August 29, 2017
Traffic has been crazy this summer in Northern Kentucky, due in large part to the lane closures on the Brent Spence Bridge for repairs. A lot of traffic was diverted over my way, and my nerves are frazzled by the wealth of bad drivers I have encountered.
The good news is that the bridge repair is finished and, though it’s still a little crazy out there, traffic has eased somewhat. Still, the burnout effect lingers. It isn’t so much the speeders. It’s hard to finger-point considering my past driving record. Besides, it’s difficult to speed when traffic is moving only 5 mph in all three lanes.
Nor is it distracted drivers. I’m at the age where I can get distracted doing nothing but just driving and thinking at the same time. Ask my wife.
What does bug me, though, are the drivers with attitude. They are the reason I get an attitude. Maybe it would sound better if I called my position righteous indignation.
I’ll try to think nice thoughts as I go forward here, but lately it’s getting tougher to do. There are three of those types of drivers who irk me the most. I’ll list them all, saving the worst offenders for last . . . if I can hold out that long.
Irksome Driver #3—The idi . . .—sorry, misguided soul—who jumps on his horn if anyone waits more than a tenth of a second to resume movement after the light turns green. Those pokey folks used to bug me, too. But now it’s different—I am one of them.
When I hear that horn, I start dreaming again that I still own that giant old Ford station wagon from the ‘60s, the one with the fake wood panels and a third row bench seat facing backwards, shockingly similar to the one in the photo above. The things I could do with it. Would it be so unusual for an old pokey person to accidentally throw it in reverse, then meekly apologize for my clumsiness when we got out to survey the damage? After all, the horn startled me.
I’ve heard many acronyms for Ford. For me, F-O-R-D could stand for “Ferreting Out Rude Drivers.”
I wish everybody was like the lady behind us in the drive-through line at Wendy’s one day. I actually fell asleep while waiting to pull up to the window—it had been a tough week in traffic—and Bonnie didn’t notice because she was engrossed in an exciting book. I don’t know what woke me, but it wasn’t a horn. The two cars that had been in front of me were gone, and the lady was patiently waiting. If I had been more awake, I would have thought to pay for her meal.
I’m pausing here to pray for a merciful spirit like that lady had.
Irksome Driver #2—The tailgater. One day the traffic on I-71 had reached an encouraging 35 mph during rush hour. A lady directly behind me was trying to drive 40, and she was braiding her hair while driving! I want people to look good, but really. Her SUV was huge, especially compared to my Honda Element. I had been in a great mood, but my old carnal nature started to rise to the surface again. With my old Ford, I could have braked quickly for a salamander crossing the road. That might have jolted the driver into keeping her distance. Fortunately, I didn’t want to chance damaging my Element.
Irksome Driver #1—The driver who races past a mile-long line of traffic that is merging into fewer lanes ahead, expecting someone to let him over in the last three yards. Well, it won’t be me letting him in. I gladly make room for some people who don’t try to beat the system. But to block these drivers, I become Tailgater Man.
I know, I just said I hate tailgating. I don’t know what happens to me on the road. I am generally a laid-back kind of guy. What I need to do is pray about my attitude and stop letting these aggressive drivers bother me. Like the bumper sticker says: Think good thoughts.
In the meantime, though, I might keep my eye out for an old Ford wagon. Doesn’t matter if it has a few dents, especially in the rear.
Ford photo courtesy of Old Parked Cars