Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Life in the Fast Lane


To The Guy in the Gray Infinite on I75 This Morning:

Wow, dude. Seriously? 85 mph wasn't fast enough for you? You know, I'm not opposed to trying new things and I'm not turned off by a little ass play, but you being up my tail pipe without buying me a drink first or worse! no lube? Not cool, pal. Not cool.

I know you were busy tossing back that Red Bull and yapping on your cellphone (you can afford an Infinite, but not a Bluetooth?), but could you not see over or around my little white motorized lemon to see that there was a whole line of cars ahead of me in the fast lane?

And while we're on the subject, as you were not so gently nudging me up the road, could you not tell that I was dealing with my own shit? You know, I was busy, too, and doing the best I could. It's not like I was just driving 85 and edging faster when I could. I was also....

texting*, yawning, listening to Strauss's Death and Transfiguration, staving off the need to pee, drinking coffee, keeping a watchful eye on my hey, dummy, you need gas light, trying to maintain a safe distance between my car and the car in front of me, fielding telephone calls, scratching inappropriately, applying lipstick*, waving at truck drivers, adjusting my bra straps, and contemplating taking some Phentermine but without the choking.

As you jumped from lane to lane, I could have told you that it was a waste of time. At that time of day, on that looooong stretch of I75, if you're willing to drive at breakneck speeds, your best bet is to jump in the fast lane and cook at a happy 85mph. Faster is folly. Slower is inviting death with pain.

So there you were, getting more and more frustrated, more and more jacked up on whatever the hell you were swilling out of that can and getting more red in the face.

But was I going to lose my spot in line so you could get one car ahead? Not on your life. I've been the nice driver before and found myself boxed in for miles. So you could just cope like the rest of us. Sorry.

When you finally broke free, switched lanes and even jumped up a few car lengths on the far right lane, I cheered you. Did you hear me holler "Run, Forrest, Run!!" ? Because I did. I even interrupted Strauss's poetic work to do so.

But did it work for you? Shhhhhyeah. You learned the painful lesson we've all learned at the hands of morning metro Atlanta I75 Southbound traffic. Stay put, be patient, lane jumping will lead to one thing: The dreaded boxed in scenario. Yep - there you sat between the semi on the right and the two miserably plodding cars in front and in back of you. They were going what? 70mph? Sheesh.

You shook your head, watched mournfully as the left lane zoomed on past you. I watched you as you banged your steering wheel with rage. I looked in my rearview mirror and saw you hold your mobile phone to your ear again, looking forlorn.

Next time, you'll know. 85mph is just going to have to be fast enough.......

Love,

Your fellow commuter Lisa

P.S. Nice care, BTW. I'm guessing your air conditioner works and your driver's side door opens, so there's that.

35 comments:

  1. Now, you were much nicer than I would have been.

    I often wish for a sign that would attach to the roof of my car, and then spring up when I pushed a button. It would read "YOU DRIVE LIKE A JACKBAG" and it would have big flashing lights at the edges.

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  2. Tailgaters always make me wish for a 1-ton truck with heavy duty bumpers and some sort of killer trailer hitch sticking out the rear just so I could dynamite the brakes with no warning and hope the ass slams into me. On the rare occasions I venture on to the interstate I see those idiots zigging from lane to lane, all in the vain attempt to gain a couple seconds, and wonder what they think they'll gain other than an early heart attack from self-induced stress.

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  3. I have learned it doesn't matter how fast you drive, how much traffic there is, or where you are, there is always an asshole who wants to go faster, farther and be in front of you and everyone else. LOL

    You did the right thing, Lisa.. Best to just be cool and let them go..

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  4. This is why you should permanently pull one of the Spawn out of school - or perhaps a rotation system until you find which is the best shot - and have them man a turret with a .50 cal on the roof.

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  5. My driver's side opens, but my passenger's side needs a nudge. The nice thing about driving a somewhat dinged 8 year old Honda is that if it gets dinged again, I do not care. I wouldn't want to drive a new Infiniti in traffic like that. Of course, I wouldn't want to drive one, anyway...in our neighborhood, you'd get the "who's the asshole in the Infiniti" look.

