Tag Archives: driving

Being Adult: They See Me Rollin’. They Hatin’.

15 Jan

Let me assure you, they are not “tryin’ to catch me ridin’ dirty”. The Po-po, that is. The police. I don’t drive around with illegal drugs is what I’m trying to say.

Now that we’ve gotten past that unnecessary clarification, I have a few stories to tell you.

The day after I got my drivers permit, my mom took me out to the local library to begin learning how to drive. This was possibly the worst idea my mom has ever had.

When we got there, the library was crowded—apparently my library has a rush hour. who knew?—and I was a ball of anxiety. Sure, I was only going ten miles in a parking lot, but those videos of deceased teens that drove off an icy road, drove home drunk, etc were the only thing could think of. It felt like my ultimate doom, my final game over, those ill-mannered fates that were determined to destroy me would all collide in this library parking lot.

Luckily, I didn’t die.

Unluckily, I did back into a light post… it just came out of nowhere.

lamppost

Don’t let that concrete brick at the bottom of the lamp post fool you. Lamp posts are like ninjas. Concrete can’t stop them.

After that, I didn’t drive for the next two years, leading me to only get my drivers license when I was 20.

Even now, when I drive there is this overwhelming sense of nervousness that escalates when I see other drivers being worse at driving than I am. It takes a really special person to do that—or maybe just an intoxicated person.

You never really know what road rage feels like until someone pulls out in front of you when you’re going 45 mph… and then keeps their blinker on for the next five miles… and is also blaring their music as if the whole world wanted to hear it—fun fact: your music sucks.

My natural response has always been a high level of sarcasm.

Really? You couldn’t just wait could you? After all, your life is so important that the rest of us are just obstacles to be overcome.

Nice blinker, bro. It’s so much fun to use your blinker. Really, when you’ve already determined to be a crap driver, go ahead and leave your blinker on. No one knows what the hell you’re doing anyway.

Sarcasm, however, only makes me more frustrated and impatient. It doesn’t help me get over the fact that people are rude and partially blind sometimes—and my driving becomes that much worse.

Lately, however, I had an idea, which has been working pretty well over the past couple of weeks.

Disclaimer: if you try this in front of other people, they will be instantly weirded out. If you’re like me, it’s nothing new. My friends have come to expect this, but when you’re driving with someone who doesn’t know you very well—or your parents—you may want to repress it. Just don’t do it.

Okay, then.

Let’s say, some lady is talking on her phone and talking to her friend sitting shotgun—multitasking as it is. BUT, she is also driving right in front of you. You know exactly what she is doing because she just pulled her Prius out of the Alcove Coffee parking lot two feet in front of you, and you had to bring your massive minivan to a grinding halt. Thus, your headlights are now illuminating her entire car.

You can see her coffee cup. You want coffee.

You can also see how fluffy her hair is. She kinda’ looks like a poodle, but, really, a poodle knows better than to jump out in front of a minivan.

Right now, you want to scream profanities to the high heavens so loud that she, her friend on the phone, her friend sitting shotgun, and their next five generations to come can all hear it.

But don’t.

Take a moment and calm down. Then remember, there’s something deeper going on here.

She’s not merely a crazy lady who has gotten so careless in her driving that she felt confident in endangering the lives of those around her. No.

She is a dinosaur. Literally. She is the spirit of an old dinosaur god of pre-history stuck in the body of a human. She’s talking to other members of the Alpha-Wolf-Dino-Squad on her phone and arranging to meet them in the park. She, her dinosaur brethren, and some part-time recently recruited werewolves are meeting up tonight to take down a dangerous clan of vampires determined to convert the entire population of your city to their vampire clan thing.

That person next to her is a young woman who recently discovered that she had the spirit of one of these dinosaur gods living inside her. Her presence has turned the tables in the favor of the Alpha-Wolf-Dino-Squad. Their victory is almost assured.

Sure, she is driving like she is five different types of intoxicated—but she is currently repressing her anger for fear that her body will transform into its natural dinosaur form.

Who wants to be driving behind a brontosaurs that has just torn through a Prius?

No one. Brontosauruses are slow and take up two lanes. Traffic would be terrible.

words

The view of a brontosaurus in front of you from behind your windshield. Fortunately, brontosauruses are vegetarians, so she won’t try to eat you.  Unfortunately, dinosaurs don’t have blinkers or break lights, so she’ll probably hit you.

Instead, you keep your distance. That way, if she does transform, her tail won’t side-swipe you.

 

Sure, that guy right next two you saw your blinker and, instead of slowing down or speeding up, is going the same speed as you. He may seem to be speeding up and slowing down exactly as you do and refusing to let you over. But there is something deeper going on

He has mistaken your car for the minivan that his daughter drove—the same daughter who whose minivan was hijacked by a group of rogue shape shifters in the middle of nowhere. It took his daughter five days to find civilization after that, and he is pissed about it.

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A bear and a snake steal your car: it’s both a start to a bad pun and something that you’d never want to tell the police.

Just keep trying to switch lanes. Eventually, he’ll see the back of your car and realize that you do NOT have the “Rogue Shape Shifters FTW” bumper sticker, so you couldn’t possibly be them. Once reassured, he’ll let you over.

Maybe.

 

What? Did that group of teenagers almost hit you while trying to pull out of their parking spot?

Calm down and keep your distance.

They just discovered they have superpowers, that they might be “the chosen one”, and are trying to figure out their lives.

High school sucks to begin with. Try adding laser beam eyes or the ability to inflate your entire body.

Then, consider that they also realized that the government wants to hunt them down to run experiments on them until they are no longer minors, at which point they’ll be made into super-soldiers.

Meanwhile, the one that can fly into outer space has just discovered a fleet of alien ships hovering just outside of our atmosphere with their guns pointing directly at your city.

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Question: would having laser beam eyes get you a handicap sticker?

They got a lot of crap to deal with. Unfortunately, learning to drive is one of them.

 

There is something about thinking about terrible drivers being ridiculously not-quite-human that is instantly calming—and driving becomes ten times more awesome.

Would you rather yell at your windshield, wishing to give those drivers a three-hour lecture on how to properly make a left-turn, only to realize that they don’t care and don’t hear you…

OR

Would you rather talk about how driving behind the former President of the Republic of Atlantis sucks because he is still trying to get used to the idea of having feet instead of a tail? Instead, you can have a lively discussion with anyone in your car about the situation that forced him into driving when he’s only had legs for the last 12 hours.

They wouldn’t have heard your swearing, so they certainly won’t hear you talk about their fictional romantic entanglements with a genie.

At first, making up these stories on the fly is a bit tricky. For the first week, the only thing I could think of was a plot involving a Turkish Prince who was determined to search for his bride-to-be that was kidnapped by the CIA. I don’t even think Turkey has princes…

If you need plot ideas, I would highly recommend reading through the Paranormal Romance summaries on Good Reads– The more ridiculous, the better. The more you come up with these plot entanglements, the easier it becomes.

For me, the frustration and anger that comes from road rage is much more distraction from driving than the effort it may take to create these stories.

Try it, my home slices. See if it works for you.

Peace out!

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