Friday, March 4, 2016

"Idiot on Board"

I'm not going to die behind the wheel of this truck. Nor will it be old age that does me in. I've already beaten old age anyway. I'm ageless. 
Nope, what's going to do me in is the electric chair or lethal injection, depending on where I get convicted. What's going to happen is I'm going to end up shaking someone to death while screaming something like "are you seriously that stupid?! Tell me you haven't bred!" 

There's a strong chance the bystanders will be recording the whole incident because that's just what people do these days. The smarter ones will stay quiet though. 
Why am I Dextering people in my mind, though? Well I'm glad you asked because I was about to vent anyway. First, for you newcomers, you'll find I'm less "antisocial" and more "anti society". 

So I'm driving along today going through Columbia, SC and minding my own business. I'm cruising along doing the speed limit because I'm a law abiding citizen and stuff. Or I might've been doing about 5 over because I'm also kinda rebellious. The right hand lane turns into a long line of traffic that's trying to exit so I get over into the middle lane. 
As I do that a tiny car (something like a Yaris, I think) gets over from the far left lane and stays a little bit ahead of me. It was a successful merge. There was applause all around or should've been. For about a mile we are flowing nice and smoothly. Right up until she gets to the point that exit lane veers off. 

That's the point where she throws her turn signal on and comes to a stop, apparently hoping someone will let her in in the exit lane. So this whole time she was just trying to cut in at the front of the line? Fortunately for her, I was trying to leave a cushion of space and I was paying attention. Otherwise she would've gotten a 75 foot long suppository. I laid on the air horn and locked up my brakes to keep from running this twit over. 
Let's be clear about this though. The main reason we don't run you guys over when you do that is because we've got a schedule to keep. Well, that's my reason. I don't feel like wasting a day on the paperwork involved. Plus I don't want to mess up my truck and get idiot all over it. It's bad for the paint job. 

Did she notice that she nearly became mush?  I'm pretty sure she did because she quit texting or facebooking long enough to flip me off. Yeah, she flipped ME off like I was the asshat here when SHE was the one trying to defeat traffic AND stopping in the travel lane. Sure, I'm the bad guy. I can only hope she was making her own funeral arrangements on that phone of hers. 

Hey, you wanna text, Facebook, surf the web, whatever, I'm fine with that. Pick an empty stretch of road and have at. Hell, get on a nice flat straightaway that's empty and pull up your favorite blog if you want. So long as it's mine. Read an ebook if you want. (Again, I recommend the one I co-authored. It's on Nook. Look for "Words From the Heart"). Just don't do that shit in the middle of town. Read your exit signs instead. 

Had I hit her then they'd have automatically come after me. Why? Because I'm a "professional driver". That makes everyone else amateurs by default. So how's that fair? You give me a road to do my professional driving on and an amateur gets in my way and gets hurt and it's MY fault?! 
That's like letting little Johnny take his gocart out on a race track and blaming the other drivers if he gets run over. That's just...dumb. 

On the same token, if you drive a truck and you're riding the bumper of the car in front of you then you're just an asshole. There's no excuse for that. Back off and act right. You wouldn't want a truck in your trunk if you were driving around with your kids in the backseat. There's no way you could react in time to even slow down if they hit the brakes hard. Hell, even if you're in a car, just don't tailgate. It's senseless. 
Conversely, if you're not even doing the speed limit and you're out in that far left lane or middle lane, you're an idiot. Slower traffic keep right. I'm not asking you to build rockets; just have some sense. 

"But they've got handicap plates.." 
So? Stupid isn't a handicap. I mean, it kinda IS but not the kind that gets you the plates. If it were then there'd be tons of them on the road. In fact, stupid is so common these days that having some sense almost qualifies you as an X-man. 

In many places trucks aren't allowed in the left lane. So that middle lane becomes our "fast lane". It's where we go to get around morons who don't know which exit they want. 
Here's the thing...when folks get in that middle lane and just sit there, we've got limited choices. We can either get in the far right lane and play "dodge car" with the folks who can't figure out how to merge at highway speeds (that seems to be just about everyone) or we can get out in that far left lane to pass you. That's the "high dollar lane" for us truckers. It's called that because of the size of the ticket we get for being in it. If you see us coming up behind you in the middle lane then just move to the right. Or you can just stay outta my fast lane unless you're going faster than me! Know where you're going and read the signs. It's not brain surgery. 

Which reminds me. The other day I saw a cargo van from some dog breeder's farm. I think it said "Blasik Labs" or something on the side. The license plate read "Labbie". I found that humorous for some reason. There was a sign on back that read "crated dogs don't tailgate". Now, I took this to mean that the dogs won't tailgate people so long as they're in those crates. 
I was later informed it probably meant don't tailgate the van because there are animals inside. I thought, "how absurd. So it's ok to tailgate if there aren't crated dogs in a vehicle?!" If I understand that correctly then there are circumstances where tailgating is perfectly acceptable? How about we just put bumper stickers on all vehicles that read "back off, asshole!"  

Speaking of which, I appreciate these signs "baby on board". I recently had a conversation in which we discussed the origin of these signs. What most people don't know is that they were created to alert first responders to look for a child in case of emergency. 
Good idea. However, we get carried away with stuff here in America. Yes, it's not bad to put a sign up in the window so emergency personnel know to look past that window. On a full size conversion van or large SUV this could be necessary. If you need this sign in your Honda Fit then you must be expecting a blind firefighter to be coming to your rescue. Your car is only so big, your kid isn't lost in your back seat. 

But then we took it even farther, to the point of ridiculous, as is the American way. "Chihuahua on board", "pug on board", "cat on board", the list goes on. Look, we don't care. Chihuahuas are bitey little assholes. And a cat?! Yeah, I'm gonna reach in to rescue that razor clawed thing while it's freaking out? Not a chance in hell. 
If your precious Siamese is in a cat carrier wearing a straight jacket and a Hannibal Lecter mask...maybe. But that's a weak maybe. 

Here's a better idea. Try not to drive like a moron. Especially if you've got your kids in the car. (Someone else's kids? Well, I guess it depends whether or not you like them). Play with your own life if you must but leave them at home when you do it. In the motoring world size matters and I guarantee you I'll win. 

Look, if you can't figure out what's smart and what isn't before you get on the road then just turn in your license and get an Amish car. You obviously need a horse because it's got more sense than you do. You ever hear about a massive pileup of buggies? No. Why? Because they don't run around driving like morons. How's that for insulting?! People who don't even own cars have better driving skills than the rest of you! 
A group of people who think electricity is a passing fad and think taking their picture will steal their soul or something have more common sense than some yuppy in a Prius. 

"I want to minimize our impact on the planet.." Blah blah blah. 

You stop that go cart in front of me on the highway you're gonna make an impact on my grill. Pay attention or you'll be lucky if you're driving a wheelchair.