I have a lot of people fooled. They think I am a calm, level-headed senior citizen. They have never seen me behind a steering wheel in a car that is moving down the road.
Are the other drivers incapable of reading the speed limit signs? Do they not understand that to turn right, you really should be in the right lane? Donít get me started on the teeny bopper who is chewing gum, talking on the cell phone and smoking a cigarette.
I try to be very aware of the speed limits (since I have a propensity to go too fast). But when the sign says 35, I would like to go faster than 20. I follow the slow poke for blocks. Itís a side street with one lane each way. Finally I can take it no longer. Glancing in my rear view mirror, I pull to the left and floorboard it. In no time, Iím around and going the speed limitÖ35. I leave them in my dust.
Our town has roundabouts. It seems I always have the pleasure of being behind the driver who does not understand how to navigate them. The most common offense is when they pull up to the roundabout and stop. No cars are coming from any direction. Apparently stopping just seems like the thing to do. I honk. They set and wait until a car enters the roundabout. Then they decide itís their turn to go, following the lead of some kind of secret internal clock that only special people possess.
How about the ones who think the left lane of the freeway is for the slow cars? I watch as car after car goes around on the right side. Then itís my turn. Just about the time I move to the right, they get it. They, too, move to the right. I can never let down my guard. They are everywhere.
I realize that signals on the car are a very new invention. Most drivers are not yet aware they can actually move a little lever by the steering wheel and it tells folks in the other cars that you are planning to turn. Some drivers have figured out that lever is for signaling a turn, but they havenít yet mastered the fact that blinking the left turn light means that is actually the direction you plan to turn.
I especially enjoy sitting at a stoplight, my car vibrating to the beat of the stereo in the car next to me. I can feel the bass pulsing in my chest with my heart beat. Many times the words are nasty. I feel totally invaded.
A few years ago, I was driving down a street that has two lanes going each way. I was in the left lane, planning to turn left. I had no cars behind me. I pulled to a complete stop, waiting for a hole in the traffic going the other way. I kept glancing in my rear view mirror. As I waited, my blinker signaling my planned turnÖmy foot on the brakeÖI saw a large white car in my rear view mirror coming toward me in my lane. Glancing at the oncoming traffic, I still saw no way I could turn left. The white car loomed larger and larger. God made a hole in that oncoming traffic just as the white car slammed into me. My car was knocked clear through the other lane and against the curb.
A young man jumped from the white car, ran to my passenger window (which was down), poked his head in, and said, ďI was just planning to go around you.Ē
What would you say to that?
Then he explained that we really didnít need to call the police. He would just give me his insurance information. I was busily assessing whether I was ok. But by then a few other people had gathered and they prevented him from getting in his car and driving away. They called the police.
He didnít have any insurance.
And to add insult to injury, when they fixed my car, they had to totally replace the back end, which meant I lost my back bumper, which had a Dale Earnhardt sticker on it. The auto mechanic pronounced, ďYou are going to have to lose Dale Earnhardt.Ē
My husband tells me I canít drive anywhere right after watching a NASCAR race. Iím pumped and just waiting for the chance to do a ďbump and runĒ.
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