I spend a lot of time in my car; and since the beginning of June, I’ve spent even more time in my car than usual. The unrequested surplus of free time I spoke about in a previous post thankfully came to an end after only a month, but the result is a one-way eighty-mile commute.
The roads are full of people who apparently have nowhere to be. My commute is impeded by Sunday drivers tootling along at speeds that make the Postal Service appear quick. It baffles me and I find myself longing for the days when driving was difficult enough to do that you had to pay attention to what you were doing.
The accelerator is that long vertical pedal on the far right, folks. That wide horizontal pedal? It shouldn’t be used on the motorway. Ever.
I’m sure it sounds cliché to cast myself as an artist devoted to the craft of driving, but I’m a purist. There is one formula for a proper driving car: engine in the front, two doors and a manual gearbox in the middle, and push at the rear. I believe in this formula so much that when I was starting to have gearbox issues with my 3 Series’s automatic, I swapped it out for a six-speed manual.
Everyone should have to drive a manual-shift car. The backups and slowdowns on C-470 are typically caused by one person over-reacting to something and putting on the brakes. Like Pavlov’s dogs salivating at the ringing of a bell, a pair of brake lights causes nearly everyone one else to put theirs on as well. Here’s a clue for you all: lifting off the accelerator will also cause your car to slow down. With the price of gas nowadays, your using the brake is just converting your money into heat. So quit with the brake pedal already.
And speaking of C-470, the guy who designed that as two lanes needs to be punched in the mouth.
While I’m sure there is a trail of others who’d disagree with me on this, I am not an aggressive driver. I am certainly assertive and I know my vehicle and my ability very well. I know the limits of both. This puts me in an exceeding small category of drivers.
Why, oh why, can’t you fellow commuters drive at least the speed limit? I’m not going to like being stuck behind you if you’re doing the speed limit, but at least I’ll be annoyed with you at the speed limit instead of your chosen five to ten under it. Yes, I’m looking at you, Colorado State Patrolmen, you menaces to public safety; you’re among the worst offenders, and since the sheeple are afraid to pass you, you make it far more dangerous than it needs to be. I understand your sole purpose in life is to generate revenue for the state, but perhaps you should camp at the doughnut shop of your choice for the morning and evening rush hours and let the rest of us get on with our lives.
Cowardly speed traps certainly generate revenue and make fascist cops feel like they serve a purpose, but we all know better than that. Bullied little poindexters who’ve grown up with a chip on their shoulder now can be the enforcers of a double standard that everyone but them see through. The bullied have become the bullies and this cruising under the speed limit with miles of traffic backed up behind them temporarily validates them.
Of course, I wouldn’t ever go on the record as suggesting that “law enforcement officers” (you can’t hear the disdain in my voice when I use that term) are merely fascist enforcers of a pseudo-mission of safety. They’re so petty and small minded, that’d be asking for a bull’s eye on my back, wouldn’t it?
I for one see the speed limit merely as the point at which the State starts hearing dollar signs; I’m sure the coins and cash register sound effects from Pink Floyd’s Money play every time a ticket is printed off in a patrol car.
Sheeple, those signs out there that tell you “Slower traffic keep right” doesn’t mean “unless you’re doing the speed limit”; it means when the person behind you is going faster than you, get the hell out of the way. It’s not your job to ensure I don’t get a ticket, so quit trying to force your slow way of life on me, hey? Move over and let me worry about whether or not I’m going to get a ticket.
Does anyone else think that road works is merely a reason for the State to put up Double Fine zones? How bloody difficult is it to pour concrete or pavement and why, when there’s road works, are there hours when there isn’t anyone working?
But speaking of road works, let’s discuss the inevitable two-to-one lane merge, shall we? I am an unashamed late merger. That means I will typically use the entire road to the point at which the merge is compulsory; it’s not because I’m trying to get in front of you or because I feel I’m better than you and deserve a higher place in the queue than you. I am using the whole road and not wasting volume area. So quit taking life so damn personally and perform the zipper merge cooperatively. If you’re an early or mid-merger, fine; that’s your prerogative. But don’t take it out on me because I view life from the forest level while you’re stuck looking at the trees. Late mergers get a bad rap, but that’s because that’s the one area where non-late-mergers appear to be paying attention to what’s outside the windshield.
For the love of all that is good and decent in the world, fellow drivers, get off your frickin’ mobile phones. You can’t multitask, no matter how good at it you think you are. Quit trying to text and drive. You can’t manage to keep your car in your lane when you’re merely talking and driving, or merely driving… Why do you think you possess the ability to text and drive?
Ladies and queens: put your makeup on before you leave the house. You can’t multitask either.
Don’t make me regret being nice to you. If I let you in front of me, when you get a chance, get the hell out of the way, or speed up. There’s a reason I’m not a Christian motorist: every time I do something nice for someone else on the road, I get stuck behind someone doing all of the above.
I enjoy driving and I’m good at doing it. I am present and focused when I’m driving. In what might be a novel concept for all my fellow commuters, my eyes are out the front windshield, my hands are on the wheel or on my gear shift knob. All I ask is that you are the same.
And failing that, can’t you just get the hell out of the way?