I went on a small rant a while ago about these people I share the road with in California. They’re reckless. They’re mindless. They’re hopeless. Since that rant I have witnessed even more tomfoolery on the road and I can’t help but share.
cutting the lane
This isn’t necessarily a demonstration of idiocy, but rather something I’m just not used to and thus causes me bother. Growing up in Colorado, I have never driven at any speed with the potential for motorcycles to just zoom by in their own special fake-lane they’ve magically made for themselves; “cutting the lane” is illegal in Colorado. In California, I’m convinced most of these people don’t even see lanes as real things but rather consider the lines to be for their own personal use. I’ve thankfully not come across any notably reckless motorcyclists but they still startle me when they zip by in traffic, all loud and in complete disregard for the jam the rest of us are stuck in. To be clear, I’m not ranting on motorcyclists but rather on my own inexperience with their witchy ways of traffic-evasion. I’m actually jealous and wishing I had the courage to stick my car-loving ass on one of those things.
jerks in traffic
Do you ever come across a stranger and share a special moment with them before parting ways again? Maybe while fighting someone for the last birthday cake-flavored ice cream at the store, or while rambling in the women’s restroom at a bar after a few drinks? My moment came in the middle of a construction zone on the 57.
For reasons I still to this day cannot fathom, the last stretch of highway before my exit was under construction one fateful night. This meant the 6-lane highway was systematically cut down to ONEFUCKINGLANE over the course of about two miles. There are always people in the lane that ends–this goes for construction zones or just in general because people are fucking idiots–who feel the need to race to the front of the line while everyone else patiently waits to merge like respectable god damned humans. I hate those people and usually do no more than wish the shit of a thousand pigeons upon their head. But this time, I was triggered.
I wasn’t expecting the construction. It was 9:30 at night; I had just left work after something like 13 hours and needed to be home. Traffic went from a cool 70 mph down to parking lot speeds, seemingly out of nowhere. I silently cursed the first lane when it ended, not realizing there would be even more cuts up ahead. I started seeing signs for the next lane to end and started to unravel. By the third time being forced to merge over, I was done. I had lost patience and was actually yelling I FUCKING HATE THIS PLACE out of sheer exhaustion and frustration and overall desire for the day to be over. That was when The Jerk arrived.
The big signs with the incessantly blinking arrows indicating we needed to merge had been visible for some time, and all of us had pretty much gotten over before the lane actually ended. The Jerk came roaring past traffic behind me, quickly approaching in my rear view mirror. I had stopped caring and wasn’t about to let this person get away with their blatant disregard for the way traffic and merging should work. What I didn’t know was the person in front of me was also done with this shit. I had started to merge back over (into the ending lane) to stop the progress of this asshat and prevent him from cutting anyone else off. The Comrade in front of me did the same, but proceeded at a much sharper angle directing himself toward the cones that weren’t quite cutting off the next lane.
And that was how I came to a silent agreement with this Comrade to prevent The Jerk from his intent. We continued to drive with our bumpers about two inches from each other, this Comrade closely trailing the line of cones on their gradual path to the through lane and me blatantly sitting with one half of my ass in the ending lane and the other half in the through-lane, boxing The Jerk in with nowhere to merge but directly behind me. The Jerk was notably furious; he tried several times to force me over and I’m sure I could have reached my arm out the window and opened his passenger door. Comrade and I beat The Jerk that day.
fuck those lines on the road
I’ve always held the firm belief that a driving test should include having the applicant color in a page from a coloring book. I don’t care whether they’re talented artists, but if they can’t color in the lines they probably can’t fucking drive in them either. Why do I see people cruising along with one side of wheels over in one lane or another? Why do I see people turning onto multi-lane residential roads and just choosing whichever one they want, even if it’s in the middle of two? Just….why?
and fuck rules
So no shit there I was, sitting patiently at a shielded left turn waiting for the arrow to be green when out of nowhere a dude goes by in the straightaway to my right and fucking TURNS LEFT IN FRONT OF ME. I’m not sure if he thought because his light was green he could just use it however he wanted, but my mind was totally blown. I looked around asking my empty car Is this real life? At what point in this person’s existence did he decide the rules of turn lanes and traffic signals just don’t apply to him? Furthermore, how has he even survived this long operating on those decision-making skills?
and fuck me, i guess
So this is my life. I commute for work and it grants me all the opportunity in the world to witness countless acts of idiocy from the comfort of my own car.