Thursday, September 09, 2010

Driving Optimism

I have a minimum 40-minute commute to work every day, and another minimum 40-minute commute home. What follows are transcripts of my mental attempts to not fly into road rage on the way home, as I am usually tired and very hungry by quitting time.

Every BMW I've driven behind this week has not used a turn signal when changing lanes, or actually turning. This is curious. I wonder if BMW has taken the turn signals out of their newer vehicles. I will have to ask my friend Tim, who happens to be a BMW salesman. I'm almost certain this is the case, as it seems to happen so regularly with BMWs. I would never suspect a BMW driver of being rude, discourteous, or self-absorbed, which is the only other explanation. Maybe?...nah.

Everyone is driving slowly today, in all lanes. It is a beautiful, blustery Fall day, so I imagine everyone has said screw it, what's the hurry? Might as well enjoy the weather and watch the leaves turn various colors. This is a good thing. Also, a lot of people are driving at my speed, as opposed to being what George Carlin defines as "idiots" and "maniacs". Though George Carlin also said you should never trust anyone driving the same speed as you. I'll give them the benefit of the doubt, though, and assume that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.

Ah, here's a jeep that didn't get the memo about slowing down and relaxing. He is trying to race past me at approximately 100 miles per hour to get ahead of me to get onto an exit ramp. He apparently did not see the very slow car driving almost parallel with me, and he's nearly flipped his vehicle trying to slow down. My pleasure at seeing him nearly get a Darwin Award is probably inappropriate and immoral. Peccavi nimis cogitatione, verbo et opere: mea culpa, mea culpa, mea maxima culpa. Forgive me, Father.

Honestly, I do feel sorry for the Jeep driver, who has been madly dashing from lane to lane, tailgating everyone in his path. But he just can't get around them. The poor man is never going to get to drive as fast as he wants to on this stupid highway. He's trapped. There's almost something Kafka-esque about it all.

There's not too much traffic today, another good thing. Usually school lets out at this time, so the roads are busy. I guess everyone is taking their time getting on the road today. When there is a lot of traffic, and I am thinking about my dinner, I have to play mental games with myself to keep from getting impatient; I need something to pass the time. I usually try naming all 50 states off the top of my head (quite easy), then all 50 capitals (a little less easy, but doable), and then all 44 Presidents. I usually screw up that last one--I always miss about 7 of them. Usually I forget Benjamin Harrison, which is stupid, because I could easily remember that there were 2 Harrison Presidents. And I can never remember William McKinley. I have to brush up on my presidential history before I crash my car.

The last hill before my exit--and no matter how empty the road is, there is always a huge truck going really slow in the right lane. Well, no matter, easy to get around today. Now if I can just survive the merge on our local highway without getting stuck behind an old, blind person or a truck, I should be fine.

Home at last. Now I can make dinner, after I give the cat some treats, scratch him on the head and call him a "good boy" about 638 times, and throw his fuzzy ball for him. The penalty for not doing all those things is getting repeatedly whacked in the leg and yowled at. Pasta tonight, as I have little money and pasta is cheap and tasty. And there is a Sam Adams Octoberfest in the fridge, fitting for a Fall-like afternoon. Life is good.

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