Tuesday, September 18, 2007

The road is my playground

Why is it that when people are in their car, they revert to being a kid again?

I mean, remember way back when, the teacher would say "Line up!" and everyone would rush to be first in line? Pushing and shoving to be first. I'm sure I was scolded more than once for that. Over time, we learn not to push and shove, and to discount that innate "me first" mentality. (Well, some of us anyway. ) We learn courtesy, we understand that "me first" means "fuck everybody else", and we control ourselves enough to fit into a civil society. And we understand the rewards of that behavior. Smiles of thanks and gratitude. Warm feelings for and from our fellow human beings sharing the planet.

But on the road, it seems that many of these things that we learned growing up go right out the window. I don't understand it. The tailgating shouts, "Get the fuck out of my way!" Imagine at the supermarket someone bumping you with their cart while you're waiting for the cashier. One would never do that! Or speeding up to get in front of you and then slamming on the brakes. That's like jumping in front of someone to enter a building and slamming the door in the person you just cut off's face. You'd get punched for that!

Somehow the metal wrapping lets people drop their civility. Even I feel these urges when I'm behind the wheel.

It's only been a month and I'm already sick of driving.

15 comments:

Ed said...

I was driving lst night with a guy behind me in a Jeep. It had a roll bar with lights on it. It had extra lights on the front Bumper. It had lights mounted on the sides near the mirrors. He had every one of those fuckers on bright. He seemed to think if he got right up on my ass I would go faster. The road is very curvy and no place to pass. I could have read a newspaper from the glare off my mirrors. Asshat!

David said...

I don't miss driving for a second.

Snooze said...

Your analogies are perfect and gave me a great laugh for the day.

Cooper said...

I love to drive. The kilometres of open highway singing along to the music kind of driving, not the bumper to bumper big city kind. I think you're right ... people take on a different mindset on the road. It's like we become a mini-dictator of our own small space or something.

Lemuel said...

Welcome to the world of automotive WMD's! The convenience of having a car comes with interesting side costs.

Interestingly, I *have* been in a supermarket in which someone rammed the cart into my heels because I was apparently in his way and not shopping fast enough. (BTW, the aisle was wide enough for him to "pass", too.)

GayProf said...

What drives me nuts is that everybody thinks that they are excellent drivers and it's all the other people on the road who are the problem. How self-centered can you get? I am not all that thrilled to be driving again.

em said...

http://tinyurl.com/2j4eup

That's the Disney short Motor Madness which your post reminded me about. I always think of Mr Wheeler when I get nuts enough. I'd like to say it's only those other people on the road, but nope it is me too.

Patricia said...

i often think that the same people who tailgate, turn without signalling, or are overly aggressive behind the wheel are the same ones who are rude bullies outside their cars, too. but you're right. the car's armor gives them a sense of power they wouldn't ordinarily have if they weren't basically carrying a ton of steel around with them.

The Persian said...

I admit my primitive animal side comes out in certain situations.

Like Sex for example.. :)

Lewis said...

I've always wondered why the rules of the road don't always apply to everyone, everywhere. Say, even in grocery stores or when walking on sidewalks. seems like we all get crazy and go nuts sometimes.

Daniel, the Guy in the Desert said...

If I go to Spokane, I'll probably get a car, but I don't want to drive any more than is absolutely necessary. I don't like driving.

David said...

Got to say, Torn, that most drivers -and I think especially here in Southern California - drive like baboons on crack.

I've never seen a bunch of drivers who will wait to the last moment to get off at their exit, just so they don't have to get in the slow lane and idle at 55 until they get there.

dawn said...

Driving is the only time I feel like it is really possible that I could kill people.

-Tony- said...

I've only been riding my motorcycle for about 2 months now and imagine doing that in the city of Los (your mind) Angeles! Today I had a tailgater and he finally got the message that he had to get off my butt when I motioned for him to go around....I was traveling 60mph too boot!

Chunks said...

"Imagine at the supermarket someone bumping you with their cart while you're waiting for the cashier. One would never do that! Or speeding up to get in front of you and then slamming on the brakes."

Obviously, you haven't shopped at Costco for awhile. hehe. I'm with Dawn. The song Psycho Killer comes to mind when I get behind the wheel.