The older I get, the more I realize that my own thoughts and experiences aren’t as unique as I once believed. In fact, I’ve decided that most everybody thinks pretty much the same thoughts. All day long we’re thinking the same stuff while we each think we’re thinking different stuff. Know what I mean?
With that in mind, I wondered if you have some of the same driving pet peeves as me. I bet you do. I know this because I suspect you’re like me — a considerate driver whose goal is to navigate the human legion of ignoramuses each morning and evening without making a trip to the body shop or hospital. So in ascending order of malfeasance, here’s my list of the Top 6 Driving Idiots.
- Yo-yoers. I’m convinced that non-accident-related traffic jams on the interstate would be avoidable if everybody would just use their cruise control. Consistency is the key here. Pick a speed and stick with it. Leapfrog is for kindergarten. Let’s not play it on the interstate, please.
- Texting boneheads. If you’re texting while driving, it’s easy to spot you from behind. You’re doing a slow weave within your lane, usually crowding the center line or even crossing it into my lane. Your speed varies wildly. So now, I’VE got to be careful to get past you before you and your unnecessary conversation run the hell into me. Don’t you wish we could go back to the 80s when all we had to worry about on the road was people falling asleep, deer, and drunks?
- The Most Important Person on the Road. Yes, I know that you’re a Very Important person and need to get places. And I know that all of the rest of us are a just a bunch of losers with nothing better to do than to clog up the roadways to purposely make you late for your tasks of global Importance. But see, Mr. Person, I’m already doing 80. If you want to go faster than 80, you can use your Very Important mind to find a way to get around me, ’cause I ain’t gettin’ over.
- Sub-woofer a-holes. My dream isn’t too complicated. I dream of world peace. The end of hunger. A government whose neon “Open” sign is actually turned on all the time. And being able to sit at a stop light in Nashville without some brainless, inconsiderate fool pulling up beside me in a vehicle that is essentially a sub-woofer on wheels with the volume turned up to 11. There is no other distinguishable music — only a brain-rattling sonic thud that jingles the change in my cup holder and vibrates my rearview mirror, as if T-Rex has escaped his paddock and is coming after me. Folks, this is what human interaction has come down to — driving around and giving as many innocent fellow human beings as possible migraine headaches. Good for you, Sub-woofer A-hole. You succeeded in making 200 total strangers hate you.
- Merge lane hogs (MLHs). Nothing can incur the Wrath of Johnson — not even Sub-woofer a-hole — faster than an MLH. But since I’m in a good mood tonight, we’re going to go over this ONE MORE TIME, so everybody understands, okay? You’re on a 4-lane road, or a 2-lane on-ramp or exit ramp. A sign very clearly appears that notifies you that the lane you’re in will soon END. This means it’s YOUR responsibility to get over into the other lane in a safe manner NOW. So, here’s the important part. It DOESN’T mean to drive to the very END of the disappearing lane and then drift into the law-abiding traffic until you collide or the other guy flies off into a ditch. If you’re an MLH, you are, by definition, an ignorant a-hole. (But you’re not, because you’re smart and considerate enough to be reading my blog, right?)
- End-of-the-Liners. OK, I lied. There is one other group that can out-incur the MLHs when it comes to my wrath. End-of-the-Liners (ETLers). No single group of drivers is more inconsiderate, arrogant, and butt-hole-ish than ETLers. At the end of a two-lane off-ramp, one lane turns right, one left. But the right-turn lane contains many more vehicles. ETLers have the unmitigated gaul to drive to the end of the left lane and then either barge their way into the right-lane traffic or, worse yet, turn RIGHT at the light when they are supposed to turn left! And have you ever noticed that the car directly in front of you in the line of right-lane traffic is the one TEXTING, not paying attention, and letting all the ELTers in?! This is when I feel sure that the devil is at play and toying with me, because I get some really dark fantasies, like shooting SCUD missiles out of the front of my car like James Bond and blowing the ETLers to greasy smithereens.
Ahhhh. I feel better now!
So, who did I leave out? What did I get wrong? Did any of these make you squirm just a little? A pang of self-revelatory guilt, perhaps??
Talk it out, people. Get it on the table!