Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Driving Un-etiquette

Now that I'm commuting I have time to think about a myriad of things. It's amazing what a person thinks about when they're all alone…or not.

A couple of weeks ago, Auburn Aries and I were in the car when a really bad, really slow driver pulled out in front of me. If I didn't know any better, I'd have thought they did it just to piss me off. Once behind these people there was no way out. Every red light we stopped at turned into an eternity of me begging the other driver to "PLEASE, TURN…DO SOMETHING…GET OUT OF MY WAY…"

To quote Jim Carrey in Bruce Almighty..All this horsepower and nowhere to gallop.

Aries was in the car laughing and knows me well enough at this point that she started a dialogue.

AA: Man, I can't believe they pulled in front of the Mustang. Don't they know how fast this car goes? I mean, it would have only taken a second for you to be out of their way.

AP: This is all I'm sayin'!! Eh, their just jealous cause our car is nicer than theirs and if I were in front it would sting doubly bad.

AA: [mocking Jim Carrey] Laaahoooo-saaahhher [and smacks the letter L on her forehead]

Well, I started laughing which probably wasn't the right thing to do.

AP: (prepare yourself for an airhead moment) Hey, I wonder if we did that so they could see it in their rearview mirror, which hand you'd have to do it with.

Aries and I talked back and forth about - if we see it this way in the mirror, then they'd see it that way if they were looking at us, but their not. They'd be looking in their mirror too so…

Visors were pulled down; examples were shown; and we were laughing so hard it didn't matter that we were sucked into a blonde-moment vortex even though we're both redheads.

I was telling my coworkers today about the Loser hand signal in the mirror story today. Everyone was laughing and shaking their heads. One of the guys piped up and said, "you should have just told your daughter to use a lower case L (and holds his index finger in the center of his forehead). Someone else said, "You can kill two birds with one stone with that hand gesture by using your middle finger."

I laughed so hard… I reminded him that teaching my daughter to flip people off while driving isn't a good thing. I've actually taught her that when someone flips you off and are steaming mad, the best thing to do back is to flip them a Peace sign. It really chaps them when they see you were the better person!

Admittedly, however, I'm not the best example of perfect driving etiquette. Au contraire… I'm the "if they could hear me ranting they respond with road rage" girl. I cannot shut the hell up when I'm driving. It's like a hobby - which is a fun hobby for a short-tempered redhead who is Irish, Scottish, German, Indian. It's like a mini-pressure release valve similar to a pressure cooker. I'm making myself laugh today. By the time I get home I'm all cooked and easier to swallow! I’m crackin' myself up!

What I've found is that whereas I have a 90 minute drive home, if I spend it talking to someone on my cell phone with my headset on, it makes me frickin crazy. I start feeling like I have no alone time which dominoes into being snappy because I talk until I get into Portland and hang up outside daycare and immediately have to engage in conversation with Aries. Not pretty. I end up not taking any calls on my cell because I hate the damn thing.

I seem to be getting used to the drive. Sometimes I don't like forfeiting the time I spend on the road because it feels like time lost - but I've made pretty good use of it so far.

For instance, this morning traffic was heavy (I was in the fast lane not going fast.) On the shoulder was an older van that was obviously the work truck of a small mom and pop shop. As I approached I noticed blackish smoke starting to pour from the hood. The driver had propped the hood open and was running to the back of the van - hopefully to grab an extinguisher.

My instinct was to pull over and help him then I realized I don't have an extinguisher in the Mustang - something I'll have to remedy. When I checked my side mirror though, a semi-truck quickly pulled off the freeway to help him. It reminded me how tight the trucking community is and how selfless they can be. I've never met a trucker who hasn't stopped to help in some way. I just hope if the day comes that I need help like that, that I'm wearing one of my sundresses and sexy shoes!!

I've also noticed that there are a fair amount of people (translation: a lot of assholes) who think that doing 70 in the fast lane justifies their presence in that lane. For the Aries K car that won't effing move - you know - the one with the duct tape on the bumper…GET OUT'THE WAY BITCH, GET OUT'THE WAY.

And for all the people who slow waaaay down when they see a cop...the presence of a policeman doesn't mean doing one mile an hour less than the speed limit will fool him into thinking you always drive that speed. Find some ovaries and go, gawd dammit.

Just once I'd like to have the freeway to myself...

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