Monday, July 22, 2013

Driver's ED

Aren't we all the best driving instructors?

We all do this.  Talk to other drivers while we're in the car.  You know you do.  I do.  I try not to say too much when I have kids in the car, but sometimes it can't be helped, although I do avoid the more colorful stuff, or I try to put a spin on it like it's some sort of learning lesson.  See that, kids? That idiot right there? That would normally make me want to scream and honk while making various gestures, but instead, I'm just driving calmly along, frowning...Mom learned a little more "patience" today! 

Still, I sometimes end up having these dialogues, usually out loud:

1.  What the---??? (hands in the air)  WHAT are you doing? Oh, you're turning… Thanks for using a BLINKER! I always love a chance to suddenly brush up on my reflexes and remind myself to never EVER look away from the road.
2.  Nice. You're PASSING me. And 4 other cars.  In a blizzard. Are you kidding me right now?? Must be great to have a 4x4 so you can drive 55 in a 40 mph zone on solid ice while passing 4 cars in a double yellow zone.  This one gets an index finger head-tap, as in "Wow. Use your HEAD, dumb-a$$".  (sorry but yes, it slips out).

3.  Two thumbs way, way up for the drivers who come flying up at the end of a double lane to squeeze past you while almost pushing you off the road, and then immediately they slow down to l e s s t h a n t h e s p e e d l i m i t.  As if time has suddenly stopped, or they forgot that 3 seconds ago, they were in a HUGE flipping hurry to get here.  Yes, you.  I have a special bumper/plow/ram assembly that I'd love to see developed, just for you.  Then I could use it to just calmly push you out of the way and off to the side, while maintaining the speed I was safely already at. 
do this NOW
    3a.  Mouthing the word "no".  This is for the drivers who come flying up past the signs that have said, clearly, for the last 2 miles "RIGHT LANE ENDS", but they will stubbornly pass everyone who already merged on over (I know, we're sheep) until they come literally up to the actual closed lane and can not drive another car length, before deciding they need to squeeze in, RIGHT-HERE, RIGHT-NOW.  I love the sense of solidarity you see when total strangers on the road will team up to not let them in while pretending to innocently be minding our own business, over here in our clearly-marked, single lane.  Nice try, though, dude.  Hope you weren't in a hurry or anything.  (wink) 
4.  "I'M DRIVING HERE".  When I'm driving, like any NORMAL person would, up a lane in a parking lot, and this guy's driving cross-ways through the whole entire parking lot.  At 35 mph.  If you cross in front of me, I will pretend I didn't see you, so you better either make it quick or get with the program.  This is another time a bumper ram/plow-type device would be great--then you could just catch their car and keep pushing them out of the way like a pile of snow until you've reach a good drop-off spot. 

   4a. This one has the added caveat of making me wonder, do you realize people also WALK in parking lots? And they have small children on the ground? Really.  Slow. The. Heck. DOWN.  In every direction.
5.  "Up. What are you doing?? The arrow points UP! UP, PEOPLE! Aaaahhh! Really??!?  No, wait, let ME get out of YOUR WAY."  For the folks who drive down the wrong direction in a parking lot lane marked with one-way directional arrows.  The arrows are there for a reason.  Mainly to point out that there isn't room for two cars to pass in this lane. But no.  Let ME squeeze to a stop to avoid running over some pedestrian while you drive down the middle of the lane with your Hummer.  (Hands up like, "wow" helps here, but not much).  Also sometimes I realize, too late, that *I'm* the one going the wrong way…duh.  So I keep the gestures to a minimum, just in case.
6.  Fog lights, or driving lights, or whatever they call them, at night, when there's no fog, or rain, or hazard whatsoever.  You know those two extra-large, extra-bright white lights BELOW your regular head lights? Those are for seeing in FOG, PEOPLE. Fog. Not for driving around on regular crystal clear evenings when us normal people might be trying to drive past you, until we are blinded by the full set of four lights in our face like an oncoming TRAIN.  I can't even tell you how annoying this is.  Please, have mercy.  Leave them OFF.  They are not cool.  They are blinding.  They make me want to put an actual train headlight on my hood and turn it on right in your face as you approach.  (Sorry…I'm usually so nice).
7.  Tailgaiting.  Even in dry conditions, this is just indefensible, but amazingly enough, I also get these on solid ice, which makes them especially enjoyable (sarcasm).  If you're willing to get so close to me that I can't see your hood ornament, you are TOOFREAKINGCLOSE, and I will use my brakes at will.  I always wish there was a bumper sticker or vanity plate that could impart this sentiment in just a few words, but it's no use.  I'm not a slow driver, so I'm always amazed at these people.  I'm willing to push the limit to 5 or even sometimes (yes) 10 mph over the posted limit, usually for the simple reason that this is the only way to keep up with traffic.  But if I'm already doing THAT, and you're willing to inch closer and closer and closer and closerandcloserandcloser, then you have earned the right to slam into the back of my car anytime I chose to STAND ON MY BRAKES. 

Fair warning.  I may also decide to turn, without signaling, into that lane clearly marked "Down".

I'm sure there are more, but for now, this will have to do.

For my own amusement, here are some others I'd love to post on our road...

could  happen...

stunt area, watch for motorcycles

followed by a bucket of roofing nails tossed across the road...

watch for yoga students in the roadway

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

You know you're in Idaho when...

You see this.  Parked at, yes, Walmart.

Oh. My. Gosh. 

I actually SAW this on my way out of a Walmart parking lot a couple of years ago.  I drove past like, wow, but then I had to stop and back up and actually take a picture, because, you know, some things you have to have proof of. 

It's appararently a school bus that has been converted into a motor home or RV or whatever.  Ok, I'm with them so far.  But, then there's a Kenworth SLEEPER, attached to the back of the bus!?!!?  

What?!?  I don't even--  Words fail.

I wish I'd gotten closer to see if there was actual duct tape involved, but it was kind of a drive-by photo op, since I didn't want someone to open the door to this super-cool unit and see a lady in a BMW laughing and taking pictures of their home.  Um... rude.  But, what's funny is that the people who drove this are probably actually "my people", in the sense that I grew up all hippied out in the 70s, and I knew actual people who totally lived in a school bus.  For real.  I even slept there sometimes with my friend (so, was it her parents who lived in it? I can't remember).  I remember lying on the bed (or whatever we were on, planks...who knows), and seeing the sky through those really difficult-to-open bus windows.  Remember those?  You had to like stick your fingertips in these tabs and pull both sides towards the middle (hard) and then simultaneously wiggle the whole thing down to open it.  If you got it wrong or were stronger on one side, you'd get a 45-degree angle, and then the whole thing's jammed and the super crabby bus driver would scream at you with her cigarette/whiskey voice to "LEAVE THE DAMN WINDOWS UP.  Do not make me stop this bus! Man, I hate kids!..." etc. 

(sorry...time warp there)

ANYway, the point is, I was laughing, but I totally get this.  The Kenworth sleeper thing is hilarious in this day and age, but I bet if you asked the guy who built this, he'd be all:  "Dude, this is the coolest thing EVER.  Check it out, man--we carpeted the whole thing."  And he'd show you all through it, and it'd have all these funky little tricky things that he made, like how the sleeper door opens in to the bus, so you have more storage room behind it inside the sleeper.  Or maybe how the sleeper is a "mother-in-law's" quarters or a solar hot tub area or something.

So, I sort of love this picture--It's fun to remember where you came from, and this picture totally reminds me.