Okay, Listen Here

Okay, Listen Here

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Cars and Their Drivers

I am picking up where Jean left off yesterday except my gripe is with cars and how they are driven or used. I recently got a brand new ride – a shiny Lexus sedan. I love the car, its fully loaded, and it’s NEW. I have been guarding it ferociously but I know eventually, when I least expect it, someone will scratch or ding it. That is the way of today – my car gets no respect.

So I was sitting here thinking after reading Jean’s blog about being annoyed. What aggravates me worse than people popping gum? Inconsiderate drivers and, well, just inconsiderate people in general. I know, I said my gripe was with cars but that is a machine and you have to really blame the operator.

My first pet peeve is when I am driving along, doing the speed limit, and see a car about a thousand feet in front of me that is about to pull out onto the road upon which I am driving. I immediately begin the mantra “Don’t Do It!” But they do! The car waits until I am about a hundred or so feet from it and then pulls out. I am slamming my breaks, clutching the steering wheel and trying to avoid finding out what the trunk of a 1975 Buick looks like. And the other driver? Instead of seeing on-coming death and destruction goes blithely on, driving twenty-five miles per hour.

I also hate it when cars pull into the cut-through on a four-lane median. Inevitably these idiots pull on the wrong side because, duh, that’s the way they are turning, instead of treating it as you would the road (you drive on the right why would you pull in to turn on the left?). I enter the cut-through and am stuck on the wrong side, unable to see the on-coming traffic because Bubba has just planted his dually directly in my line-of-sight. I am stuck, sitting there glaring at Bubba, who’s talking to his girlfriend on his two-way (another thing I hate). I can’t pull out because I don’t need the nose of my car taken off by a semi which is barreling down the four-lane. Eventually he moves and I have to hurry – can’t have another Bubba come and block my view again.

And Interstates… Yes, these have higher speed limits but that doesn’t mean it’s the autobahn in Germany. I usually try to stay in the right lane meant for slower traffic but I do the speed limit. Eventually I will come upon a car or truck that is going below the limit and I will start to pass them. Suddenly, out of no-where there is a huge SUV doing about a hundred. The SUV is on my tail flashing headlights. I guess that is the International signal for move out of my way. Since I see no blue lights and just because you want me to move, I usually take my time in passing the slower car then I carefully check to make sure I have clearance to pull over into the right lane. By this time ol’ SUV driver is pounding his steering wheel. Gee, I’m sorry.

An addendum to the preceding paragraph, which involves the Interstate and passing slower cars, is when I can’t. It really ticks me off to start around a car and suddenly the other driver either wakes up or realizes that he is being passed. Can’t have that! Immediately the slower car increases his speed making it more difficult for me to get around them. Eventually I get tired of this pacing and I punch the accelerator, leaving the other car in my dust.

In Huntsville, there are new round-abouts (Shades of Yes) like they have in Europe. This was done to increase the flow of traffic and avoid four-way stops. It always amazes me that people can’t understand them. I have actually seen people go around and around trying to figure out how to get out of them. It’s actually funny unless, like me, you are trying to get somewhere and the confused driver is blocking you.

And what is it with wide loads? Do they think that the entire road belongs to them? I get so angry when there is a semi-truck moving half of a prefabricated house with that big yellow sign “Wide Load.” I can’t pass and I am stuck doing ten miles an hour on the Interstate, along with about a hundred other cars. Why can’t they limit moving those things to hours when there is less traffic?

The last moving violation I wish to include is the person who is eating, talking on a cell phone and, yes, driving with his/her knee. No wonder the car is all over the road. I have seen this frequently and, for a person who can’t walk and chew gum, I am amazed. However, I am also incensed. These are the people who cause wrecks and then wonder how it happened.

Now, on to parking lots. Most parking lots have made their spaces much smaller while cars have gotten bigger. I know it was a result of the smaller car trend but dang, who can park a truck in a Mini Cooper spot? And, if you do manage to get your car into those postage-stamp spots, there is always some uncouth idiot who is going to slam their car door into the side of your car. Or roll a shopping cart into the back. Until the newness wears off my car, I am parking at the end of the lot with the employees.

Boom cars. Need I say more? I love music and I like to hear Queen really loud but not to the point my car is shaking. I hate sitting at a red light and one of those boom cars pulls up behind me. The low bass vibrations start my teeth to grinding. I feel the urge to destroy – like the Sandworms in Dune drawn to thumpers. I send nasty looks in my rear-view mirror which I am sure cannot be seen – the other car also has tinted windows, front and back (which is illegal but hey, who cares?). It is a relief to get away before I put my car into reverse.

I could go on and on about other people who are inconsiderate drivers and just inconsiderate. I am sure a lot of you have your own pet peeves when driving so let me hear what ticks you off.

Just thought it was a funny Trooper picture!


  1. I think I am one of those annoying drivers. It comes from having really, really bad sense of direction. It makes me slow and tentative.

    Also, once, I hit a dog and it scarred me for life. I wasn't speeding and it wasn't my fault but still--.

    However, I do not eat and drive. I don't talk on the cell phone--well I try not to and never more than a minute. And I don't speed up when someone tries to pass me.

