Saturday, March 15, 2008

The Blind Leading the Blind...

No... I am not speaking of Democrats (sorry dear).

Today I had the pleasure of following an obvious student driver. No, there were no signs on the car proclaiming this, but I knew. When a car is traveling at 20 miles per hour on a 30 mile per hour road, braking for every curve and nearly running off into the ditch, it's a pretty good indicator that the driver is either lit or inexperienced. I ruled out the alcohol possibility pretty quickly.

The person in the passenger seat was very obviously "coaching" the driver. I could see the guy waving his hands and pointing here and there, and the car would vaguely follow his commands. My guess was that the "instructor" didn't know how to drive any better than the "student".

What was my first clue? I got behind this car on a winding back road with the aforementioned 30 MPH speed limit. I was admittedly a bit closer to this kid's rear bumper than I likely should have been, but that's neither here nor there. The "driver" and the "coach" were obviously both oblivious to the presence of any rear view mirrors on their vehicle, much less to the view of my front end filling said mirrors. Okay, maybe I was bit close.

When the vehicle passed a turnout at 20 MPH and didn't, well, turn out, I became a bit perturbed, but I remained semi-patient with them. "They'll pull into the next one" I thought hopefully.

They didn't.

After four roughly half mile spaced turnouts, I was starting to get a little heated. As we approached the next turnout I flashed my headlights at the driver as an indication that I'd like to pass his slow moving vehicle (I swear this goddamned car should have had the big orange triangle like the farm tractors do). I know the driver saw me, because he stared in the left side mirror like a deer.... and nearly ran off into the left hand ditch in the process. The "coach" began flapping his arms again (I was certain he would fly if his seatbelt somehow popped loose), and waved and pointed to the right, which directions the vehicle obediently followed.

Still, the vehicle did not yield.

There were now four other vehicles riding my ass, and I was quite spun out by this point. I did something I never, ever do except under the absolute direst of consequences. I did something so mean and nasty, I myself couldn't believe it. I honked. Yes, that's right. I sounded my horn...

And I yelled...

I have heard of people under extreme duress speaking in strange tongues. I became conscious that a steady torrent of obscenities and swearing of all kinds was pouring out of me as I screamed. (I think the guy behind me was even impressed). I suppose you could even say I wove a tapestry of obscenities that as far as I know is still hanging in space over Lake Michigan... or at least San Francisco Bay (Thanks Ralphie).

By now I'm thinking "They know I'm here. They must know I'm pissed. They'll move out of my way at the next turnout".

Yeah. Sure.

The "coach", instead of telling his student to pull the hell over and let the pissed off asshole behind him pass, turned in his seat and motioned to me to pass. I motioned back to him, but again, I will not repeat it here. This particular road is a winding, two lane, country road, divided by a painted double yellow line (you know, the kind you are not allowed to pass over). This ignorant son of a mother expected me to pass his student, over a double yellow line, on a winding road with maybe 200 yards visibility between curves. Yeah, sure, let me get right on that.

I ultimately followed this car for eight miles... at 20 miles per hour... with a final score of nine cars behind me.

As we rounded a final bend in the road, I knew there was a passing zone about a quarter mile ahead. I just.... had... to.... be... patient... for... one... more... minute...

As we turned into the straightaway, I could see the passing area. No cars in the opposite direction. Wide open. I was going to make it. I was finally going to get out from behind this non driving person and his non driving coach!

Now, less than a hundred yards to go. I'm fighting the temptation to cheat and cross the double yellows a little early. I can hold on. It'll all be over soon.

Just as we reached the beginning of the passing zone, and I started to move into the opposite lane to pass this moron who had been the bane of my existence for the past 24 minutes...

He pulled over.



Mrs. "Smith" said...

There, there, dear. It's over. And just think...we're only 5 years or so from YOU sitting next to a student driver and flapping your hands. ;)

USAincognito said...

Oh my gosh!! I am dying laughing so hard over here!!!! My ultimate pet peeve is slow drivers who KNOW they are going slower than the posted speed limit and do NOTHING about it to let you get past them safely! hahaha!!! Oh, I have had to bite my tongue on quite a few occasions.....god bless those freakin' double painted yellow lines and winding roads and slow *ss drivers!!

Me said...

I have pulled over many drivers for going at or below the posted limit in the left-hand lane despite posted signs that tell slow traffic to keep right. Some of them are truly clueless but I've found several who argue that it's their "right" to do so and that they do it deliberately to slow other people down. They enjoy frustrating other people.

Those are the people that I send to see the judge via a mandatory appearance ticket. And of course their statements in which they gleefully or arrogantly express their desire to frustrate and annoy other drivers are always documented in my notes and the written report that I prepare for court.

Now my personal pet peeve is those drivers who so frequently mimic the actions of drunk drivers. And I mean no disrespect to them as a race, but elderly Asian drivers seem to be the worst offenders. So many times, I've thought that I had a drunk driver in my sights--car driving slowly, weaving in it's lane, with one turn signal on as it goes down the highway--only to stop it and find an elderly Asian driver smiling nicely but wondering why I stopped him or her. I love these people--I really do--but when it comes to driving, they're hopeless.

Murphy said...

Justifiable. Homicide.

justusforall said...

Too bad you weren't in your squad, you could have pulled him over and bitched him out proper.
I remember my dad giving me driving lessons (in between lessons in high school) and we always went to a big empty parking lot. That's pretty messed up that this guy is teaching his kid to drive on a road that people use.

Ronnysgirl said...

I'm just wondering....
Do you think the student driver passed?