Monday, December 1, 2008

An Open Letter to All Motorists

Thursday morning I loaded up my Mp3 player with thousands of songs and headed south to Ft. Myers for Thanksgiving. Danny stayed behind because he wanted to catch up on work (and also because he is a borderline Scrooge when it comes to the holidays).

Generally, I am a pretty laid back driver. I don’t weave in and out of traffic, I rarely go more than ten miles an hour over the speed limit, I don’t tailgate and I always use my turn signal, sometimes, out of sheer habit, I flick it on even as I’m turning into my driveway.

I don’t get road rage (road sarcasm maybe.) However, there is one highway driving rule that morphs me into a crazed angry monster faster than a speeding bullet. So today I am making a plea. If you are in the left lane and there is a car approaching fast behind you---MOVE THE FUCK OVER.

As far as I'm concerned, if I have to pass you on the right you should be so ashamed of yourself that you want to crawl into a deep, deep hole and never come out again.

Thursday’s drive was about four and a half hours. I spent about two of those cursing drivers who stubbornly remained in my way as I tried to make it home in time to stuff myself with carbs and poultry.

My tension level was high for the first fifty or so left lane hogs, after that I pretty well relented to cruising with the flow of traffic even if that flow happened to be driving five miles per hour under the speed limit (sacrilege!) I consoled myself. Breathe in. Breathe Out. Choose a calming song. I tried to distract myself from my fury with a book on tape. Which I enjoy while driving but have come to realize the main drawback is my mind wanders rather easily and by the time I’ve finished wondering why I still call them books on tape even though it’s an mp3 file and why do I still say “mix tape” when I haven’t used a cassette in over a decade but “Mix CD” doesn’t have quite the same ring to it—I’ve rejoined the story and have no clue what’s going on.

Listening to a book on Thursday’s journey proved particularly difficult due to the fact that two out of three drivers wouldn’t GET THE FUCK OUT OF MY WAY.

Okay. It’s okay. Breathe. In. Out. Relax. Concentrate on the amusing British accents of Oliver Twist. Think about turkey and stuffing. Enjoy the beautiful scenery of…fine, concentrate on the amusing British accents of Oliver Twist.

I did manage to make it home without blowing my top. Thankfully there wasn’t any traffic waiting to get on the island where my parents live or I may very well have just pulled into a gas station and had a Thanksgiving meal of Combos and M&Ms. But I didn’t need to resort to that, I pulled in to a fabulous dinner lovingly prepared by my family and all I had to do, was eat.

Woo hoo! Can you feel the stress? (I mean cheer) The holidays are here!


james ford said...

you're a better person than i. my driving music is zz top greatest hits so as i am yelling the lyrics to "tush" i am also yelling at crazy drivers, "move the hell over, poke poke pocahontas! you drive like old people fuck!"

of course natalie would say the slow driver is me.

two bits, neither mine. the first from george carlin (a god who swore) that there are two kinds of drivers. those that are faster than you who are dubbed 'maniacs' as in "look at this maniac who's going to get himself killed" and those who driver slower than you who are 'assholes' as in "will this asshole get the hell out of my way."

another is by a comic i don't remember that said we do things in traffic we would never do on foot. you would never push your way into a line content you were justified and never stand twelve inches behind and old person screaming "will you hurry the fuck up!" said...
This comment has been removed by the author. said...

As a frequent auto traveler, I feel your pain! There is nothing more frustrating than a slow poke in the left lane. I have even considered installing LED message lights in the back of my car, so as I pass them in the right lane and pull in front of them, I can tell them that they are idiots and should learn how to drive! Did they fail the driving test? Is this basic concept so difficult? Is it really that hard to read? Because if you can't see the signs that say Slower Traffic Keep Right, then you should be driving! Please people, have some consideration for the rest of us who are not on a Sunday drive. We have somewhere to go and would like to get there within a reasonable time frame. Move over!

BTW.......It's mostly a Florida thing. Once you cross the state line, the idiots disappear.

John Halbrook said...

I couldn't disagree more with the other comments. Driving is inherently stressful, especially in Florida. You are engaging with any number of idiots with the power to kill you if they make one small mistake. The only way to reduce the adrenaline coursing through your veins every time you get behind the wheel is to SLOW DOWN. Take your hands off the wheel at stop lights. Breathe deeply. Maybe you will save a life.