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  6. Man, you are spending a lot lot lot of time in the car, huh?

    Every time I'm on the highway it reminds me how much I hate people. I feel lucky I'm not on the highway even weekly. It would be ugly.

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  7. Nothing worse than a dummass driver all up in my grill! I usually tap on my brakes on and off, on and off, a few times to let know to back off! Plus, it has the added bonus of pissing them off even more!

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  8. What you need is a bumper sticker that says, "Caution, I brake for no reason whatsoever." If they are really on your bumper, you can push the brake pedal down a little with your left foot and turn on your brake lights on without actually braking. Do that randomly until the asshole decides to follow someone else.

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  9. Ohh I love to be the Aggravator instead of the Aggravatee! So much fun. If someone talegates me I just slow down until they move to the next lane and then speed up again so they cannot get past. Or I do the same speed as the guy in the next lane and then they really get mad. Thanks for the laugh, I needed it.
    MaryCatholic

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  10. I have to admit "I play games with assholes like that!" Same as anonymous above, I do all the tricks. Today, I was stuck with thedaughter's car (I didn't want the dog hair in my car - on way to get sheared) - and her damn window does not roll down. WTF???? McDonald's had to laugh at me - as I looked like the redneck mom - pulling up and away from the window to get half-way out to reach my order. This may never happen again. Plus it is a tiny Cavalier - I'm not used to being that close to the ground.

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  11. Infiniti-those Japanese always name their cars after "almost words," like altima for ultima, maxima for maximum, infiniti for infinity, acura for accurate...WTF gives with that?
    I can see not tailgating in the fast lane if both lanes are clogged because of construction, but by God, if a driver is going slow in the fast lane and I am behind them trying to get somewhere, they need to move the fuck over!
    Yesterday, while muscling my way South on I-35 between Austin and San Antonio, there was a parade of fucked-up jalopies plugging down the fast lane doing 56 fuckin' mph.
    Sorry folks, but if someone is flashing their lights and resting their front bumper on the back of your driver's seat, how about letting go of that wounded pride and just moving your slow ass over to the middle or slow lane?
    I'll decide if going over the speed limit is all right with me, m'kay?
    I think they need to rename freeway lanes. The right lane should be called "Exits and Brain Dead," the middle lane should be called, "I really can't decide" and the left lane should be called, "Fuzzbusters, fast cars and deathwishers."
    If someone who drives faster or crazier than me starts tailgating, I just move over. It's a lot less dangerous than tapping the brakes and risking a serious accident.

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  12. Because I want to live to see another day I try really hard not to be a nice driver and let the assholes around me. 85 MPH--isn't that too fast? ok, me stick in mud I readily admit it ;)

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  13. cross out the not
    head meet hand!

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  14. I think a dashboard laser gun would be a great option in cars whose owner commutes. There'd be way less B.S. from a**hole drivers if they thought their actions might cause ther'ye own demise.

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  15. I have always wished I could have a loudspeaker installed on the top of my car so that I could give others advice on their driving.

    I am so with you - if I'm in the left land going 85 I will NOT move over!

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  16. Karen Zipdrive: so you've met my husband?!

    Let 'em go. I always do. Wish them a nice day as they zip on to their VERY IMPORTANT TASKS like saving the world from asteroids or CPR on the Dalai Lama. The rest of us need to realize that our time is NOTHING compared with theirs. They are VERY BUSY, IMPORTANT PEOPLE and we peasants need to let them by. I mean, he drives an INFINITI for Heaven's sake. You should have bowed to him and he raced by. He's so obviously superior.

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  17. Obviously crappy and or insane drivers are not a regional phenomenon. Why is it that otherwise courteous people once in their cars act completely differently?

