I just came home from running errands and I am frustrated like hell. One thing has remained constant since I moved to Florida: my continued frustration with the way many people drive in Florida.
Honestly, how do you rate yourself as a driver?
Silly me. I take that question back. Of course you rate yourself as being above average. It’s a well-known fact that all humans consider themselves to be above-average drivers. No amount of physical evidence will convince a bad driver that he or she is a bad driver.
You take a driver who, while attempting to pull out of a parking space, mistakes “forward” for “reverse,” then, in an effort to correct this error, mistakes the accelerator for the brake and sends his car lunging across a sidewalk and into a diner whilst attaining a speed of 40 mph by the time it rams into the salad bar and car and driver are saturated by carafes of salad dressing.
Even as the paramedics are tweezing corn and peas from the ears and nose of the driver he will loudly insist that the restaurant was not there before and that there are plenty of people on the road who do not drive as well as he does.
And the scary thing is: he’s right! There are LOTS of worse drivers out there! In fact over 90% of all drivers are below average and most of them are here in Florida — I am not exaggerating – I have seen most of them! I don’t know what the driving experience is like in your state but it’s unusual in Florida.
Florida seems to attract inferior drivers like a magnet. In addition to this fatal attraction it seems to automatically issue a driver’s license to anyone who asks for one. Ask and ye shall receive a Florida drivers license. The “road” test is a joke – you don’t even go on the road. Driver’s license road tests are pretty much taken in a supermarket parking lot and licenses are issued to seventeen year olds and seventy year olds as freely as Gatorade at a football game on a really hot day!
As someone who recently moved to Florida it STILL boggles my mind whenever I see a car accident and there was only one car involved with absolutely no traffic on the road – WTH!!! Is it still an accident if there is only one car involved? Or is it a mishap, a mistake or simply a moronic episode?
But getting back to your driving ability – I can tell from the sympathetic way you’re reading this post that you truly are an above average driver. So am I, of course. Anyway, since you and I are such superior drivers, I wanted to share with you an excellent suggestion by Florida motorist Ana Garcia – her name was changed to protect this excellent driver. Ana begins by noting the annoying behavior of certain motorists, especially the ones who drift aimlessly along in the left, or “passing” lane, mile after clueless mile, never passing anybody and never noticing the 5 mile back-up of cars behind them flashing their lights, honking their horns, making explicit hand gestures while firing marine flares.
So anyway, here is Ana’s idea, which I’m told is similar to a concept proposed by the comedian Gallagher: powerful bumper-mounted sucker dart guns. You would shoot these at other motorists when they did something stupid. Ideally, you could fire several different colors of darts, to indicate the type of violation. This would be a big help to the police, who would use the darts as evidence when they pulled over the horrible little traffic culprit. The conversation between police and culprit could go something like this:
OFFICER: Sir, do you know why I pulled you over?
MOTORIST: No, why?
OFFICER: I count 17 red sucker darts on your rear bumper, which means you’ve been blocking the left lane.
MOTORIST: But I’m going the speed limit!
OFFICER (sighing): Sir, we only pretend that’s the speed limit. In good weather, the real speed limit is about 10 mph faster, which is the speed 80% of the other drivers are going. If you don’t want to go that fast, you need to move over to a right lane, okay?
I also see five yellow darts, indicating you swerved between lanes while dialing your cell phone; and one orange dart indicating that you were smoking and eating while driving so I have to write you a ticket.
Of course, only good drivers like me and you would be allowed to participate in the car-dart program; otherwise, we’d wind up with darts all over pedestrians, alligators, horses, etc – hey, this is Florida – we have all sorts of beasts and creatures sharing our roads; seeing is believing.
But assuming we can work out the legal details, I think this is a terrific idea for 2009, don’t you?
Here’s to safe and pleasant driving experiences in 2009! 🙂