Friday, February 24, 2012

Brilliant Drivers

For some people this sign should be mandatory...
I have never claimed to be the best driver in the world. Yet I am amazed by the level of, um, brilliance on the roads these days. So for today's post, I felt the need to honor these amazing road warriors.

Brilliant Stuff I've Seen on the Road Lately:

A woman driving a Smart Car while another woman (the driver's mother?) sat in the passenger seat, with what must have been the driver's son in her lap. Well, what there was of a lap. The passenger woman had most of her lap covered by an ample stomach, which meant the kid was really more like standing on the floorboard leaning back against her--and with such a small car that meant he was nearly smushed against the windshield. No seat belt. Of course. Regardless of the fact that this is, hello, illegal, it is a brilliant set up when you live in a city full of yuppie rednecks where everyone drives big ol' SUVs that will turn your Smart Car into instant recycle scrap while leaving not so much as a mark on the SUV.

The other day I went to Goodwill to drop off some donations. The driveway for donations is also used for pick-ups of larger items, like furniture. The brilliant guy in front of me had apparently bought a desk. He was loading it into a car about two cubic inches larger than the desk. This was after he let the Goodwill employee set the desk three feet away, and the guy dragged it on end across the concrete to his car. No worries. I'm sure the finish on that side is fine. Maybe they were gonna put it up against the wall on that side anyway...

Someone brilliant driving a pick-up truck with a rolling cart in the back. Not strapped down. Surely that is not a worry. And of course it was fun for me as I drove behind him, watching him turn corners and the cart rooooolllleeedd to one side, tipped (nearly over the side), untipped, rooooollllleeeedd to the other side, tipped, untipped, roooolllleeeedd......

After he turned off, though, leaving me going my separate way, I got to see the brilliant guy who'd been in front of him. Another pick-up with stuff in the back--mattresses this time. Not strapped down, of course. Why would they be? (There is no such thing as wind, right?) And the top one had a fitted sheet on it. Well, partly on it. Mostly it was billowing like a sail. I bet that white sheet was nice and clean when they got home, too.

Heading onto the toll road the other day, I got to witness, and almost slam into, brilliance I've never seen before. The guy in front of me, I don't know, realized he'd gotten on the on-ramp by mistake? Whatever the reason, he stopped. Just like that. On a ramp where one is supposed to be gaining speed, he is suddenly not moving. And. Just. Sits. There. BTW, my brakes work really well :D. Good thing, as my truck was about three times the size of his car. (He was driving a BMW. As the wife of a BMW lover, I must say, "Dude, for real??")

Well, that's a good sampling. But I want to leave off with some general remarks:

People, learn the rules of a four-way stop. It is NOT okay to barely stop and then just go when it is not your turn. Nor is okay to sit there and wave everyone else on--you are both messing up the order for the other lanes and pissing off the people behind you.

Bikes go WITH the flow of traffic. Walkers go opposite. And, dear old man I saw the other day, do not ever walk down the road next to the median under the shade of trees. You should never be in the middle of the road anyway, but definitely not where you are hard. to. see.

Jaywalking across an eight-lane road (four lanes each way) is stupid, and if you get hit I feel no sympathy. It is at times like that I happen to agree with survival of the fittest.

When you are in the wrong lane on a busy road, deal with it. Follow the lane you are in (even if it means turning) until you can safely get yourself moved over or turned around or whatever, but do NOT cut people off or sit there blocking traffic with your turn signal on because you just suddenly realize, "Oh, crap, I'm supposed to be over there."

I'm not sure what astrological phenomenon is happening right now, but the crazy drivers seem to be on the rampage around here lately. Just passing on the experience ;).


Robynn Tolbert said...

You live in Florida, right? 'Round here, we have a saying:
If it's grey-headed, be careful.
If it's out of county tags, watch out.
If it's grey-headed with out of county tags, pull over.

(And is it me, or are those weird-phrase comment-modifier typey-things getting harder to read?)

Kat Heckenbach said...

Yes, Florida. And there are a lot of gray heads around here! Mostly, though, those just drive slow ;). Not necessarily stupidly. I'm appalled at how many twenty-, thirty-, and forty-something drivers I see on the road who are complete idiots. I seriously think it is just plain too easy to get a license these days.

And yes, I agree on the typey-things (there is a proper term for those, but I don't know it). They seem to be more twisty and grainy than they used to be.