Tuesday, December 22, 2009

The Madness of Saint Nick

What is it about the Christmas season that turns the drivers on my streets into looney tunes?

I had to go out today and it was as though somebody had opened the doors to the insane asylum, gave the departing inmates random sets of car keys as they left, and told them to go crazy.

And they did: Hey, Mabel -- What does this pedal do? Huh! Look at that! How about this here lever ... ?

I have a small and nimble automobile. I elect defensive paranoia as my operating mode when I am on the road -- I believe they are all out to get me, and I win if I get home alive and not too dinged up.

Today, they almost got me. People turned into a shopping center driveway and then stopped when there was no reason I could see, blocking traffic into the street.

I got behind somebody who apparently thought it was okay to read War and Peace on his iPhone at a traffic light. Who, after sitting through the green, looked up pissed off when I honked at him.

People pulled out in front of me in a 45 mph zone and drove at 23 mph in the speed lane.

One woman ran a red light ten seconds after it had changed and two cars ahead of me had already crossed the intersection, and missed me by a couple inches.

We won't even speak of trying to walk across a store's parking lot, of which I spoke at some length a few years back.

All in the space of forty-five minutes.

Mad! They are all as mad as hatters, I tell you!


Bobbe Edmonds said...

Uh-huh. It gets worse. For some reason, the holidays have become more and more insane with the passage of time. Christmas gets less jolly every year.

When I first moved to Seattle, I worked for Costco in the graphics department. The brief time I was there included the holidays, and I saw things that damn near traumatized me. Old women fistfighting over electronic games for their grandchildren. Asian women screaming with an unholy pitch at each other. Grown men getting into fistfights in the parking lot over spaces.

I try my best to only shop online nowadays.

Oh, and that bit about people speeding to get in front of you, then going SLOWER than the speed limit? What the fucking monkey fuck is THAT about? I see that all the time, some crotch-wanking retard damn near causes me to swerve into oncoming traffic because he thought half a car length is plenty of room to rev out in front of me in, and after risking his life (and much more importantly, MINE) slows the hell down to 1/4 the speed limit.


I don't suffer from writer's block. Too much weird shit happens out there for me to use THAT as an excuse. Regular people are far more insane than any axe-wielding maniac in a hockey mask that I could conjure up.

Justin said...

People just can't multitask. Their minds get clouded with something (usually trivial, like what present to buy your pre-teen nephew), and they forget the other life-threatening activities they're engaged in.
Watching LA traffic, it's super surprising that more fatalities don't occur.

Nancy Holder said...

I have minions doing yard work. One left for a Home Depot run, and called me from his car saying he just couldn't fight the traffic back to my house any longer and he would be by first thing tomorrow morning.

evmick said...

I'm a professional driver. That just means I get paid to drive. As it happens I specialize in over-dimensional freight. Heavy Haul we call it. Everything I do requires state permits.

Interestingly enough some states shut me down for two or three days BEFORE the holiday until after it's all over.

There might be a reason for that.

Unknown said...

You call it madness. I call it job security.

Daniel Keys Moran said...

I have a Jaguar Vanden Plas that's about an inch shorter than my wife's Expedition. LA traffic has gotten exponentially nastier since I started driving; and the holidays are about 50% worse than the usual hideous conditions. I wouldn't feel safe in a small car. This isn't green, but I flat-out don't care; when they build a green car that doesn't fold up like an accordian when the asshole in the SUV backends it, I'll start paying attention.

Safety first, kids ... and certainly for my kids ...