I have about decided that to operate a motor vehicle on a public roadway no longer takes any intelligence what so ever. I travel down two major highways and interstates to go to and from work. I travel them every day and after a while you start noticing the same people about the same place every day. I say this so that you might understand that I am full well aware that these are not tourists or people who are unfamiliar with that roadway.
When you exit off of 820 going East onto I35W going North, it is a left exit. This is not new. This hasn't changed in, oh lets say, 20 years? Maybe it is that the sign is cleaner? Oh hell lets just face it. Your too busy eating, putting on your face, READING??? Dear God I passed a man literally reading the newspaper across his steering wheel WITH A CUP OF COFFEE IN HAND!
Now knowing that this is a left exit to go North, common sense says this is going to bring you down onto the left hand side of the interstate. Right?? Well the state of Texas was even kind enough to give you your very own lane to come down onto so as to keep traffic flowing. Now this third lane travels for about 1.5 miles. That gives traffic plenty of time to merge with the flowing traffic, safely. It works like a zipper. I am sure your familiar with those right?
Now a good and conscientious driver, within that 1.5 miles, has already gaged traffic ahead and is noting approximately where he will merge. Please note, I said good and conscientious driver. At the halfway point, I have already noted that there are nothing but brake lights up ahead. OK, that tells me it is going to be one of "those" mornings.
"Those" mornings are, the ones that prove my original point. Now I understand that we are all just racing to get to jobs we absolutely love to spend our daylight hours toiling away at, appreciated and loved by management. They prove that by paying us. Hey I can't speak for everyone but I am damn happy to have a job in this economy.
You meet a number of different type of people in this situation and being a people watcher, lots of fodder for the blog. There is the:
1. Mr/Ms Greenpeace... I drive my hybrid car at EXACTLY the speed limit. I move to the right lane as that is where the slower traffic, by law, belongs. (BTW? I love these guys). I signal, I pivot my head in both directions and check for blockage PRIOR to changing lanes. Hell I even signal when I exit on an exit only lane.... I am also the one with the baby on board, save the whales stickers...
2. Mr./Mrs. Executive... I am the one that is driving my high end sedan at whatever speed I chose. I have my blue tooth in and I am doing business on the fly. As a result of my blue tooth I am unable to pivot my head to check for blockage but you will slam on your brakes so as not to hit me because it is obvious I am better insured than you. I might use my blinker if I am not too busy writing a note with the other hand.
3. Juan Gonzales' and all 19 of my cousins. Legal address: Mexico.. Need I say more?
4. Blue collar John Q Citizen.. Late getting out the door, company truck, cup of coffee and cig in one hand, cell phone in the other. I am in a hurry to get to the job site so the boss doesn't know I was laid out late last night and overslept this morning, damn I hope he can't smell the beer.
5. Mr./Ms. Junior.. I haven't been driving long but you can't tell huh? I am in and out of lanes at the speed of sound. Was that a horn I heard?? Dunno, the bass speaker drowns out everything including the lights and sirens coming up behind me. Blinkers?? What blinkers? Were those that expensive option? Or maybe I am out of blinker fluid? (serious tongue in cheek here)
6. Mr. 18 wheeler... Now most of these guys, I try to cut some slack.. I really do. Some if not most of them might never have been down here before and they are truly "tourists". They are hauling TONS of stuff that will not stop on a dime and people cut them off without a second thought. These guys are busy trying to read the road signs and avoid the previous 5 types of people.
Now as you will note I said, most of these guys..That does not include the local haulers of rock, lumber, and other various types of products. These guys, some are good drivers. Unfortunately, I have not had the privilege of meeting too many of those good ones at that hour of the day. Most of them are smart, know the traffic pattern, and find another way around. No, the ones I meet are talking on their cells while driving a multiple ton bullet at a high rate of speed through congested traffic. They are on a deadline and damn it your in their way... They will cuss you, throw things at you... If your blonde and hot?? They will run down anyone to get another look.
Now my last one hits the closest to home for me...
7. Mr/Ms Motorcyclist..There are two kinds of us.. There are those of us that wear a helmet (or not in some cases), bright colors, we use our blinkers and we watch what is going on around us. We ride safely and we make it to our destinations in one piece.
Then there are the ones that make me shake my head. These are the guys with the $400 helmet but they are wearing shorts and a tank top... Oh so you want to protect your noggin but don't give a hang about the rest of the body? Oh your not gonna go down? Then you don't ride. If you ride regularly, you are going to go down at some time. Be it your fault or someone else's it won't matter.
Oh and dude? Yes, that is a woman riding that motorcycle.. Big F'n deal... No, I don't want to wave at you... and if you don't mind? GO ON! The last thing I need is to be too busy making sure you don't run me over, to not see the other guy coming up behind me fast.
I think that covers most of them and I am sure there are some I missed... must have been a slow day on the interstate.. As tomorrow is Friday, that must mean I will get to meet the other interesting drivers I missed on today's blog.