Stop and Proceed Like a Jerk
They peer over the steering wheel, hands shaking, and ask, “Is it clear? It looks clear, but I don’t know. I’ll wait a minute and see if any cars come.”
And guess what happens?...A car comes.
And they do it all over again. This time, with 50 cars waiting behind them.
It’s almost as if these drivers want you to be late. They want the store to close before you get there. They want you to get fired. They want you to miss your reservation. They want your sweetheart to think you’re unreliable and dump you.
They want you to lie in some gutter with no family and no reason to live.
Well, I’m one of those drivers.
But relax. It has nothing to do with you personally. I love my fellow drivers. I love them as much as they hate me. Maybe more.
Rather, my overly cautious driving is due to my numerous automobile accidents over the years.
They all happened because of one big old T-word.
Not Tequila, but teleportation.
You see, when I drive, cars literally come out of nowhere. It’s like Back to the Future. Here comes a DeLorean to total my Buick, cause financial hardship and create the best movie of all time.
So I’m extra careful. And yeah, my driving is annoying. But at least I’m not a jerk. You’d be surprised how many there are out there. They stalk cautious drivers like me.
These people can’t wait more than 30 seconds at an intersection. Their time is so precious that in order to save one minute, they want me to die.
I want to live. So I wait until the street looks sufficiently clear. And then I wait for a DeLorean to appear.
The people behind me are honking, throwing their hands up in the air, rolling down their windows and yelling at me.
“Where’s the fire?” I ask them as they speed around me…and stop.
They actually stop to argue with me.
They lay into me for, like, five minutes. Which is four minutes longer than waiting for the road to clear.
A guy did this yesterday. He starts beeping his horn two seconds after I stop at the stop sign. He speeds around me and I look in his driver’s side window, hoping to see a pregnant woman in labor. Or a doctor scrubbed up for surgery. Or Clark Kent. Or something.
But no, it’s a guy eating a fudgsicle.
After speeding around me, he takes a minute out of his busy snack time to scold me for coming to a complete stop.
Then he waits, I guess for an apology.
I said, “You’re in a big hurry, huh?”
“Yeah,” he spit out, as if that was the stupidest question he’d ever heard in his life.
“Then how’d you have time to get a popsicle out of your freezer?” I asked.
He peeled off, probably to buy more frozen treats. There’s always time for that.
You know, people have time for what they make time for.
Foodies make time to cook. Neatnicks make time to clean. Jerks make time to be jerks.
They write it in their little day planners: “4-4:30 Respond to e-mail. 4:30-5 confirm tomorrow’s appointments. 5-5:30: Act like a complete jackass on the way home.”
My day planner allows five minutes for every stop sign on my commute. One minute to be extra cautious. One minute for Back to the Future to happen. Three minutes to get yelled at by other drivers.
It’s a win-win situation.
I cross out “Have another wreck-free day” on my to-do list and they scratch out “Act like I’m the only person on this planet.”
To those impatient drivers, all I can say is: you’re welcome.