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Posts Tagged ‘Cars’

In the spirit of our fellow blogger Brainrants, I momentarily shed all manner of female Southern décorum to address the issue of driving:

1.) I had the misfortune – or blessing – of learning to drive in the nation’s 2nd largest city. Drive or get the hell out of my way.

2.) My very first driving lessons took place in a cemetery. “You can’t hurt anyone, they’re already dead,” I was assured. I may subliminally assume those around me on the road today are also dead (even zombies, the way some of y’all drive), unless you get my attention by trumping my driving skills.

3.) I knew nothing but manual transmissions until fairly recently – therefore, driving, to me, is an active sport, (note to texters and makeup appliers:) not a passive or secondary activity. Pull over, ya lackluster lollygaggers.

4.) I leave in plenty of time to get to my destination. It is you who is making me late. Likely causes of tardiness are typically due to the left lane-hog who believes it is their right to occupy the left lane at a speed equivalent to or slower than the speed-reverent driver in the right lane. On the west coast these scofflaws typically sport a Washington state plate. Elsewhere it is usually someone with a handicapped plate white-knuckling the wheel for dear life at gosh-awful speeds of 35 or below. I am not discriminating: I also have handicap designation on my car, too…but I do not drive with such overcompensating caution that I cause an accident by going too slowly or blocking lanes. At least go the limit, folks, or yield to those who do. Or surrender your license if you can’t handle the basics. You are not teaching anyone a lesson by forcing them into co-bumbling on the road. You are inviting road rage and use of impulsively creative sign language.

5.) I will cheerfully block you in the handicapped parking space by double parking or worse if you are parked there illegally just to “run in real quick.” I will wait for you to come out of the store to behold your dilemma, while I herd my handicapped child back in the car and sweetly say, “Oh, here they come, dear…we won’t have to wait now. Is your tummy still hurting? We’ll wait for the nice lady to give us ‘her’ space.”  I will pause and linger and savor every moment of your discomfort as you avoid eye contact with me and my disabled child. This topic probably deserves its own post.

6.) If I am not driving the cumbersome family tank and am in my sleek little commuter car, you better bet your bottom dollar I will zip into the nearest parking spot. When I lived north of the Mason-Dixon line (bless my heart!), I would have visually broadcast my victoriously smug gloating, as is customary. Here in the South, I will feign appropriate mea culpa and delicately cup my hand to my mouth and gesture for you to take the space as an afterthought, knowing full well it’s MINE. Then we’ll strike up a friendly conversation at the deli counter and I’ll let you go first. Then I’ll beat you to the checkout.

7.) Curses to you who pull out into oncoming traffic. You know who you are. Worse are the offenders who pull out into oncoming traffic, then slow to a grinding halt while you turn into the very next driveway. You make me want to tie you to the top of my car like a newly-cut Christmas tree and take you for a loooooong ride. With lots of sharp curves. You people should have your licenses revoked, honestly.

8.) Please do not slow to 25 mph as you approach an interstate exit (“freeway,” for our west coast friends who insist on calling it “free” when it really is not). Just the other day I passed a moron on a very long exit ramp (while I still had a legitimate lane to pass) who pulled this number. And yes, they had a handicapped plate. The speed limit on the ramp was 45. I think. Actually, I wasn’t paying attention. But long ones are usually higher limits, something like that. Either way, I was right, he was wrong. I’m pretty sure. go gO Go GO GO!!!

9.) Get off my ass. If we are enveloped in fog, heavy rain, heavy traffic or we happen to know it’s the last of the month and the cops are out trying to fulfill their quota for the month of speeding tickets, don’t ride me. There are plenty of other lanes. I will not hinder you or I will get over if I know there’s a cop ahead and you’re being an idiot. I would love nothing more than to see you tailgate me only to get pulled over ahead. Go ahead, buddy, ride my ass. I know you’ll enjoy the extra-bright lumens my newish car on regular beams foists upon your rods and cones once you’re happily ahead of me. And I’ve been rear-ended before – the pleasure is all mine from your insurance company. Blowing you a kiss! Mooowah…

10.) Hail (same pronunciation as “hell” in the South) to the multitude of idiots who are clueless that just because their car CAN fit between me and the guy in front of me (especially going at very high speeds), doesn’t mean that’s why I was maintaining a car’s length between me and the guy in front of me. Conditions, anticipation, experience and wisdom all contribute to that car length – or two – between me and the next guy. On a trans-water commute, there is nowhere to go but in the soup, if you screw up. Follow my lead and wait before you impose your vehicle in the safety space. Think, dope. I mean, really…where do you think you’re going to go so fast with all that traffic in front of you and nothing but water everywhere else? And hope you’re carrying a life vest in your car in case you decide to go take a dip with the sharks, jellyfish and the alligators. See ya.

11.) Do not, repeat, DO NOT tailgate me when I am going 82 or something like that, regardless of what lane I’m in. Unless you are the law and it is because I am  totally unaware of you behind me as I am blaring my favorite song for several miles or the song ends, whichever comes first. See #9. You are sharing the road with someone who once lived in open desert, where towns were 2 hours apart and the fastest way to get there was doing speeds close to or in excess of 100 mph. You kind of forget what the speed limits are out there, since the last posted sign was last seen over an hour ago.

12.) My being lost in thought does not give you permission to be lost in yours. I am counting on you for mercy when I need it, and you’re supposed to know when that is. I give the same to you in most cases. I even let some of you go first when you are trying to turn onto a busy highway from a same-side-street driveway. BTW, I’m not not paying attention, I’m probably busy praying for you.

13.) Speaking of which, I saw the ultimate act of driver generosity result in a horrible accident once last year: do not try this at home. Some bonehead decided he would be Sir Gallant and let a pitiful driver turn left, who was attempting to turn from the opposite side of a 4-lane highway. Sir Gallant stopped in the left lane headed north, there was no traffic (so they thought) in the right lane headed north, and pitiful southbound driver was trusting Sir Gallant to let him go ahead and make that turn – and he turned…just as an unsuspecting northbound driver in the right lane barreled into him, which he had not anticipated because Sir Gallant was blocking the left lane, stopped for no apparent reason to those in the right lane. Use good judgment and common sense when you try to be courteous – your courtesy may cost someone’s life.

14.) I am amused at the driving of my coworker-superiors and subordinates when they don’t realize I am driving near them. I will refrain from elaborating on this one for obvious reasons. Just know that you are being analyzed. But please don’t analyze me; I like to believe that I am invisible in my impenetrable auto domain. And I didn’t mean to cut that stupid curb in the parking lot trying to steer around the pothole. Twice in one month. Damnit, and right in front of the administrative offices. Hopefully they were poring over financial statements or something similarly riveting, and didn’t notice. Fix the damn pothole, already.

15.) My IQ doesn’t go down when I get behind the wheel, yours does (if I don’t know you).

Now excuse me while I go whip up a big ol’ pot of Jambalaya for game day. We now return to our regularly scheduled Southern décorum (straightening and smoothing my dress, here, along with a fresh re-application of lipstick. Ahem).

And thanks, God, for getting me everywhere I need to go, safely.

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