Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Punch Bowl Winners' Circle: Slow drivers in the fast lane

What IS it with people who haven't yet acclimated to freeway travel? Freeways have been around for awhile, now. But by some hideous stroke of fate I am continually met with drivers for whom acceptable freeway behavior is a complete fucking mystery. If these maroons don't want to drive over 40, WHY do they even get on!?

I'm driving home from Torrance, which is 45 minutes of hell in itself, and things are going pretty well because it's still mid-day and it's a holiday weekend so a lot of people are home getting over bad decisions from the previous night, so I'm tooling along, pretty happy with myself. Which, apparently, can only be conveyed in a run-on sentence.

We're coming up on a series of transitions. You know, the 91 to the 605 to the 60 to the river Styx—those ubiquitous transitions which make the Los Angeles Freeway System one of the eight wonders of the world, just after wrestling togs.

So, I'm driving in the number-one lane as usual, because I can manage to drive 70 and think at the same time. In my peripheral view, I notice someone moving systematically from the number four lane inward. And I'm thinking, hey, this guy's gotta take the transition to the 60. It's clear that the guy is kind of on the inept side, but he's probably trying to time it right and doesn't really intend to slow everyone down and make a complete ass of himself.

So I withhold judgment, because it is my way.

As expected, he insinuates himself into my lane several cars ahead. We have to slow a bit, but hopefully, he'll be onto the 60 soon and thus, someone else's problem. But the transition to the 60 comes and goes, and he's still sitting here, in my and everyone else's way, in the FAST LANE. And I'm now going 63 instead of 70, because the drivers in front of me have had to slow down to 67 and 65, respectively.

Now. I'm. Officially.

Getting Pissed Off.

Look, Fuckwipe, WHY are you in the fast lane going 60? I was having a relaxing Sunday drive, glancing leisurely now and then at the passing scenery of snarled transition roads and haze. Now, I'm painfully reminded yet again that the L.A. gene pool has receded to Neanderthalian depths. My speedometer is sinking steadily toward 50, as you, in your epic cluelessness, settle into the fast lane, take out your blankie, and prepare for a long fucking nap.

In the midst of this foray into feebleness, we hear multiple Harleys rapidly gaining on us and then passing us as we snail along into oblivion. But my blood pressure is going faster than they are. And just as I’m about to do what the three drivers ahead of me have been forced to do, which is to change lanes and go around this loser, two cop cars approach in the number-two lane behind us with berries flashing, and the traffic compresses further.

Well, now it's all over. Mr. Troglodyte becomes startled by the noise and pretty flashing colors, so he slows to Mercury-in-retrograde. The rest of us have to break as quickly as it is safe to do so, which causes everyone else to break, which causes me to lose sight in one eye. Maybe it's a stroke or something. I'm about to lose valuable depth perception because of this tragic waste of spermatozoa.

Dear Troggy; Do you not realize that the Harleys are now in the slow lane, and the cops are in the slow lane behind them, and two lanes separate those of us in the fast lane from the criminals in the slow lane? Do you not see this? I know you must see this, because your head is continually snapping 90 degrees to the side and back, watching other people doing things that don't involve you, as you creep toward the next transition.

Which happens to be MY transition.

I have despaired of ever seeing home again. I’m going to be forced to drive behind Chromehead onto the transition, around the curve from the 605 to the 210, and merge with traffic at a much faster prevailing speed, which will further challenge Trog's already tasked reasoning abilities and likely cause a complete systematic shut-down and certain death. The transition approaches, and I wonder if I've forgotten to put my gun back into the glove compartment.

Troggy, I know you are the center of YOUR lane of peaceful, untroubled existence, but, clue in, Lameass: those cops are not concerned with you! They are currently busy! And there are other worlds besides yours, vehicles in motion, in service toward actually getting somewhere before the Apocalypse.

Oh, to have you alone, you of the low brow and prognathous jaw. Oh, to be in a bulletproofed, soundproofed room with you and Jack Bauer.

—Chris, Prism Trail

The number-one request I’ve gotten from people is to punch the living crap out of slow drivers and send them back to driver’s ed where they belong. Clearly and unfortunately, Chris’s tale of slow is something we can all relate to.

(Photo: flickr.com/photos/girlwithgreencard/2332058492/)

8 comments:

otisgexperience said...

Why didn't I think to submit this one?

The other TIWTPINF caused by this TIWTPINF are the people who get tired of waiting, and try to pass on the right... just so they can speed past, accomplish nothing, slam on their brakes, flail their arms, and end up back behind you.

Yet Another Steve said...

I've long held that traffic congestion, even on LA freeways, could be reduced or even eliminated if
1. Nitwit drivers would remember and adhere to the rule that SLOWER TRAFFIC KEEPS RIGHT, and
2. all the airheads would get off their damn phones and use their turn signals instead.

Yes, and then we'll wish for world peace and free popcorn for everyone.

Emilee said...

Funniest one yet, I believe.

KlevaBich said...

This is one of the funniest damn things I've ever read, particularly since I spent some time on the freeway today, and Holy Mother of God. Why? WHY do you want to be in the left lane? The FAST LANE. WHY?

Impulse Bride said...

FYI, this is a common problem in Seattle. As well as people merging into 60+mph traffic at 40. Yes, 40. I was behind them and thought I was going to get rear-ended by the oncoming traffic. HATE.

Kara said...

My husband and I just got reading this and we could not even read it we were laughing so hard. I wish I had your way with words. Will now be following your blog. Thanks for the laugh.

TaraFly said...

As a slow driver - no, make that "someone who drives the speed-limit" myself... I never cross into the left lane unless I'm taking an exit on the left.
However, we slower drivers detest you speed-demons just as venimously.. for endangering people's lives by tail-gating in the slow lane, and making rash passing manuveurs that will result in a crash sooner or later.
...you know, where you squeeeeeeeze between two vehicles which are practically glued together anyway, in an attempt to zigzag through traffic which secures your spot a whopping three cars in front of me. :P

seamstobeyouandme said...

Ok I know this was written over 6 months ago, but it has something in it that just drives me nuts - people who name freeways with "the" in front. "The 210" or "The 605". It seems to be a SoCal thing, to go along with "The OC" and such. (Although it's true that East Coasters refer to The Donald and The Oprah, so I guess I'm wrong there.) What gives? Is it so hard to say "I-5" or "SR 500", or even just "500" like the rest of the country?