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!