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  18. Like Nan, tailgaters make me want to slam on my brakes knowing getting rear ended by some asswipe aggressively tailgating me driving an expensive car while talking on his cellphone would total my car and probably give me some injury that would require a lifetime of expensive medical care, but his insurance would pay big time. New car for me and free medical care for the rest of my life and a new house to live in--his.

    Instead of indulging this fantasy, I gave up driving on the freeway.

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  19. I never slam on the brakes, I just take my foot off the gas and decelerate until they get the damn point. It pisses them off and calms me down. It's a win win situation.

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  20. In australia they have a campaign for people like that. You roll down your window and hold your index finger and thumb about a half inch apart. The message is "only people with small dicks are so insecure feel the need to show their manhood by speeding or driving erratically." I've done that here but those men are usually too oafish to know the diff.

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  21. Close, GT: the sign is to make a fist, then stick your Pinkie finger out and wiggle it. It started here about a year ago, and was supposed to discourage young teenage boys who were wiping themsleves out at an alarming rate, but now has a broader audience.

    Me? I drive for myself, and if I'm doing at or above the speed limit and someone wants to tailgate me, I flick my review to nightvision, and ignore the MF'er. You can't let them win.

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  22. I had to laugh out loud on this one. I am always a nice driver till you piss me off. Then I am not very nice. Cut me off and you are lible to have me roll down my window at the stoplight, on two occasions this behavior was met with a gun. I am not detered. Fuck the drivers who are either so dumb as to not know the rules, or they choose to ignore them.

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  23. Tailgaters abound here in GA. I, too was subject to a motherfucker riding my puckered ass this morning and I mean puckered. But what is curious to me is that you were listening to Strauss - I feel as though that is a most wonderful piece to listen to on the way to work. Rock on Richard.

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  24. I've read that in NYC the cops are going to start a sweep to ticket people driving in the city who are on their cell phones (physically holding them). Because it's against the law. I'm all for it, especially since some asshole in a pricey car was on his cell phone and didn't notice my friend in the crosswalk right away. He didn't hit her, but if he did... Even at a slow speed that would hurt. Naturally I said something that I'm sure he understood.

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  25. I thought we were all suppose to have flying cars by now, ala the Jetsons? Idon't take the failures of such predictions lightly dammit!

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  26. Great post and my sympathies - I would so be on heavy sedatives or drinking cheap wine out of a traveler - if I had to commute downtown everyday - I have a hard enough time on the side roads of Gwinnett.

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  27. Don't you hate these guys! They pass you by looking at you like YOU'VE done something wrong! That was sweet poetic justice!!

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  28. geez, lisa, 85mph? that's nuts even for where I live, which is completely out of control and why I never drive on the freeway....I detest driving completely anywhere but especially the freeway...it's like people know they're on the "free-way" so that must mean it's free to do anything they want, like kill each other or run over the driver in front of them...

    that said, you are much nicer than I would be.... slamming on the brakes comes to mind but then it would be your car that would be annihilated! just stay off the lunatic freeway...I don't want anything to happen to you, dear woman...
    xoxo and lots of hail mary's (is that right? well whatever they say...)

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  29. The one good thing about living in nowhere, PA, is the lack of traffic. When I used to commute from Fort Worth to Dallas on a daily basis, I thought my head would explode. Now I just have to worry about getting stuck behind some Amish guy in his buggy.

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  30. So I see Metro Atlanta traffic hasn't changed a bit since I left.

    Randal's idea has merit.

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  31. For the record, if I need to answer or use my cell on the freeway, I move into the slow land so I don't get distracted and hold up traffic.
    Most of the fast lane, slowpoke hogs are on their phones, ya know.
    And I agree with whoever said he just slows down without tapping the brakes- that tapping the brakes thing can cause a pile-up with a lot of innocent victims involved.
    The tailgater may have time to react, but whoever's behind won't know what hit 'em.
    Is that what you really want?

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  32. Lisa, remember last October on US 41? Dude was tailgating me and then a guy cut me off - slammed on my breaks and I was rear-ended. That also caused another accident behind me.

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  33. *hee hee* What a douche. He so totally deserved to get boxed in. :)

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