Friday, February 01, 2008

The Driving Rant Post

I make no apologies about admitting to the fact that I don't like driving. I grew up in Mumbai with it's excellent public transport system. If I'm traveling somewhere I would much rather be doing something much more interesting with my time like talking to friends, reading a book, observing the city or just plain day-dreaming. Driving is a drudge. You have to keep your eyes on the road, and hands upon the wheel. (Apologies to Jim Morrison.) Still, seeing as how public transport in Madison is so crappy, and how I have to occasionally drive to places that you can't reach using a bus or a taxi without paying out of your nose, I drive.

My car is the most expensive thing I own. Obviously it makes me want to protect it. Keep that resale value high and all that. And there is also the little thing of me happening to enjoy the fact that I am alive and not dead. So obviously all the other idiots on the road piss me off. And this winter, with its constant shit... sorry ice-storms and record snowfall, things which would normally just irritate me a little, have turned into things that make me vewy vewy angry. Here's a list of the idiots who irritate me and their internal monologues:

1. Mr. I am going to drive below the speed limit in the passing lane
I'm driving. And this is the lane I have decided to use. The passing lane. It's a free country and I have paid taxes all my life and I have now decided to drive in the passing lane. Yes, I know I'm going slower than the speed limit but I'm an American and I can do what I want. You can use the slow lane and pass me from the right but then I will glare at you and cough violently. And keep driving slowly in this lane. My lane.

2. Mr. I am going to drive about 6 inches behind your car
Right. So I'm in a hurry. A real serious hurry. And so I have decided to drive as close to your car as I possibly can. Because no matter what speed you are driving at being close to your car makes me reach where I want to go earlier. Like a whole 20 milliseconds earlier. And time is money. Of course, I know it's snowing and the roads are icy and slick, and if you have to brake suddenly then I will rear-end you. But those are the risks we have to take for my 20 milliseconds.

3. Mr. I have suddenly decided to take a left turn
Hey look! It's a traffic light. Here I am in the left lane. Waiting at the light. Obviously, as you can see I intend to go straight, because if I didn't I would have turned on the left turn indicator so you could have moved to the right lane. But I'm going to go straight. I have decided to go straight. Look, the light turned green! Oh my God!!! A left turn. Look, I can turn left instead of going straight!!! Holy crap! This so exciting! I'm going to turn left now. Watch me turn on the left turn indicator. And crawl up and wait for the oncoming cars to finish going straight. Then I can make my glorious left turn! What's that you say? You are stuck behind me because you thought I was going to go straight? Aw, don't be a wuss. I'm making a left turn. Be excited for me. (And sometimes in my excitement I even forget to turn on the indicator. Who cares. I'm turning left.)

4. Mr. I am going to slowly turn right without moving to the right lane
I have to turn right here. Clearly, if I move to the edge of the right lane you'll be able to keep going straight from the left and we can't have that. It's my job to inconvenience you as much as possible. Making you miss the light will be a bonus. So from where I am in this lane, I am going to slow down, and very very slowly turn right. Look, I almost crawling. Do you think I can possibly go any slower? Let's try! Oh why are you waving your fist at me? I'm just doing my job.

5. Mr. I am going to build up the suspense about whether or not I'm going to turn right
There you are waiting at the intersection trying to get out. I'm close enough to the intersection that you have to wait for me to make a sign before you can make a move. But I'm driving slow enough to torture you. And yes I'm driving in an ambiguous lane so you can't tell if I'm going to turn right into the intersection or not. Look I'm turning right. You could have gone anytime! Fooled you! Haha!!