Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Wow. Watch out for distracted, lunatic drivers. I was exiting an expressway Tuesday when a woman on the side road rolled through a stop sign at about 25 mph and nearly hit me. She then took the trouble to overtake me and flip me off. I could see she was in another world as I took the exit ramp - she never even looked around. Naturally, I honked my balls off.

It's incredible to think that some dipshit who isn't paying attention could just take your life in an instant. As I was driving down upper Greenville yesterday morning on the one-way south-bound just above Mockingbird, some goober came driving along in the opposite direction whilst reading. Yes, reading. He was holding up some sort of paper with one hand, and I assume the other hand was on the wheel, but I couldn't swear to it.

Stuff like this gets my attention, but I try to stay in a state of relaxed readiness behind the wheel rather than being bone-stiff and freaked out constantly - it's too physically and mentally exhausting to do otherwise. If husband rides in a car while I'm driving, he's Mr. Whiteknuckle and wears out the imaginary brake pedal on the passenger side. If someone taps the brakes 200 yards ahead, he's crossing himself and bracing for impact.

He gets that from his mother, who is so incredibly neurotic that she can't ride in a vehicle with someone else driving. She also can't drive on an expressway. If she needs to take his father to the airport, they have to drive the 20 miles through on town roads, taking hours longer than the 20 or 25 minutes it would take a mere mortal.

I think I told this story once before, but it's such a good one it bears re-telling. Way back in the 60s when they were at university in Lubbock, my father-in-law was driving and ran a stop light and ploughed right into some random yahoo. That random yahoo turned out to be Tex Ritter and of course it was splashed all over the local Lubbock papers, to my inlaws' eternal chagrin. Mortified is a word.

Funny thing is, I think most people would say something like "wow, I really screwed up, and isn't it funny that my victim turned out to be Tex Ritter?!" Then again, my mother-in-law talked for years of a former sister-in-law who humiliated the whole family by having a belt set off a metal detector at an airport in Corpus Christi about 15 years ago-- she was a bad person.

10 comments:

Myron said...

Sounds like your m-i-l needs a handful of prozac to make it through the day. Folks like that really can get to me. I know I shouldn't let 'em 'cause it's not their fault. It's the way their momma didn't breast feed 'em or maybe she breast fed 'em too long or maybe she didn't hug 'em enough or maybe she hugged 'em too much or.... But dayum.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the inspiration. I shall blog about the addlepated twit I was driving behind, briefly, y'day.
Just another reason I'm grateful I escaped Big D for Big D little e.

Anonymous said...

Back in high school, dad drove me one morning when we saw the most atrocious wreck. We were tooling along about 60 mph and watched as some *bleepin' bleeper* passed us doing closer to 80mph. He was reading a newspaper...unfolded. Dad laid on the horn, but it was too late. The poor bastard was responsible for a 7 car pileup into STOPPED morning rush hour traffic.

Barbara Bruederlin said...

Some days I am just happy to make it home alive. Maintain your relaxed readiness (good approach, that) and let's all live through Christmas.

Anonymous said...

Myron is probably right; I wasn't breastfed and I'm terrified of speed, but I'm ok up to about 70km/h. But I prefer herbal happy pills, thank you. (Oh, and I don't drive, which makes me kind of handicapped in this train-less-occasional-bus land. Kiwi drivers are some of THE worst in the world; and most Kiwis are nearly proud of it!) I'm glad you're safe, Phlegmmy.

Hammer said...

I drive as little as possible.People try to assassinate me daily with their car.

I don't get road rage anymore. I call the cops and tell them the licence plate number,the turbans and AK47's in the offending car ;)

:P fuzzbox said...

Tis the season for all the dumbasses to hit the road.

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Anonymous said...

I am sort of guilty of being a dupid driver myself, but not really in a dangerous way (to others). I was driving this long strait stretch of road at night. There was no one else on the road and I kind of zoned out a bit. I started feeling this weird floating sensation in my stomach. I snapped out of it and looked down at the console and saw that I was doing 110 MPH!! I had no idea my car could even do that! Good thing no cops were around, that was twice the speed limit!!

G Bro said...

So anonymous wants you to buy Cialis online? ;-) He wants you to be ready for up to 36 hours! I think he took the "honk you balls off" comment a bit too literally.

BTW, is this the worst Christmas driving season ever?