Lately I've noticed a great deal of...erm...questionable driving here in Redneck Central.
1. While heading out to somewhere for some reason, sans Evil Genius thank goodness because the language got a little...colorful...in Rosie my beloved Astro Van/Mule, a car preceded me onto the local two-lane state highway. There's a fair bit of traffic on this particular road, especially large trucks trying to cross from one highway to another. The area has grown, too, into something of a bedroom community for Atlanta, so we've got a lot more cars than we used to.
So. This car preceded me from our little side street onto the larger, faster state highway and...well...that's pretty much all he did. He didn't accelerate. He just sort of...drifted. The state highway is a 55 mph road on a slow day. Most people ignore that limit entirely and drive as fast as they're comfortable...or as fast as the fellow in front of them. The fellow in front of me? Thought 30 was dandy, thankyouverymuch. He would speed up a tiny bit, then drift back down to about 30 again when he realized what he'd done.
Now, I'm a patient woman, and I know the limit means that's the fastest you can go and not a serving suggestion...but 30? On a 55 road? One with hills and gentle curves that trucks often barrel down at ungoddessly speeds? He had a Handicapped...excuse me, Disabled Person...tag. I may have made the snide comment that perhaps the disability was intellectual rather than physical. On and on he went, drifting across the lane this way and that, not-quite-speeding-up and slowing down again, traffic building up behind us. I wondered aloud if he simply enjoyed a parade.
Rosie's an Astro van, something larger than a standard mini van but smaller than a cargo van. The slow fellow was in a little white, four door somthingorother. The cars behind me couldn't see him. I realized one or two of them thought I was the problem. Terrific.
The highway has a few passing zones, but wouldn't you know? Every time we reached one, he'd speed up a little and there'd be oncoming traffic spaced just wrong. At one point, I had hope - we reached almost forty!! But no...the speed got to him and he had to slow down again.
Eventually, Someone lost his patience, leaned over, and communicated his feelings about all of this with the horn. The released a torrent of similar communications from the vehicles behind us...including the police officer caught in this unpleasant mess! Perhaps our friend up ahead thought it was a lively chorus of appreciation, because he kept on his merry way while we turned off the road and visited the local liquor store for reinforcements.
The line of traffic stretched back more than a mile, when we last looked at it. A stretch of highway that should have taken ten minutes to traverse? Almost thirty.
2. Someone and I were on our way to help some friends of mine move on Sunday. We had some good, open highway driving ahead of us, the kind that is pleasant when you have a beverage, a snack, some good music, and a friend along. We were headed South, possibly a tad faster than the signs posted o the side of the road advised was legal. Who, me? Speed? I have no idea what you're talking about.
I was in the left lane, because I was going faster than the traffic in the right lane. That is how it works, in case you didn't know (But you know, don't you reader? You're not one of those people who pull into the left lane going primly the speed limit and refusing to budge when faster traffic come along, are you? I didn't think so.). I was passing a slower vehicle, but it was taking a moment because he wasn't that much slower. Along came a little red, sporty, mommy-and-daddy-bought-me-this car. It was going even faster than I was, but I had a car beside me and nowhere else to go. Ah, well...if he slowed a teensy bit and waited a moment, I would finish my pass and move over.
He didn't like that idea, though. He though running right up to my bumper was better. Perhaps he thought he was assisting me with some sort of rear-end drafting technique that he learned while watching NASCAR, or more likely at the local dirt track because contrary to popular belief, NASCAR drivers do actually know how to drive quite well.
The car beside me chose that time to speed up a little. Not much...just enough to delay my pass a bit more. Young squire behind me decided I'd slowed down, so he fell back, surged forward, fell back...you get the idea. Finally, I'd pulled ahead of the other car enough to move over, and was just turning my blinker on to indicate my plane when the red car zipped between the too-small gap and raced up to leap into the lane ahead of me...where he promptly slammed on his brakes. I didn't touch mine, nor did I disengage the cruise control. He sped up a little and did it again, fluttering his brake pedal. Again, I maintained my speed. He sped up, slowed, and we repeated the process for a minute or two. Finally, he hit his brakes hard, cutting his speed drastically enough that I tapped my pedal, disengaging the cruise control and slowing slightly. We were still above 70 at this point, but decelerating.
The lad in the red car finally swerved violently into the right lane, cutting off another car, and flipping the bird to the world in general. He then exited, having made his point. I don't know what it was, but he made it. Perhaps he thought he would educate the stupid bitch in the Astro van about what the fast lane is for. I have news for you, sonny - I've been driving for longer than you've been breathing, done hot laps around Road Atlanta and Atlanta Motor Speedway that made actual race car drivers whistle (not that I'm bragging or like to go fast or anything), made it from Atlanta to Colorado in twenty hours, and done the Atlanta perimeter highway (a 68 mile circle) in 38 minutes (not that I'm admitting anything, officer). You have no idea what fast is. When your other one drops, maybe I'll show you.
All I could do was giggle and say "Oh, no, he waved his finger at me, now my day is ruined. I am chastened. Oh, the shame. Oh, the agony. I may never recover from the terrible finger waggle." Punk.
3. Yesterday, we were pulling into a drive-through for lunch. We were again helping my friends, this time with the Evil Genius in tow. He was hungry. He insists on eating regularly, unreasonable child. We had to make a left turn, and the establishment we'd chosen is near a highway exit, so it's fairly busy. We watched traffic pulling off the highway, several cars making right turns into the place we wanted. On fellow, in particular, caught our eye...because he was turning so slowly we could have painted the White House pink before he finished. He didn't move any faster once in the driveway of the establishment...leaving several cars, ours included, with our butts hanging out on a busy state road. His minivan wobbled this way and that, first towards the fuel pumps, then towards the drive through...pardon me, the drive-thru...than towards the pumps, this way and that. I could have pushed his vehicle faster than he was driving it, even with a bad knee and wearing the wrong shoes for the job.
He wavered into the driver through lane, then...stopped. In the middle. Where no one could get past him. He stopped and sat. Then he backed up a bit, seemingly intent on parking. I moved to go around him...and he pulled forward and stopped again!!
Finally, he moved enough out of the way to go around...after Someone once more reached over and reminded me what the horn is for. I'm not much of a honker, more content to quietly seethe or fling colorful, creative curses at people when I'm not simply being patient. Someone, however, feels that one should let other drivers know when they're being ass-clowns.
When we left the drive-through, the mad from the van was standing outside the vehicle, looking around like he didn't know how he'd gotten there. He was poorly parked. His tags were Wisconsin tags...I wonder if he'd driven all night? Or perhaps our Georgia sunshine had overwhelmed him.
That's just three examples...I have loads more, mostly from the last few weeks. What the Hell, people? Has the pollen gone to our heads??
What kind of roadway fun have you been experiencing...or am I the only one?
Quote of the day...er...week...umm...hey, look, a quote!!
"...besides love, independence of thought is the greatest gift an adult can give a child." - Bryce Courtenay, The Power of One
For old quotes, look here.
For old quotes, look here.