You know when something bad turns into something crazy and then turns into something really sweet? Well, it only took one really (really) bad driver in Naples to turn an angry mob into a cheering crowd.
The video, filmed by a local bystander and uploaded from the Guardian, starts simply enough: A driver is trying to pull a U-turn in a narrow street. Cars start honking, neighbors peer out of their windows, pretty standard. And then the whole kitchen sink shows up to shout at our friend in the Fiat. A group of people start shouting at the driver, and then a small motorcycle gang rolls up, and then — somehow — a religious procession gets blocked off by the mired driver. Much anger ensues.
The escalating tension is fun, but that's not why this video is so great. Sure this driver sucks, but the makeshift mob of angry people turns into a supportive community. With the light fading, bystanders start helping, shouting directions instead of expletives, and the religious procession actually help the driver maneuver out and down the road to swelling applause. Who knew that making a successful U-turn on a side street in Naples would end with chants of "Bravo! Bravo!" from a crowd of strangers.
Happy ending aside, road rage is sort of a funny phenomenon. While prior stress from life events might not be the best predictor of intense road rage, psychiatric distress — like, say, a mob of Italian people yelling at you — can trigger the phenomenon Road rage: a psychiatric phenomenon? Fong, G., Frost, D., Stansfield, S. Academic Department of Psychiatry. Social Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology, 2001 Jun;36(6):277-86 Psychiatric distress among road rage victims and perpetrators. Smart, R.G., Asbridge, M., Mann, R.E., Adlaf, E.M. Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, Canada. Canadian Journal of Psychiatry, 2003 Nov;48(10):681-8. Another study from 2010 laid it on several environmental (miles driven that day, traffic) and psychological factors (displaced aggression) Road rage: what's driving it. Sansone, R.A., Sansone, L.A. Psychiatry (Edgmont), 2010 July;7(7):14-18. Unfortunately, no studies have yet surfaced linking a feeling of euphoria to having a religious procession help you out of a tight jam on a Naples side street. Whatever the case, it's pretty amazing the diverse groups here were able to come to a good solution without a sudden burst of intense anger getting the better of anyone. Perhaps they all took 10 minutes to relax off-camera?
The video reminded one greatist of the parade scene pileup in Animal House, but unlike that fiasco, this ordeal ends with the kind of insta-community and natural goodwill that can not only overcome some horrendous driving decisions, but also put a smile on anyone who watches.
Have weird situations helped you build a community? Let us know in the comments!