Take Your Car And Drive It


It’s not that I don’t appreciate my vehicle and the freedom driving affords me. It’s not like I totally take for granted that I get to have climate control in a machine that takes me to get ice cream, bourbon, bourbon, or take out food. Although, and I hate to quibble, when the outside temperature turns  extra hot or cold, it does take a few minutes for the inside of my car to be tolerable.

That’s not my complaint. My complaint is you other people completely ruin the driving experience.

Sure, an argument could be made other people have reasons as good as mine to be hogging up the roads, but have you actually listened to yourselves? Are you being whiny about your reasons? Selfish, perhaps? There is a finite amount of fossil fuel, are you really considering your usage when you are out and about and getting in my way?

I appreciate that, with a flick of my finger, I can fill my interior with pleasing sounds. One would think that soothing music in a climate controlled area would take away the sting of having to deal with the other commuters, but it so much doesn’t.

Often, you drive too slow.

You wait on side streets until I get close. Then, you pull out in front of me and drive too slow. I don’t know of any song or air conditioning unit in the trafficworld could lessen my irritation when someone slows me down. If only you had waited 10 freaking seconds, you could have puttered along without slowing anyone else down. Well, you might have slowed down the people behind me. But really, I can’t be expected to worry about that.

You’re the same people who drive on the interstate and tool along in far left lane. How is it that so many of you don’t know what the far left lane is for? It’s for passing. I don’t care if I need that lane to pass or not. Just seeing another driver driving along under the speed limit in the far left lane can suck all the joy and wonder out of the fact that I am mobile and free to move about at will.

It’s not just the people who move too slow, although, mostly it’s the people who move too slow.

For instance, sitting at a traffic light. If you are first in line, then it is your duty to watch that light without even blinking. You must move forward the very second it turns green. If you can’t handle that responsibility, perhaps you should pull over and let someone else (me) take over the job. It’s kind of like sitting at the emergency exit on airplanes. If you can’t perform the duties, then move to the back of the line.

Something else you have taken from me is the proper meaning of the phrase ‘take your time’. I ceased using that phrase in any way other than sarcastically. As in, please, take your time, the light only turned green 20 freaking seconds ago. I’m sure the text you’re sending will create a positive outcome to a live or death situation.

I resent the fact that you other drivers very often reduce me to begging. Can we please just go the speed limit? How about that? Just the speed limit.

For all that is holy, when you are turning, just turn your car.

It’s not necessary to slow down to a near stop half a mile before your turn and you don’t have to come to a complete stop before you actually make your turn. If you aren’t completely committed to making your turn, perhaps you should spend a little more time planning your outings.

If you aren’t driving too slow, then you’re driving like someone slipped a laxative in your coffee and you need to find a toilet right now. I do appreciate when you drive the speed limit, even a little over the speed limit is good. Okay, over the speed limit is preferable, but be reasonable. Don’t weave and put my life in danger just because you’re trying to shave a few minutes off your commute.

At least, the speeders are out of the way quickly.

You people who can’t keep a consistent speed, we all know you’re texting.

Your car weaves all over the place, your speed fluctuates between 20 miles under the speed limit to 10 miles over every mile, and you are looking at your crotch. You people who text while driving on the interstate piss me off more than all the other drivers combined. I am of the opinion, if you text and drive, you should have to get a tattoo of Hitler on your forehead.

You park where I want to park, and you pull in the fast food drive thru ahead of me proceeding to order enough food to feed a starving pack of honey badgers, or two teenagers. All I want, is a damn cup of coffee. It would have taken 20 seconds to order. But no, I have to wait for you and your 16 happy meals, all of which have special instructions.

Even worse, when you pull in the bank drive thru ahead of me and conduct transactions so complicated that the only reasonable explanation is that you are attempting a hostile takeover. If your banking transactions take up most of a lunch hour, then park your car, and go inside. The same goes for the pharmacy. If you are picking up your drugs and you want to play 20 questions with the pharmacist, then park and go inside.

Sometimes, the problems with cars isn’t the other people.

For instance, the gas tank constantly has to be refilled and sometimes my husband forgets to do that and I am forced to. I’ve had mornings that I’ve walked into work with eu de unleaded splashed on my wrists.

