Friday, July 10, 2009

Spin Cycle- Driving...

Time for this weeks Spin Cycle- all about driving.

First, a funny story:

When we first moved to Ohio, I took my time registering my car. For some reason, I just didn't want to give up my NY plates. Which pretty much painted a target for cops on my bumper.

One afternoon, I was driving home from work on a fairly busy residential street. A plumbing truck was sitting in someone's driveway, with the brake lights on. So, I stopped before the drive to let him back out. The light up ahead was red, so I figured no harm, no foul, let this guy have a decent chance at getting out. The guy behind me beeps at me. I ignore him. He beeps again. I give him the finger. Um, then his lights went on. It was an unmarked police car. Damn it.

Cop gets out, does the whole license and registration thing. Gives me a hard time for my NY registration and license. Then asks why I had stopped so far before the light. I explained about the plumbing truck (which, incidentally, was still sitting in the driveway with the brake lights on...). He says, OK, but he's going to give me a ticket for "road rage". I asked why. He said I made an inappropriate hand gesture. And did I know that little things like that make our streets unsafe, as they cause anger in other drivers. Think quick. Think quick. Thank god for officers who talk too much.

I replied, "I didn't give you the middle finger, sir. I held up my first finger, to ask you to wait a minute..."

He accepted that, and let me "off" with a warning. Whew. Still makes PB laugh when he thinks about that. You can take the driver out of NY, but you can't take the NY out of the driver, I guess.

And now, I shall espouse Mama Badgers Top Ten Driving Rules (in no particular order):

10. If you can do it and still look at the road it's acceptable. If you need to look in the mirror, or anywhere else, save it for the parking lot. Acceptable things: drinking coffee, talking on your hands free, listening to the radio, threatening your kids. Unacceptable things: shaving, putting on makeup, smoking (it's a caveat, anything that involves fire needs more attention that you're able to give it while driving...)

9. No bumper stickers. It's a car, not an Ad. I don't care if you like Obama, or George W. Don't care if you're a witch or your kids are honor students. Save your wit and wisdom for a blog. Bumper stickers distract people. Then you get all mad when they rear end you trying to read about how you love our poodle.

8. Don't tailgate people. Ever. I'm not going to speed up just because you're close enough to read the VIN off my car. I'll probably actually go slower. Partly to piss you off, and partly to make you slow down and realize that you're too damn close. I understand, sometimes the person in the fast lane is going too slow (see #7), but then you can just go around them.

7. Please use the appropriate lane on the highway. Yes, they really are all designated. The right most lane is for slow vehicles, the middle is for "traveling" and the left is for passing. If you're not passing people, get the hell out of the left lane. Likewise, if you're in the middle lane and people on the right are passing you, move to the right. You're a slow vehicle, whether you realize it or not. Trucks should never go into the left lane. Ever. You just piss the rest of us off.

6. If you want my parking spot, please wait patiently. I'm 7 months pregnant and have a 1 year old. Your beeping at me isn't motivation. It's aggravation. Oh, and check to make sure I'm not parked in the maternity spot before you decide to harass me. Likewise for old people. Give them some space. Will it kill you to walk across the parking lot to get to the Walmart? Go take another spot.

5. Please follow traffic signs. If it says "merge", then merge at that time, or soon there after. Don't wait until your lane has completely disappeared and expect people to just happily let you in. Moron. That just makes people mad. They had to spend the last 3 minutes in stop and go traffic for dummies like you. Oh, and if you're in the stop and go traffic, please let the people trying to merge in a timely fashion in. They're trying to do the right thing. Encourage it.

4. Don't drink and drive. I know, I sound like a broken record. But I am amazed about how many people I know who do this. And they have no idea they're doing it. If you feel a lot better about your day on your way out of the bar or party then you did going in, hand over your keys. If you think it might be a good idea to call your ex, or your boss, hand over your keys. More than 2 beers, hand over your keys. I'm not worried about you. I could care less if your drunk butt ends up wrapped around a tree. But my friends and family are on those roads, too.

3. Don't ride with your pet on your lap. It's not cute, it's dangerous. For you, for them, and for the people you'll potentially hit when Muffin wants to lick your face during the ride. I'm all about a dog with it's head out the window. The passenger side window. Preferably in the back seat.

2. Learn how to change your tire and check your fluids. I'm not saying you have to do these things, I'm just saying it ticks me off when people call it an emergency when faced with low oil, or a flat. If you're old enough to drive, you're old enough to be responsible for the vehicle. Go ask your dad how to check your windshield washer fluid, not your mechanic. That's just silly.

1. Keep your car clean. Throw up one of those pine trees if you need to. You never know when you're going to have to give your boss or your mother-in- law a ride. And you don't want to be cleaning last month's McDonald's bag off the passenger seat while they watch. It just looks bad. You never know who'll pass your car in the parking lot and peek in. Should they judge based on what they see? Nope. Will they? You bet your JZ cd they will.

That's all for this week folks. Have a good one, and go check out Sprite's Keeper for more Spins...


Sprite's Keeper said...

You know you're brilliant, right? I love this Spin! Everything on your list resonates and your ability to talk yourself out of a ticket is marvelous! Brava!
You're linked!

Maureen at IslandRoar said...

Talk about quick thinking! I am major impressed.
Great rules for the road as well.

Casey said...

I think we could be brilliant driving companions if you ever need someone to travel with. I'm a very particular (albeit angry) driver and you seem to have the same likes and dislikes as me. And your pointer vs middle finger excuse was most excellent!

Pseudonymous High School Teacher said...

Loved this post. Loved your rules and the wit and humor in the writing.

Especially loved how fast you can think on your feet and change middle finger to index finger.