  2. The few times I actually drive (Dark Knight drives most of the time since we carpool), I try to keep up with the flow of traffic. However, when traffic races beyond the speed limit (because it is more of a guideline), I hang in the slow lane. And then, while I watch all those folks flying past me at warp speed, I wonder why there isn't a cop in attendance, his book of tickets at the ready.

    That's not to say I don't enjoy a little jaunt at warp speed now and again.

    As for parking, I usually find myself in the back 40, getting a little exercise as I keep an eye out for errant drivers intent on plowing over me on my way to the store entrance.

    Alas, I'm sure I'm guilty of igniting the ire of my fellow drivers on occasion, but I won't dwell on that. Jean told me not to dwell--it isn't productive.

  3. Cheryl, I'd have pegged you for a pedal-to-the-metal kind of gal -- but I used to be one, and now I'm not, so much. I'll blister the asphalt if there's an emergency, but failing that, I'm in with the flow of traffic.

    I like parking in the back 40, because I like walking. That said, I have very good parking lot karma; I can almost always find an empty slot at the front.

  4. I really, really hate it when people go slow in the left lane. That's the passing lane. If you are doing the speed limit, stay in the right lane and only use the left to pass. If everyone would only use the left to pass, things would go much smoother. I hate passing on the right, but will do it when a clueless person is taking up the left. Don't get me started on the carts in the parking lots. I call parking in the back 40 the "New Car Parking." :)

  5. Cheryl, you must have had a bad experience lately. ;)

    Lynn and I have driven in Europe and they do flash their lights at you when they come up from behind. With the influx of foreigners where we live, there's no doubt you have probably met someone from Europe on the road. I must add that when they come up from behind you, you can bet they are going over 100 miles an hour. Going 100 miles an hour on the Autobahn is nothing. You better get out of the way, and fast!

    So taking into account my European driving experiences, I can safely say, this isn't new to me. ;)

    Oh, Jean! I can do identify with your sadness over hitting a dog. I've hit birds, of all things, and rabbits. Aw! So sad.

    Maven Linda, I like to park back too. I'm even getting to the point where I won't take a chance on a thin parking spot, if I even think someone may hit my doors.

    Lynn, I agree. Those who drive on the left, need to be going faster than a wagon loaded with buffalo pelts. :D

  6. I'm a speed limit driver and a back 40 parker. Even when I had my 14 year old Blazer nothing would make me madder than to get back to my car and see a buggy slammed into the door panel. And don't get me started on the cars that pull out in front of me or the speed demons trying to get me to go faster. And Cheryl you will appreciate this since I'm sure you know the road. Last week when I was coming back from Decatur on Union Hill Rd. some idiot passed me and two other cars on that road! It's a back curvy mountain road and it was dark and raining. I guess the driver likes adrenaline rush or has a death wish.

    Well....on a lighter note (not really) I've got jury summons this week and have spent the last two days of my time either driving back and forth to the court house or sitting in recess and looks like I will be doing that again tomorrow. But today while I was sitting in recess I noticed a man walking past with a book in his hand. A nice looking gentleman about my age and the book was a Blaze! It was one of Isabelle Sharpe's but I couldn't tell which one. It made my morning! :-D

  7. Jean, I understand what you are saying. I ran over a neighbor's dog and it nearly killed me. I had to go up to the house to tell her. It was horrible!

    Hey Crystal, yeah, I park in the back forty too. Only some idiot always has to pull in next to me. i think I am going to start taking two parking places!

    Okay Maven Linda, I do speed sometimes... ;) Just to make things a little more exciting. I usually try to do the speed limit. Cruise control helps to keep my foot off the floorboard.

    Lynne, I hate that too. Why can't people just drive by the rules? I keep telling them but I guess they can't hear me at seventy miles an hour. LOL

    Kathy, no I have never driven in Europe but I would love to try the autobahn. As for the flashing lights, it still makes me mad. Just mad enough to slow down...

    Oh Sherry, that road is dangerous! I hate to drive it. There have been a lot of wrecks on some of those curves. And a man reading a Blaze! Wow! Wish we could get them all to read them. Maybe they could pick up a few pointers.

  8. Cheryl, I know what you mean. Even though our truck isn't new, people feel the need to pull in next to it when there are PLENTY of other spaces available. Go figure....

  9. The things I don't like involve courtesy. Riding my bumper (no matter what) is not appreciated and I may just put on my parking breaks.

    I DETEST how people handle merging. It is one car at a time, and you allow one merge per car. Either they don't let you merge or the people merging don't have that etiquitte and three cars go instead of one.

    I don't understand reckless driving--to me that is someone who has sucidial ideations.

    Enjoyed this post Cheryl!

  10. Ah, crazy drivers abound here in Walker County. I think much of it comes from the fact that most of the roads around here are still 2 lanes so when folks get 4 lanes to pick from it blows there minds.

    I know it will surprise no one here that I like to go really fast. Like Cheryl I try to use speed control when I can because those tickets get expensive plus the state of Alabama sent me a letter once saying that if they heard from me one more time they were going to need to see my license and keep it for a while. :-(