.

Ok, to be fair this can be a hairy merge. You’re on US 40, about to be unceremoniously dumped onto I-70, near Empire, CO. I-70 has a 65mph speed limit through here, but it’s downhill, and traffic speed is closer to 80. Right now, the lights aren’t on. But you see what happens here. When they’re on, every green light is a drag race before the lanes narrow. The drag race is a great opportunity to show off your best dick moves.

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