Is there anything more trite and self indulgent than ranting about traffic? Never let it be said that my blog caters to the literati.
I hate the drivers in Kansas City.
Let me clarify that a bit. I generally hate the drivers everywhere, for different reasons. But the drivers in Kansas City have earned their very own metacarpal.
Without getting too long-winded about it, Kansas City area drivers act like they’ve just happened to wander off the dirt roads of a farm and onto the big, scary city-folk paved ones.
For starters, merging. I’ve lived in or driven through just about every part of this country except that mess in and around Idaho. And I’ve never seen anyone come to a complete stop at the end of an on-ramp and turn on their blinker.
I’ll restate that.
In the 5+ years I’ve lived out here I’ve seen 4 different idiots come to a full stop at the end of a freeway on-ramp, put on their blinker, and wait patiently for their “turn” as the cars behind them come screeching to a stop trying to avoid death and deductibles. The worst of these decided to do this on a snowy day at the top of a hill, three car lengths in front of my 8,000 lb, V-10, 9GPM OPECmobile, accelerating up to the speed of traffic LIKE YOU’RE F*#ING SUPPOSED TO DO. Fortunately had I gone another four feet further off the road to avoid vehicularly sodomizing this guy, the Excursion would have only tumbled down a 15′ drop into a flaming ball of steel and blood and sweaty gym clothes. At least the hippies at Greenpeace would have seen it as a victory.
I realize that the functional cause of this is the abrasion caused by urban roads grinding their way into the lives of rural people. I grew up in Texas and I know that it’s generally considered polite to change lanes if you see someone merging, especially in the country. Giant horse trailers and trucks full of hay or illegal immigrants take a long time to get up speed and there generally aren’t on-ramps, just stop signs at the intersection of a dirt road and major highways.
But in developed areas where shooting the traffic signs isn’t a way to pass the time between mullet combings, we’ve invented the on-ramps specifically to address this problem. And with the benefit of these great advancements in traffic technology come great responsibilities, such as getting your dumb ass up to the speed of traffic before you merge and not expecting everyone to roll out a red carpet for you as you join them on the road.
The fun doesn’t just stop here. This isn’t the only newfangled bit of driving excitement that goes unappreciated or ignored by the local yokels. These people can’t seem to understand the function or purpose of turning lanes.
Most people would recognize the benefits of having a whole lane dedicated to letting you get the fuck out of the way of everyone else behind you while you slow down to safely make your turn. But nooooo… the clowns here like to have the best of both worlds by keeping half of their car’s ass in each lane while they slow down. I like to think of it as their rear bumper’s way of saying “hey you handsome front bumper, let’s you and I become more acquainted”. It’s kind of cute, if you don’t factor in the criminal and civil penalties for giving in to whimsy and acknowledging the request.
So what’s the solution to all of this?
Shame and embarrassment. There’s no real point to getting angry and flying into a rage over someone you’ll never see again (unless they follow you into a parking lot). It only provides you momentary satisfaction and the idiot in question doesn’t learn anything. Not to mention, it’ll probably land your ass in jail, and the words “ass” and “jail” I’d wager you’d agree, are probably not good things to have in any combination with the word “you”.
But in most areas, (and I’d actually have to check on this) it’s perfectly legal to lay on your horn until said idiot soaks their tribal-design-embroidered seat cover. And unlike a middle finger extend out the window or sunroof, it shouldn’t be held against you if you do get followed into a parking lot and end up talking to a judge about the incident. Don’t take this as legal advice though; your mileage might vary.