I try to be a patient guy, really I do. Those of you who know me personally, also know that I fail at it more times than I succeed. But know this, my patience is actually better than it may appear. My true impatience is with stupidity.
I can wait my turn in line as good as the next guy or gal. Where I notice my patience wearing thin the most, is driving. Now before you start pointing fingers and chanting Road Rage, know this, while stupid driving may grate on my sensibilities, I am evolved enough to refrain from acting on it.
Sure I’ll mumble a curse at them, or roll my eyes loudly, occasionally these people will warrant a severe horn honking, but that is the extent of my retaliation.
Let’s face it, truly stupid people think everything they do wrong is someone elses fault. So the reprimand is lost on them and as such really not worth the effort.
While driving to and from Florida, I had time on my hands to observe. I started keeping track of the most repeated offences. In my head, Dave Letterman recited a Top Ten list of these offences that read as follows;
1) If the lane to your right is empty, then that is where you should be. Unless of course it is the exit lane and you do not wish to exit. Contrary to popular belief, the left lane is not the “fast lane”, it is the passing lane. The only reason you should be in that lane is to pass another vehicle. Please do so at more than 1/2 a km/h faster than the car you are passing.
2) That stick on the left side of the steering wheel is called a turn indicator. Also contrary to popular belief, Mercedes and BMW do come equipped with them. It is NOT optional. Use it.
3) Do not wait until the last second to merge across three lanes of traffic to exit the highway because you were driving in the “fast lane”. Yes accidents happen, but if you know you have to leave the highway and don’t know where your exit is… stay in the lane closest to the off ramps.
4) No, you cannot multi-task when driving.
5) Do not make the left hand turn on a yellow light. Unless you are already in the intersection, you will not make it and it is not the oncoming driver’s fault you didn’t.
6) Do NOT come to a complete stop on an on ramp or in a merge lane unless it is posted as a complete stop. The idea of the on ramp is to get up to highway speed in order to merge seamlessly. Unless you drive a Ferrari, you cannot get up to highway speeds in under 100 meters and in less than six seconds.
7) Do not assume I will automatically move out of your way regardless of your income or particular status symbol of a car. Leave your bloated and misplaced sense of entitlement at home. Please. See I can be nice sometimes.
8) The merge lane is not a passing lane. See rule 7
9) Do not wait until the absolute last minute to merge when losing a lane. See rule 7.
10) Give yourself plenty of time to get to work. Leave early. Get up earlier in order to get all the things you are trying to do while driving done before you leave home. We all know the saying “Speed kills”, well, haste kills faster. Inattentiveness kills even faster. See rule 4.
Above all, show some common courtesy.
In the words of the Paul Evans song, Seven Little Girls;
“All together now, one, two, three
Keep you mind on your drivin’
Keep you hands on the wheel
Keep your snoopy eyes on the road ahead
We’re havin’ fun sittin’ in the back seat
Kissin’ and a’huggin with Fred.”
Can’t we all just be like Fred? 😉