No one drives their car anymore. Instead, they have turned the habit of driving into a multi-tasking nightmare.
You see, life is too busy for people to keep their eyes on the road. We eat, drink, smoke, yell at our kids and try to slap them if they are in the back seat because they mouthed off at you. You didn’t make direct contact–this infuriates you because you not only “whiffed” your kid and missed getting your point across, but you have now veered on to the shoulder of the road; almost making direct contact with a mailbox with your front fender.
Women put on makeup. What happened to putting on makeup at home? Don’t you own a mirror in your bathroom? I’ve seen women pluck their eyebrows and brush their hair. I’m still waiting for a blow dryer to get pulled out of a purse.
Adding to these distractions, you receive a phone call from your friend who wants to meet you for coffee. You pick up the phone and start gabbing away–not realizing that you slowed down your car, or passed the street you wanted to turn on. Worse yet, you suddenly realize the street you need to turn on is like, five feet in front of you. You hit the breaks, turning your car while your wheels are on its rims.
Whew–almost blew that turn. I think your kid hit his head on the car window, but it’s only a little blood. Oh, and the guy behind you is saying, “Nice blinker, Asshole.”
Driving while talking on your cell phone in Illinois is against the law. You need to talk while having your hands free so you can keep slapping your kid in the back seat, eating, drinking, putting on makeup and smoking–all at the same time.
But, what isn’t hands free is texting. Texting while driving is also against the law, but people still do it. As you drive past someone on the Eisenhower expressway, you see them nimbly maneuvering the smart phone keypad while trying to keep at least one hand on the steering wheel. Looking down. Looking up. Looking down again.
They have an accident because the text they were sending was much more important than paying attention to their exemplary driving skills. The text was probably an angry one–telling off their boyfriend or girlfriend–which they absolutely had to get off their chest at that exact moment or else they would just explode. Well, the airbag exploded; what more could you ask for?
Then there is the obvious: you’re at a stop light and the person in front of you has their head down looking at their lap. I’m sure they aren’t saying to themselves, My! The stitch work on my jeans is just magnificent! No. They are texting while waiting at the light. I’ve done it. I’m guilty of texting while sitting at a red light; especially if the light is really long. I also text while I’m waiting for a freight train to pass by. I happen to live in the Freight Train Capital of the World. Trains come through our town every hour–some double up–passing each other, making my wait in the car so long, that I turn off the ignition, step out, and just meander along the street until the trains pass. I’m texting while meandering. This is also bad; at least for me since I can barely walk without any distractions without tripping over my own feet.
The other thing I don’t understand is the guy who is in the lane next to you. He speeds up and cuts you off to get in front of you. This is done because he wanted to get to the red light first. This is the main ingredient for a recipe we lovingly refer to as, “Road Rage.”
Have any of you ever encountered road rage to the point of someone getting out of their car and getting in your face?
I have. Go figure, right?
This was years ago–I was in my early 20’s–driving to the post office to pick up mail. As I was driving down a 35 mph road, a man passed me up in his sports car and cut me off. He turned into the post office parking lot, and so did I. We had to get mail together; it was turning into a date.
Not a hot date, but my Italian temper was hot.
He parked his car and got out. I stepped out of my car and called him an asshole for cutting me off. Because he was a man, he had to show his manliness. He got in my face and told me he’d beat the shit out of me if we weren’t in a public parking lot.
I said, “What’s stopping you? A lawsuit? Go ahead buddy, SWING AWAY!” It was road rage at it’s finest. Am I proud of it? In hindsight, no. It was really stupid of me to say something to him in the first place. However, if anyone knows me well enough (and he didn’t), I will not be silenced when I have been wronged.
So I tried to right the wrong with my Italian foul mouth. All it did was get the guy angrier, but I kind of felt better after I said my peace. I wasn’t afraid of him hitting me because I knew he wouldn’t. Just like I knew the guy at the miniature golf course wouldn’t, but that’s another story.
Other driving habits that make my eyes roll toward the back of my head to the point of no return are people who like to drive their cars in a lounging position. When I am behind them at a stop light, I become worried. Is anyone driving that car? I see no head above the dashboard. If I had my seat adjusted that far back, I would be afraid I would nod off and take a nap.
The four-way stop sign is another driving habit that often needs correcting. As a matter of fact, today was a prime example. Everybody took their turn at their designated stop sign. Except one guy. He decided to piggy-back behind a car. It was a two for one stop. Was this advertised somewhere? I want a two for one stop! Where can I get the offer for it?
The guy waved at me. I guess you can figure out that I didn’t wave back. I used another sort of sign language.