Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Driving: A Daily Exercise in Road Rage

“The one thing that unites all human beings, regardless of age, gender, religion, economic status, or ethnic background, is that, deep down inside, we all believe that we are above-average drivers.”
― Dave Barry

I have a problem.  It's deep.  And it's dark.  And it's not resolvable.  My problem is this:  all other drivers are idiots.  They're hoohahs.  They're dingleslammers.  They're poopsters, schluckymongers, ragatoopies, and lillenhammers.

Today, I was driving along, minding my own business, and happily humming to my favorite tune.  I was approaching an intersection that looked like this:

As I pulled into the left lane that was NOT a turn lane, the car in front of me did THIS number:

The light in MY lane turned green.  The light in the lane that they WANTED to be in was still red.  Now, they were hopelessly wedged in, effectively blocking ALL of the traffic in my lane while I waited behind them, seething, watching all of the traffic in the far right lane move alone merrily.

I felt my pulse accelerate.  I am positive my face turned an angry shade of eggplant because I could FEEL the blood pounding in my cheeks and in my temples.  I glared at them angrily.  But what did THEY care?  THEY were getting what they wanted...everyone else on the road be damned.  WHEN did it become OK to screw everyone else because you changed your mind at the last minute?  Why couldn't you have just sucked it up and gone straight and inconvenienced YOURSELF instead of me and the FIFTEEN OTHER DRIVERS BEHIND ME?  ARE YOU THAT IMPORTANT?  

(See how irritated I get?  I can actually feel my blood pressure rising as I type this...)

And do you want to know what I did??


OK, I know for some of you, this is no big deal.  People in other parts of the country honk their horns all the time to let other drivers know that they are idiots.  But here, in the south, we do NOT honk our horns unless there is imminent danger.  It's acceptable to honk your horn if someone is pulling into your lane and, well, you're already IN your lane.  It's acceptable to honk (briefly and politely) at someone to tell them they have something hanging out of their trunk.  But it's really frowned upon to just lay on your horn.  But that's what I did.  I blew my horn.  TWICE.  That's how outraged I was.  The other driver looked up in her rear view mirror, horrified.  I nodded.  Oh, yes...I DID.  She inched forward slowly.  The cars in front of HER inched forward (they'd all heard the horn, I imagine) and finally I was able to JUSTSQUEEZE past her on the right.  And don't think I didn't glare as I passed by.  I did.

I have a few tips for all the idiots on the road (OK, yes, I'm using the term "idiots" now.  I realize that this term does not apply to anyone reading this blog because the people who read THIS blog are SMART and SENSITIVE and CARING and, most importantly, NOT IDIOTS.  But, as a public service, you should share this blog and post it where those idiots can read it.  OR make a recording of it, because I'm not sure they can read.).

  1. Other drivers do not care if you're late.  We don't care if you decided to catch the rest of Duck Dynasty before you hopped into the car ten minutes late to pick up your kid from soccer practice.  We do NOT have to accommodate YOUR sloppy driving habits because of YOUR own procrastination/ineptitude/inability to tell time.  Trust me when I say this:  I WILL RAM YOU.  Stop cutting corners that endanger other drivers and inconvenience people who did NOT procrastinate or mix up the big hand and the little hand.
  2. If you miss a turn, MISS THE TURN.  Do not slam on your brakes in front of me when you miss your turn.  Do not wedge your car into the turn lane from the straight lane.  KEEP GOING.  Do not inconvenience me and the rest of the drivers on the road because YOU are not aware of where you are going.  Suck it up, make the NEXT turn and get yourself back on track without letting us all know how terribly important you are.
  3. Those big thick white lines are there to tell you where to stop.  Do NOT ease over the white line or, even better, put two car lengths between you and where you were supposed to stop.  If your car is that far over the white line, I WILL HIT YOU.  And no one can blame me.  Because if you pull over that white line, you are directly in the line of fire (a.k.a. the path of my vehicle).  Pay attention!
  4. Hanging out a foot behind my bumper is not going to get you anywhere faster.  As a matter of fact, it might get you there SLOWER because I guarantee I will drive EXACTLY THE SPEED LIMIT if you're feeling like you need to be all up close and personal with me.  Stop it.  Move back.  Catch your breath.  Take a Xanax if you have to.
  5. You are never going to be a NASCAR driver.  I realize that you want to get your speed on.  I know my car may be hindering your progress.  Bobbing and weaving behind me and around me is only going to cause an accident.  It may not be today.  But it will happen.  And it will be your fault, Mario.  We don't need to know what's under your hood.  We see the shiny package it's wrapped in, OK?  Take your toy to the track and let THOSE people emasculate you.  Trust me when I say you don't want it to be ME who does it.
 OK.  I think my pulse rate has returned to normal.  Thanks for allowing me to rant.  What's your favorite "idiots on the road" story? 

Now, back to the wheel.  Where DID I put my mascara??? 

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  2. You are preaching to the choir Kelly. I tell myself to calm down because I don't know what that inconsiderate person might be going through. But, it is so frustrating. Inconsiderate people are my biggest pet peeve!!!

    1. It's just not something I understand. Perhaps it's a symptom of the "me, me, me" world we inhabit! I am SO with you on this.

  3. I remember LEARNING from my Mom how to miss a turn (everybody does) without hitting your brakes. It goes something like this: (1) You can mutter "Oh s----" but DO NOT BRAKE, (2) KEEP ON GOING at the posted speed, (3) Turn around when you can do so without killing anyone, and (4) Come on back and make the correct turn. This time, finding your turn is really easy because you've already passed it once!

    Keeping your cool while screwing up when you're driving seems to be a lost art. Last week, a driver in front of me missed an exit on Wendover Avenue and STOPPED in the middle of traffic. For a minute, I thought he/she was going to back up. Yes, on Wendover Avenue, at 4pm.

    1. Your mother sounds brilliant, Emily. :)

      I don't even know that it's all about keeping your cool. It seems to be more akin to "I am the only one on this planet." People forget their manners so easily.

      Thanks for reading! :)