i've come to the conclusion that every driver except for you is a bad driver.
there was a comedian who did a comedy sketch on this. i'm not entirely sure who it was, but it was a long time ago. i agree with that comedian.
if somebody's driving too slowly, they're an old man.
if somebody's driving too fast, they're a maniac.
that means that you alone are going the perfect speed. congratulations on finding the perfect speed! but that person who passed you, you're an old man to them. and that guy you just passed? yeah, he's calling you a maniac. he's going the perfect speed too. congratulate him.
i take morning spanish classes at IPFW. on a good day, i can drive home in about fifteen minutes. usually the radio sucks because during the noon hour, deejays decide that the public absolutely craves to hear bad eighties music while they eat. so i was jamming to death cab for cutie with the window down, getting excited to pull into my garage, enter my house, head straight upstairs, and shower. because sitting through mi clase de espanol without showering is gross. (it's not my fault, though, it's my job's.)
i was cruising down clinton where the speed limit is a decent forty-five. for about half of the population, myself included, this means that driving at fifty is acceptable and common. there are those who decide that driving exactly the speed limit is the way to be, and then there are those (like the motorcycle who flew by me this morning) who decide that sixty, if not seventy, is cool. that motorcycle was going at LEAST sixty-five.
but anyway. i was going down clinton behind some form of lincoln town car that wasn't quite the size of my grandpa's town car boat. from what i could see, the driver appeared to be a young man with a small afro and glasses. he looked like he was probably heading home from IPFW.
normally, people my age don't really like speed limits. i will be the first to admit that i go about five over as a general rule and allow myself seven on the highway. on auburn road i've occasioned to go fifteen over, but usually i keep to eight or nine. i am terrified of being pulled over.
i'm assuming that this guy was my age because he looked about twenty. he, however, was not among his age group norm; he was going five under.
i wasn't too troubled by this. i wasn't in a super hurry to get home because class had gotten out twenty minutes early. i could wait an extra five minutes to shower and eat a cheese bagel and blog. that was perfectly fine with me. besides, roaring around someone while city driving is rude (save that for the highway, kids) and the right lane had lots of cars doing the normal fifty so i couldn't safely pass him anyway.
the one thing i was not okay with was the fact that this guy, in his nice little lincoln, had better things to do other than drive.
texting and driving is probably my biggest pet peeve. i don't mean to sound crass or anything, but if you text and drive and die, i'll be sad. but i won't be surprised and i certainly won't blame it on anyone but yourself. texting and driving scares the HELL out of me. when you text and drive, you're endangering my life as much as yours. i will definitely be pissed if i die because you smashed into my car telling your boyfriend or girlfriend that you're coming home from shoe shopping. i'm sorry, but my life is worth more than your text, and yours is too.
so i'm driving down clinton and i'm watching the guy in front of me text and look up, text and look up. maybe he thought that was safe, but we all know it's not. together, we pulled into a left hand turn lane, and i sat behind him, still jamming to death cab for cutie, and i watched like the creeper i am. he put his phone away and then became very busy with something in the passenger seat that required him to lean way over and not look at the road at all. he was extremely preoccupied with something majorly important in that seat.
the green arrow turned, well, green, and the line of cars began to move up. we were pretty far in the back and probably wouldn't have had a chance to make the arrow anyway, but when the minivan in front of him started to move forward, mr. lincoln was still doing whatever he was doing in that seat. the way he was concentrated and the way he was facing, he looked like he was changing a diaper. so i waited for him to move up or at least notice that he was sitting in traffic on a busy street. but no, he was doing more important things than driving.
i'm not a horn person. i don't like to use my horn. but he still hadn't moved, so i put my hand on the horn. i was about to press it when he moved his car forward- without looking up at all. his car swerved straight into the lane next to us. THEN he looked up, hovered between both lanes for almost the entire length of the turn lane, and finally decided that yes, he was going to turn, now that all the traffic in front of us had gone and the light went back to being red. i consider him to be extremely fortunate. while driving on one of the busiest roads in fort wayne, he had singlehandedly NOT moved at all in a turn lane when the light turned green, had then swerved into the other lane without noticing, and then had hung out in two lanes for a while before finaly veering back to turn left. all of this happened without him hitting a single car.
well, we had another light to sit through. i checked my hair in the review mirror and went back to creeping on him. whatever he was doing, it was sure gosh darn important, because he kept at it. he was now the first in line to turn left when the light finally turned green, and i rested my hand on where the horn would be. if he hadn't moved before, i wasn't holding out much hope that he'd be alert enough to notice that the light had turned green. and i had a row of cars behind me who wouldn't be as nice as me when it came to honking.
he managed to realize that he was (oh my goodness!) driving, and went right when the light turned green. lucky for me, he turned left at the three way stop when i went straight so i didn't have to deal with him. and when i drove away after he turned, i thought, by golly, i'll blog about this.
the first rule we learned in drivers' ed was this: pretend that every single driver on the road is ten times stupider than you.
sometimes, i really feel like they are. (which is unfair of me in the extreme, i know.)
but that guy that just passed me, well, to him an old man. and to me, he's a maniac. congratulations on finding that perfect speed. just like everybody else.
to learn more about don't text and drive from parkview hospital, click here.