by Jason Love,
Syndicated Humor Columnist
When people see me drive, they have questions. For example, “What kind of idiot are you?”
Well, I’m not the kind who keeps passing cars on the onramp until it becomes a merging crisis.
I’m also not the kind with 10,000-lumen headlights that make you feel like you’re being abducted by alien spacecraft.
What kind of idiot am I? I’m the multitask idiot who can’t stay between the lines. Seriously, I’m ready for those plastic tubes they use for bumper bowling.
I might keep my hands in the 10:00-2:00 position if traffic weren’t forever trapped in road repair. By my house, they’ve been working on the boulevard since Ford announced assembly-line construction.
The other day we sat for so long that I learned a new song on the harmonica (seriously): “Oh, when the saints … come marching in …”
Then, of course, drivers go into warp speed trying to make up the time. Police can’t figure out who to stop anymore.
“I pulled you over because you’re the only one I could catch up with.”
We keep seeing those electronic signs that show your speed in case you don’t have an odometer. If the state really wants to slow us down, they should display the cost of the ticket.
“Your speed is … $150.”
I myself could use a speed minimum. People zoom by me not because they’re late but out of principle. Sometimes they pull up beside me to see what I look like-add it to their Idiot Profile. I always want to ask for Grey Poupon.
During my only accident, as a teen, I demolished a streetlight that was clearly at fault. The airbag hurt more than anything. If I were a parent, I’d fill the airbags with fake blood to drive home the lesson.
In other parts of the world-and by that I mean the Dominican Republic-there are no rules at all. You just plow your way through intersections by car or bike or bull. (Note: If you are on a bull, red is not a good color for stop.)
Compare to America, where cameras catch you with the panicky look you have on those surprise photos at the end of a roller coaster. So it goes.
Soon there will be a ban on text-messaging, which is kind of like proving thoughtcrime.
“No, officer, I wasn’t texting; I was balancing my checkbook. Totally different.”
I don’t mind giving up messaging so long as I can eat salad, wrap presents, tweeze my eyebrows, and steer with my knee in the 6:00 position.
I’ve finished entire novels sitting at stoplights. I know-that’s a lot of writing! I used to get nervous about missing the green but find that the person behind me almost always gives a sound queue. Sometimes they indicate that I’m number one.
My driving gets worse when I follow directions. Half the time I get them from this guy:
“You turn left at the blue car, but if the car isn’t there, look for a maple tree with the broken branch…”
Or sometimes this guy: “You go north on Fifth Street, then south-southeast on West Third.”
“Left or right, man. I don’t carry a compass.”
So, yes, I’m saving up for a GPS. I want the kind that you can program with celebrity voices. Can you imagine Robert De Niro’s…
“What, am I stupid?! I told you to turn back there. Don’t make me freakin’ recalculate.”
I myself can’t have extra buttons in the car; I’ve got ADHD (which is, by the way, an unfairly long acronym for that disorder). Have you ever been driving and suddenly realize that you can’t remember the past ten miles? That’s what it’s like: I don’t drive so much as I end up places.
I know it’s wrong to steer by Braille and that I, like all drivers, hold the public well-being in my little pinky … or knee or whatever. For this reason, I’ve decided to cut back on in-car activities and focus on one thing at a time. I’m starting with the music.
“Oh, when the saints … come marching in…”
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Jason Love is an award-winning humor columnist, stand-up comedian, and author of “Snapshots: The Big Picture,” available at Amazon.com. Check out more of his work at www.jasonlove.com.