Tag Archives: vroom

‘vanity’ plates

Saturday evening, as I was heading to Miller’s for an evening of celebration, I got stuck at a red light behind a new white Jaguar with the music cranked super loud, windows down, and the license plate, “SWAGUAR.”

And in that moment, I decided I wish I were the person at the DMV (or whatever they call it here) taking that vanity plate application. I would take it to the back room, run it through, and instead maybe hand him a plate that said “DCHEBAG”  or “CMPNS8NG” or “SMLL PNIS.” I’d say to him, oh, I’m sorry, that is already taken, but these have been suggested as alternatives we thought you would find suitably similar in meaning. Have a great day!

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road rage

This post is a long time in coming. A long time. I am going to try to keep this as concise as possible, because 1. I could go on forever, and 2. my blood pressure will skyrocket.

That being said, Tallahassee drivers are the worst drivers on the face of the planet. And today I encountered every. single. fucking. way. these people annoy me.

-The guy stopped at the red light in front of me didn’t notice it turned green until I reminded him with my horn. (This happens daily.) (I have also had to do this to cops.)
-At a different red light, the guy in front of me neglected to notice traffic was moving until I reminded him with my horn.
-Making a protected left, the person at the head of the line was so slow to react (and the person behind him and the person behind him) that by the time I, three cars later, got to the light, it was red.
-Someone cut me off without signaling then immediately slammed on the brakes.
-Someone was too impatient to wait an extra three seconds for the clear road behind me and merged in front of me, forcing me to slam the brakes. Then he never got up to speed.
-A guy pulled out in front of me to make a left but sat in my lane until he had a window to complete the turn.
-Someone tailgated me up my street; I was doing 40 in a 35. I signaled and braked to turn into my complex, but by the time they realized I was braking, they were too close to stop and had to swerve into oncoming traffic to avoid rear-ending me.
-I don’t remember how many times this happened today, but I remember at least five instances of people apparently slowing down for no reason, then turning without signaling.
-The person in front of me doing less than 30 in a 55. On a two-lane road. Never turning, never speeding up.
-And the crowning jewel: In rush hour traffic, I am in the left lane, stopped at a light, about six cars back. The right lane is open as far as I can see. I signal right, check my mirrors, look over my shoulder, merge. As I pull up, the fucking assclown in front of me decides she wants the right lane too, and without looking or signaling pulls to the right, nearly sideswiping me. I have no time to lay on the horn, I slam the brakes so I don’t hit her and swerve into the turning lane. She doesn’t even wave as an “I’m sorry” gesture. I gave her the best double New York Greeting I could muster. Several times.

These people seriously drive like toddlers. “My space on the road. Mine. La la la I can’t see you. Ooh I want that space now. It’s mine too. *Swerve* Well you didn’t have your name on it so I don’t see why I should have to ask permission or tell you what I’m gonna do.” Honestly, they occupy their little spot, don’t feel the need to pay attention to their surroundings, and if they feel like cutting across three lanes, they will. Without looking or signaling. I could absolutely kill these people, but they’d probably do a better job of it themselves.

And the sad thing is, I’m not really asking a lot of them. I just want two things:

PAY ATTENTION. When you’re at a light, watch the light. When you want to turn or merge, judge the traffic window. If someone will have to slam the brakes, for God’s sake wait. If you want to change lanes, for the love of all that is good and holy look where you’re going. Make sure nobody is already in the lane. Check your mirrors. Look behind you. Make sure nobody is coming up fast enough that you’ll cause an accident.

USE YOUR SIGNALS, GODDAMMIT. This is a matter of safety. If I see you signaling to turn, I’m going to back off and give you more room to slow down. If I see you randomly slowing down, I won’t have idea what’s going on. If you’re stopped at an intersection, everyone in all directions will benefit from knowing where you’re going. It’s hard to determine right-of-way when we assume you’re going straight but you turn instead. And if you’re going to merge, signal. I will understand your intentions and back off to give you room to pull in. I’ll give you leeway to get up to speed. When we’re driving bumper-to-bumper, three lanes across, at 60mph, the last thing we need is some cretin swerving without warning.

It’s like that bike campaign: “Share the road.” Except these self-absorbed bastards need to realize they’re sharing the road with anyone. At all.

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why i’m going to the shop tomorrow

Cholong and I had just spent the better part of the afternoon at cold, windy Alligator Point. Coming back into town on 319, heading north approaching Capital Circle, I move to pass a car on the right. He’s doing about 43 in the fast lane, and the speed limit is 45. I see the bank of plastic boxes in the back window and instantly realize it’s an unmarked patrol car. So I tap the brake and back it down to about 49, and begin passing him very slowly. The glow on his face from the in-car console confirms my suspicions. I continue to pass him. He pulls in behind me and starts creeping up on me, then almost immediately backs off. I’m doing 50. I can’t decide if he wants to pass me, or if he’s playing on the console, or what. I need to be in the left lane anyway, so I signal and move.

He moves in behind me and on go the blue lights.

Sonofabitch, what did I do? I wasn’t speeding enough to be pulled over. And if that’s his reason, that’s gotta be the most stupid unfair thing I’ve ever heard. 50 in a 45, please.

I pull into the Citgo station, kill the fuel, kill the iPod, roll down the windows. (The thought briefly crosses my mind that even if I wanted to flash him to get out of this, I couldn’t, as I’m wearing a sweater over a t-shirt.) He walks over. Says he’s with the highway patrol, and did I know my tag light is out? No, sir, I had absolutely no idea! (How the fuck would I know that?) He tells me it’s something a lot of people overlook but nevertheless it needs to be fixed. Yes, sir. I give him license/insurance/registration, he goes back to the patrol car.

I crack up. Really? A tag light? Like, the little light that shines on my license plate? Not even a stupid brake light? Holy shit. This guy is getting a running start on making his January quotas.

He returns and I put my serious face back on. He hands me my license and a folded sheet of paper, saying he’s not giving me a ticket or citation but a thing telling me it needs to be fixed (as if pulling me over and giving me an adrenaline jolt weren’t enough). He sends me on my way. He leaves the station before I do, because I’m still laughing.

On the way home, I notice that approximately every 5th car’s tag light is out. Wonder if he pulled them over, too.

Absolutely ridiculous.

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stereotypes

It’s not quite 9pm, and I’m coming back into Tallahassee from my church gig in Monticello on 90. I’m approaching the I-10 interchange. A vehicle has been following me at a comfortable distance for God knows how long. Like, far enough behind me that I don’t mind the headlights. As I’m approaching the interchange, he’s creeping up on me ever so slowly, but not fast enough to overtake me before the road merges again. I see that he’s a Hummer. There’s a pickup in front of me, and two cars are approaching a merge with us.

The first car merges in front of the pickup. I slow down slightly for the second guy on the ramp and flash my beams at him. I see he has custom rims. He’s slowing down. He’s a little slow on the uptake (being a Florida driver) and keeps slowing down. Doesn’t pull in front of me. In fact, it looks like he’s about to stop on the ramp. Just as I’m about to pick back up and let him wait for the next opening, the Hummer driver (being a Hummer driver), who last time I looked was about 5 seconds behind me, is practically in my trunk and flashes his beams at ME. Look, jerk. I know you have brakes. Use them. Sorry I inconvenienced you by making you temporarily slow down.

Guys, and I mean both of you – Rims and Hummer – you act like I expected you to act. I’m pretty disappointed. And pissed at you, Hummer. Don’t give me that.

Respectfully submitted,

A New York Driver.

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