Saturday, February 10, 2018

I Used to Like Driving

Like most Americans, in my youth I actually enjoyed driving. The American love for driving is legendary, and I used to buy in to some extent. Those days have been over for a while- driving is now an annoying task that has to be undertaken in order to get from point A to point B. This week has been a terrible week on the roads of the region. On Wednesday morning, there was a twenty-five car pileup on the Tappan Zee Bridge during a snowstorm. Luckily, management cancelled a meeting concerning our company health plan that was scheduled for that morning, so I didn't have to fight the horrors of rush hour compounded by some serious dumbassery.

Yesterday, while driving home from work at stupid o'clock, I passed a terrible accident that had occurred in the opposite side of the highway, a wrong-way crash that landed seven people in the hospital and closed the Bronx River Parkway for six hours. Seeing the extent of the police activity, I immediately turned out the all-news radio station for the litany of horrors. Luckily, I wasn't affected by this crash, which was eerily similar to another wrong-way crash which delayed my homecoming for over an hour a few years ago.

Theoretically, I should enjoy driving- I have a small car with a manual transmission that is fun to drive under ideal conditions... it's the conditions that leave something to be desired. The roads are in rough shape, and the drivers are worse- people are distracted, they are aggressive, I have noticed recently that a lot of them have trouble even staying in lane. More and more, the roads seem like the 'suicidal race' that that Stang-fella sang about decades ago. Fun fun fun, my ass!


BDR said...

A couple of years ago, as an experiment, I started driving the speed limit of just above. I was never a speeding weaver, but I was an 80 in 70, 55 in 45 kind of driver. I was never aggressive, but I was not kind.

I've had more birds thrown my way in two years of gentle driving than I did in 40 years of unkind driving.

Fine metaphors abound.

tony in san diego said...

In my youth I used to be the fastest thing on the road: if someone was in front of me, they were going too slow!
In my mature years, I have discovered to my delight that if I want to have an open road ahead of me, all I have to do is drive the speed limit.

mikey said...

Heh. Me too.

Back in the 90s I lost my license for getting a billion tickets. So I had to drive for several years without a license, so I started driving slowly and politely. Eventually I got my license reinstated, but I kept the 'get there last, have more fun' approach to the act of driving. An old friend of mine (no longer with us) used to say I drive like old people fuck.

Personally, I'm all for self driving cars, sooner rather than later...

Anonymous said...

The automobile is mans greatest mistake. We have contaminated the planet with millions of the four wheeled shitboxes and we think that EVs and self driving cars are going to solve the problem. You have to recognize the problem before you can solve the problem and the problem is the automobile and everything it stands for.

lara11231 said...

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Karl Kolchak said...

Just discovered your blog. Great post. I'm 52, and feel exactly the same way. The number of miles I drive annually has decreased from around 24,000 back when I was in my 20s to about a quarter of that today. I've gotten to the point where I even dread having to drive to the supermarket because I know I'm going to see at least one bit of idiocy on the roads along the way.

mistah charley, ph.d. said...

two words -

distracted driving
cell phones

ok, 4 words

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