Category Archives: Road Trips

Road Trips

ImageI hate traveling long distances in a vehicle, especially if I’m the one driving.  Anything longer than an hour or two becomes maddening for me.  I would never make it as a truck driver.  Recently I took a trip via car to see a friend of mine; a four hour drive.  First, I must think something about this friend as driving four hours is tantamount to having flesh removed.  I would almost rather have teeth extracted; seriously.

As luck would have it, The Kid would get stuck in traffic just 20 minutes into the drive due to an accident on the highway just four miles from the exit I needed to take!  Those four miles took over an hour to negotiate.  I was already livid.

I have more than a few foibles concerning road etiquette.  It seems to me that once you are behind the wheel of a machine weighing thousands of pounds and expected to operate it safely then this responsibility should jump straight to the top of your priority list.  And should you take this vehicle of considerable weight and push its velocity in such a way to have this vehicle reach speeds greater than, oh I don’t know let’s say 3 MPH, then not paying attention to anything other than the operation of the vehicle is inexcusable.  As much as I believe anyone who reads this would agree with every word, I can only imagine how often each of you zone out when you’re moving at speeds of 45, 55, 65, or 70 mph.

One of my foibles is the “slow-ass” passer.  This person, for whatever reason, feels the need to pass other vehicles doing the exact speed limit posted, by achieving hair-raising limits of just 1 to 2 miles per hour over the posted speed.  Never mind that they could have easily reduced their nerve rattling speed of 57 in a 55 to 55 and fall in tow… no, no; they HAD to get by that slower bugger doing the suggested speed.  It makes much more sense to get in the passing lane without increasing their speed and slow 16 cars and trucks down for the 8 miles it takes to actually pass another vehicle doing 1 mph greater speed and then get over out of the passing lane.  This is but one peeve.

Another is the use of turn signals and headlights, which I know both come standard with every vehicle sold but obviously it is not a necessity to know how to use these items before you are allowed to purchase a vehicle.  But I feel these irksome issues I can discuss in length at just about any time, the peeve I would like to discuss along with the “slow-ass” passer would be the “undecided” passer.  This person you notice in your review mirror coming up at a steady pace and then as they get along side you they pass you in increments.  They’re at your bumper holding steady then surge up to you driver’s door, only to drift back to your back quarter panel and hold steady for a few seconds.  Then they lurch forward even with you only to drift back to where the nose of their car is back to you driver’s door again.  This stop and go continues for about a minute or two, than they get past you to open road and haul ass again.  PASS ME ALREADY!!!!!

So, during my travel and only a short distance after the accident, The Kid is on a four lane stretch of highway taking me from one state to another when I come across the “slow-ass” passer first.  She was in a blue Honda Accord and pulled out in the passing lane just as I was coming up on the group of cars she had been riding with for more than a little while.  I knew this because I had visibility on the cars as I approached them for perhaps 4 or 5 miles ahead of time.  Why did she wait until me and a couple other faster paced vehicles reached her position before pulling out?  Anyway, after falling in behind this middle-aged lady in the blue Honda Accord for the next several miles while she passed the vehicles doing the posted 60 mph at her blistering speed of 61, I managed to get into a comfortable zone traveling at about 70/71 in a 65 mph area.  That’s when the “undecided” passer came up on my side.

This was a young woman as I could tell from my driver’s side mirror.  She was driving a silver grey Hyundai.  It took her some time to pass me, and as she pull along side of me I confirmed she was a young lady, blonde and not unattractive, and it appeared as if there were a car seat in the back of the vehicle.  The “Baby on Board” sticker in the back window confirmed.  Just a few miles up the road, the single mom driving the silver grey Hyundai was caught in a little bit of slow moving traffic I would end up passing her back.  Minutes later I could see she was again in the passing lane and about to leap frog me one more time.

Again, she would pull a little further along side of me only to drift back some and hold steady for 15 or 20 seconds.  Then she would again lurch forward and gain some ground.  It was when the young mother was nearly even with me that she swerved into my lane… WTF!?!

I looked over to witness the young lady texting.  She was passing me at over 70 mph and she was texting!  I nearly flipped a lid.  The young mother gained control of her self and was up the road in no time.  Before long I couldn’t see her at all.  I was still fuming 5 miles down the road in disbelief that another human being had the audacity to put my life at risk.

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A short time up the road I need to stop for gas.  There hadn’t been a turn off for fuel in quite some time and I took the first chance I could at a small little Podunk town.  As I pulled my vehicle up to pump 2 at the only gas station in town, low and behold there sat the silver grey Hyundai with the “Baby on Board” parked in front of me at pump 4.  I recognized the young lady as she and her little daughter exited the store.  I could not help but approach.

“Excuse me, Ma’am?”  I smiled as I walked up towards the store’s entrance upon her exit.

She slowed down and put a hand on her daughter’s shoulder, “Yes?”

“Is that your silver grey Hyundai there with the “Baby on Board” sticker in the back?”  She looked at me as if I were about to tell her she left her lights on.

“Yes it is. Did I…” I didn’t have time to listen to her; she needed to listen to me.

I smiled brightly, “I am not exactly sure how serious you take the safety of your child, I take it that her safety is of great importance hence the ‘Baby on Board’ sticker, right?”

The young mother blinked, “Well, yea…”

“I thought so.  Then perhaps I should give you this warning,” My smile became a little wider and I pierced my gaze deep into her eyes, “Should you ever drive pass me at 70 plus miles per hour while texting again, you might hope that you flip your car six or seven times and decapitate both you and your child rather than let me find you…” her lip quivered.  I finished, “just saying.”Image

I walked into the store and grabbed a Coke Zero, all the time watching as the young woman put her child into her car seat, got in her vehicle, and left the premises.  I didn’t notice her look for my license plate number so I think I am not being looked for as a crazy SOB threatening evil vehicle texters like some sort of wanna be super hero vigilante.  That is not my desire.  I just thought she should have something to think about while she was driving… that’s all.