Although, even filling the gas tank can be made unpleasant by the general public. You’re always parked at the pumps in such a way that I have to circle the lot in order to get a pump that is on the gas tank side of my car.

Heaven forbid, I actually go into the convenience store. You all can’t just pay for your gas and maybe a few convenience items and move on, can you? Nope, you wait until you are in front of me to conduct the most complicated lottery transactions known to man. I hear these transactions and I’m torn, on the one hand, stop throwing your money away, on the other, kudos for having such a complicated and lengthy process for throwing your money away. I can only assume that you took classes at a community college in advanced lottery ticket buying.

I believe, if all the other drivers took a moment to think about their selfish behaviors, then my driving experience would be more pleasant. Here’s your chance to be a better person, to make the world a better place and to just stop getting in my way.

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  • I think this perfectly describes why I live downtown and walk almost everywhere.

    In Montreal there were no slow drivers though (I lived downtown there too.). They aimed for you on the sidewalks. Survival skills were a must.

    In Vancouver? Well, let us say that dumb ass drivers don’t disappear at the border on the west coast. The faster the car was in theory? The slower the drivers drove. I can deal with that. I lived downtown. I walked. I was safe on the sidewalk.

    In Calgary? Pedestrians are invisible. It doesn’t matter if you are in a crosswalk or not. They will run you over. And yes, probably while texting or drinking or sometimes both.

    I admit to laughing at, “speed limit”. It is not speed minimum. It is a maximum. (I fully fucking admit when I was driving in my younger years to thinking….I’ll budget for my speeding tickets.) Not recommending this to anyone. As I get older I recognize better than any accident will hurt more than in my 20’s.

    So I wish good parking karma for you and no fuckers ordering happy meals with special requests and yeah that banking thing does piss me off. GO INSIDE!

    You almost (almost) made me want to dust off my driving license and get out there. Nah. I’ll stick to the sidewalks.

  • I want a video game thingy that will totally disintegrate the car of everyone who uses a cell phone while driving. Talking or texting. Like dusting a vampire in Buffy, but for the car and the cell phone, while teleporting the driver out of traffic, so the rest of us can go on our merry way, and pedestrians (like me!) can cross the street without fear. I see you taking out your cell phone to see who’s calling: “Pfewty! your vehicle and phone are dust!” and you: “Pfewty!” “Pfewty!” “Pfewty!”
    More realistic, consequences like drunk driving: big fines and classes and some kind of steering wheel lock to keep the phones from working next time they try it. You want a gps like on your phone? Too bad. Or buy a gps that does just gps. That’s your punishment for using a phone and driving and causing an accident.

    Rant done. Big breath.

    I love driving. In the mountains. On a twisty windy road where there is no one else. Trees! a stream! I like shifting (I drive a manual). I even enjoy it with a 12 minute commute in upstate NY where there were occasional assholes and I knew all the cop’s hiding places.
    I despise driving in Connecticut, the least friendly of all states, whose motto is “Welcome. Hope you don’t have to pee!” I have only ever driven through it, but the most obvious route has rest areas that close from 3:30 pm to 8:30 am. WTF, Connecticut!?
    Massachusetts drivers are all fitting of their reputation, but you know that going in.
    Pennsylvania driving is pretty good if you can avoid the highways and the deer. The roads are pretty narrow, so pay attention.
    When walking around my current city, there are mid-block cross walks. If I even stand near the crossing, looking like I want to cross, most of the professional drivers in delivery trucks, etc., will stop. Casual drivers, sometimes. People on their #*@%^& phones? Never.

  • Edit: life or death

    Ever since some bright bulb pissed off the big shipping company so that they moved away from the Port of Portland, us poor slobs in low vehicles now have to deal with more freight including those scary ass 3 trailer long things hogging up my hour long commute (both ways! Uphill! In snow! Jk) if they would stay in the right lane, life would be easier. Harumph!

  • For a number of reasons, I haven’t driven in over 16 years. When I was a kid, however anxious I was to get my first drivers license, once received I realized I just plain didn’t like driving. In any event, I am getting out of your way. Now.

  • I’m always at my worst/best in the car. I never yell at people in real life the same way I do when I’m driving. My favourite expression is one that I got from my Scottish dad, appropriate for anyone who is taking too long to do anything: “Do you need to make a meal of it??!!”

