Old people + driving = no good

Today, after meeting Jason and a few friends for lunch, I headed back to work. The route I take has a speed limit of 45 mph. I was cruising along at about 45 mph in the left lane when I noticed myself coming up quickly on the car in front of me, which had to be doing about 35 mph. I started slowing down about 4-5 car lengths from the car, when the guy tapped his brakes. Thinking he meant to get into the right lane so he could exit for the upcoming golf course, I slowed down even more. At this point, the guy slammed on his brakes. I braked as well (not needing to slam on them since I was still a decent distance away). And there he sat, not moving. He didn’t have his turn signal on, and there was nowhere for him to turn, anyway. What the hell?

I was stuck behind him until the cars in the right-hand lane finished passing. I waited for the guy to merge, still thinking he meant to get over for the golf course. He accelerated and then, as soon as I accelerated too, stomped on the brakes again. What was this guy’s problem? I had done nothing wrong: I was going 45 in a 45 mph zone, I was still quite a distance away from him before he braked, and yet, as I passed him and looked over, expecting to see him either on the phone or having a heart attack, he was yelling at me. Screaming, actually. An irate, bald, glasses-wearing old guy was honking his horn, screaming so his face was red and veiny, probable spittle flying from his lips, the whole nine yards. Seriously?

I threw him a confused look and continued on my (45 mph) way. I noticed he was still going around 35 mph, with other cars passing him as soon as they could. At one point, I had to get back in front of him (to avoid a working garbage truck) and then had to stop to wait for someone else to turn left. Even though the guy came no closer than 6 car lengths to me (what was his deal??), I could tell he was still furious.

At an intersection, I got into the right-turn lane, while the guy straddled the left-turn lane and the lane to go straight, still gesturing and yelling at me (about 4 minutes had passed by this point). I laughed and rolled my eyes at him and then watched the car behind him try to figure out if he was turning or going straight, finally nosing alongside him to get into the turning lane.

Well, the old guy went even more berserk. It was unreal. And the kicker is, I bet he’ll be telling his cronies at the Legion all about those damn kids driving like morons.

This is why I believe senior citizens should be tested yearly to keep their driving privileges.

Crosstown traffic

My commute in the evenings has been spectacularly bad lately. I can only assume it’s because some jerk on the freeway decided to brake for no good reason and back up traffic all the way to me, 22 miles away, sitting on a completely different freeway. Funny how that works. Not funny ha-ha, but funny that’s there’s no jerk-seeking missile built into my steering wheel.

Last night I passed a van pulling a hot-air balloon basket and I just don’t know why the guys didn’t take the hot-air balloon home because it would’ve been so much faster, plus they could’ve dropped objects onto the stupid braking-for-no-good-reason jerks.

I can tell right away whether my commute will be painless or shave 3 years off my life by the overpass board that says “FREEWAY TIME TO 42ND AVE.” On a good day it says 7 minutes. Last night it said 17. (Note: this isn’t the time for my whole commute; just a particularly thorny section.) Actual time it took: 21 minutes. I hate when the Overpass Board lies to me. It is my sworn enemy.

What’s more, I have to practially hump the car in front of me because if I don’t, someone always cuts me off. ALWAYS. And it goes without saying that whatever lane I’m in will be the one to stop for no reason, while the other lane hurtles 17 cars past me. Guaranteed.

I know there must be some way I can avoid getting caught in this nasty traffic, but I don’t have GPS and I have no direction-ascertaining abilities whatsoever, so I’m afraid I’ll pull off the freeway and find myself in Iowa 14 hours later. Tonight’s traffic will be fine because usually it’s just Tuesdays and Thursdays that are the worst, but I’m thinking next week I might try to find a detour.

You’ll probably never hear from me again.

How long is your commute? (Mine was almost an hour last night.)

Traffic Elimination Center®, Judge Judy Edition

Judge: Your witness, Counselor.

Me: Please state your name and profession, sir.

USPS guy: I’m the USPS Guy and I deliver the mail.

Me: Uh-huh. And what is the USPS’s unofficial motto? “Neither snow nor rain nor heat of day nor gloom of night shall stay these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds.”

USPS guy: Uh…Sure. Something like that.

Me: How about sunny, 75-degree skies?

USPS guy: Huh?

Me: Well, it was a beautiful day out and yet you were driving 50 in a 60 mph zone.

USPS guy: So?

Me: AND you were in the left lane. That is deemed mostly unacceptable by citizens of a civilized society.

USPS: I couldn’t get over because of the douche in the VW. He kept speeding up and slowing down for no reason.

Me: Interesting. No further questions.

Judge: Witness, you are excused.

Me: I’d like to call the next witness to the stand.

[Hippie VW driver is sworn in]

Me: Please tell the court why you were traveling 45 mph on the freeway.

Hippie: Hey man, I’m trying to conserve gas, you know? Save the world!

Me: Sure. Can you please look at this photograph labeled Exhibit A, and tell the court what it depicts?

Hippie: Looks like a photo of a speed limit sign.

Me: Yes. And what is that posted speed limit?

Hippie: Sixty miles per hour.

Me: And how fast were you going?

Hippie: I dunno.

Me: You were going 45.

Hippie: Whatever, man.

Me: Can you also explain how you could drive with no hands?

Hippie: What?

Me: You had one hand out the window holding a cigarette, and you were texting someone with the other.

Hippie: Yeah, so?

Me: So I was wondering how you were keeping your stupid hippie hair out of your eyes with no free hands.

Hippie: The wind was blowing it free. Like we all should be!

Me: I also want to know why your hands being occupied would have any effect on keeping your damn foot on the accelerator!

Hippie’s attorney: Objection! Badgering the witness.

Judge: Sustained.

Me: No further questions, your Honor. I just want it noted for the record that once I got past these two guys, there was no one on the freeway in front of them. NO ONE.

Judge: Duly noted.

Me: Also…get a haircut, hippie!

Traffic Elimination Center® – Vol. 9

You know how sometimes during rush hour, traffic gets backed up into the intersection even though the light is still green? Yeah, that happens sometimes. It blows, you wait, eventually you move on. (Or blog about it.)

But here’s what I don’t get and what drives me INSANE:

There’s always ONE car that will still pull into the intersection while the light is green, even if there’s nowhere to go and no hope of making it to the other side before the light changes, like this (note the red car):

Photobucket

I saw this happen yesterday. And do you know what the woman in the red car (OH YES, it was a WOMAN; it’s ALWAYS a woman, dammit) did?

She honked. At the car in front of her.

A car that scooted 3 inches forward because that’s all the room they had.

Which still left her stupid ass smack in the middle of the intersection.

Which is where she was still sitting when the light turned green for the cars going the other direction. You don’t know how badly I was hoping for someone to ram her car so it would burst into giant, orangey flames. Stupid Minnesota Nice!

BUT THEN, she honked AGAIN. And made some sort of angry gesture at the guy in front of her, who was well out of the way of other cars, mind you. But apparently it was HIS fault that she was a selfish tool.

The kicker? She could’ve used the second lane next to the guy because it was WIDE OPEN.

Lesson of the day: DO NOT DO.