Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Thoughts on driving

I realized yesterday that I've become accustomed to the crazed drivers here. You would expect big-city drivers to drive like lunatics, but this is suburbia. Or maybe we're not as far out as I thought we were. Because we've lived in various parts of the country, we've experienced a gamut of driving styles.

Albuquerque--Assume that at least one of the cars nearest to yours is driven by someone who is intoxicated. That was statistically true--at any time of day-- during the year we lived in Albuquerque.

Honolulu--Drive with aloha. The interstate (Note the irony. The island of Oahu has 3 interstates.) was typically quite congested but everyone realized, "hey, bra, we're all in this together" so if you flipped on your blinker, a spot always opened up.

Montana--There really weren't enough people in Montana to constitute traffic. And we lived in the most populated city!

metro St. Louis--ahhh, life in the Midwest. Again, we were in suburbia, and while there were some streets that would back up and be a hassle, for the most part, people at least drove as if they had at some point passed a driving test. My one complaint was that people would sometimes (okay; frequently) pull out into the street and just sit, blocking traffic until the other lanes were clear to make a left turn.

metro D.C.--May the good Lord deliver us. Here are just a few of my Vehicular Adventures from yesterday alone. While I was inside the Post Office, the car parked next to mine at a 45-degree angle. Except the spaces were not the 45-degree angle kind. So he was only able to pull in half-way, and I had a booger of a time backing out. Fortunately, this didn't inconvenience any of the other drivers, as they continued to whiz in and out of spaces and pass behind me. I especially loved the rude hand gestures since my mama was in the car--and I wasn't doing anything wrong, you nimrod!

Later I was waiting to turn left onto a side street and ended up playing chicken with not one, but two cars waiting to turn left from said side-street onto the main drag. Oops, "waiting to turn left" was a misstatement. You could not describe what they were doing as waiting. Again with the hand gestures. Y'know what, man? The right-of-way is not determined by the degree of difficulty of your turn. If you want to make a left at this time of day, go to the light one block up.

My last Vehicular Adventure was driving home from Tae Kwon Do after dark. I had a car riding my tail. I couldn't change lanes and neither could he, but did he tap the brakes? Nooooo. So we're both hurtling through time and space with me trying not to tailgate the car in front of me, but not slow down so much that he smashes into me. I was so happy when he was finally able to swerve into the other lane and pass me with the customary hand gesture.

Now at this point you may well be thinking that my driving may not be quite up to snuff, since the common factor in all these situations is, well, me. Not the case! I've even been out on I-95 today and nobody even said boo to me. Maybe there was a full moon yesterday or something.

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