  • Once again, I was filled with laughter reading this and chuckled out loud in a doctor’s waiting room. Luckily, I was alone. I, too, get impatient when people take too long in a drive thru ATM. I’m convinced they’re taking out a mortgage. And the lottery complaint. Too funny! I don’t understand their bets. It’s like they’re speaking another language!

  • We need a cell phone jammer. Wouldn’t it be great to just hit that baby and have their phones go dead? I hate it when people are texting at an intersection. It is my #1 peeve. In LA, anytime can be a traffic nightmare, but drive time and lunch is the worst. People in line at a light text, and then don’t move forward when the cars in front of them make it through (although they are too far back in the line to go through the intersection). I actually heard a woman say once, “well we aren’t going anywhere!” I said, “no, but the space in front of you would allow another car to get the hell out of the intersection behind us!” Today I was blocked for 1/2 of the light cycle by a truck that got caught in the intersection when the light changed. And please forgive me if you are a luxury car owner, but I swear to God the texters are always someone in a white Mercedes or black BMW. Always.

  • OK, my browser just crashed and took my comment with it, so let me try one more time:

    I don’t currently drive, although I did do my evaluation at the rehab hospital and got the OK to take to the DMV and do whichever tests they require to get my license back after having had a stroke.
    I had Briana take me down to the giant parking lot by the race track so I could drive around and make sure I could still do it competently before I even went to the evaluation, and I was OK. Actually, better, since I had cataract surgery and my vision is better than before.

    I have all of the attitudes and opinions about driving that you would expect from someone who drove delivery trucks for about a million miles down every little road from Santa Rosa to Sacramento to Santa Cruz.
    Oh yeah, and I spent my youth racing motorcycles.
    So I have two things to say:
    First, you don’t get there any sooner and I don’t get there any sooner, but if we cooperate, WE might get there a little sooner, BUT NOT ENOUGH TO MAKE UP FOR HOW LATE YOU LEFT FOR YOUR DESTINATION.
    And the Berkeley cop who taught the traffic school I had to attend because of a speeding ticket said: “Be going the speed limit when you merge into traffic from the onramp to the freeway, and accelerate 5MPH for each lane change to the left you make.”
    When someone asked him if he was advising us to break the posted speed limits, he said: “Listen, I’m the cop who has to investigate all fatality traffic accidents in Berkeley, and I’m advising you to not have one for me to investigate.”
    Oh, and on all of those miles I drove for work? I saw stuff. Stuff that would hopefully make anyone who saw it never, ever text while driving, and be extra careful even talking on their phone. They have those hands-free thingies for a reason, and I have seen that reason, and it is seriously gross.
    While I will stick up for the professional drivers on the road, and am constantly amazed at how little major carnage and disruption there is on the road every day, that amazement is rooted in disdain for all of the drivers out there who don’t take driving seriously enough to do it safely, sanely, or not obnoxiously.

  • “Well, you might have slowed down the people behind me. But really, I can’t be expected to worry about that.”

    For some reason, this just made my day.

    My favorite driving insult was made by a NYC taxi driver sporting a turban. Leaning out the window, he shouted to a driver who’d attempted to cut him off: “Fuck you, my friend!”

  • I so wanted to laugh and yet all I could really feel was that I was there with you in the passenger seat feeling all kinds of righteous anger at the useless assholes in other cars, especially at the drive-thru. Hey, guy with the truck nutz, you got your food, could you pull forward before you start digging through the bag for the packet of ketchup that they inexplicably put in first?
    I hope I’m always a good and conscientious driver but if you’re ever behind me and I start pulling any of this shit I apologize, unless I’m on the bus. Yeah, bus drivers can be real jerks.

  • Texas SH 130 southeast of Austin has a 40-mile section with a posted speed limit of 85 mph. I think you’d enjoy that stretch, Michelle! And Austin has a ban on driving using a handheld device, whether texting or phoning. It’s fairly well observed, since fines are up to $500.

  • My mother-in-law is that one who slows down half a block before the corner — every corner, whether there’s a stop sign, a stop light, or nothing at all — and yet still has to slam on the brakes when she actually gets there. Riding with her is an exercise in creative nausea and knuckle-whitening tension.

By Michelle

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