On a recent road trip from New Hampshire to New Orleans I was able to take in a lot of information about driving. In the twenty six hours I spent in a vehicle I was able to discern the various types of drivers. Some are rare, some are quite common. And I know that most of you are about to give up on driving completely because of the rising gas prices, but just hang in there. Perhaps if Barack Obama is elected president of the United States, Hugo Chavez may just give some us some of his oil. So here are the types of drivers
Old drivers – These drivers are never safe to be around. They can often be seen with obnoxiously large sunglasses, funny hats and something plaid on. Since gravity has taken its toll on their bone structure they are often not tall enough to actually see over the steering wheel. In the words of Jerry Seinfeld, all you might see is “a hat and two knuckles”. Not only will they be going below the speed limit, but they will erratically change lanes without regard for human existence. They are often on their way to dinner around 4pm at some sort of buffet because “they like the mashed potatoes” and insist on telling their waiter every time. If you ever see an old person smiling while driving it is because they just thought about putting walnuts in their brownie recipe or they are thinking about the good old days when the races were separated and Eugenics was in fashion. That or they’ve finally decided they can’t stand wearing Depends anymore because of the nasty rash it gives them and they’ve decided to go out in one final, thirty five mile per hour blaze of glory near the kitten store. Stay away. Driving around old people is like trying to snuggle with a pit bull. You might be all right or you might end up seeing untold carnage done to your persons.
Young drivers – Young drivers are tricky because they are often varied in their results. Some of them can handle the responsibility of a vehicle and some cannot. These are the following subcategories.
a.) Timid: These poor unfortunate souls are either in Driver’s Education, fresh out of it, or simply are not ready to be in the cutthroat world of automobiles. They look at highway and react much like Will Ferrell in Talladega Nights, “Those are other cars?!” Their fragile mental state does not allow them to handle the reality that things are moving quickly, know what they are doing and will eat you alive if you fuck around. Not unlike a roaming pack of velociraptors.
b.) Average: These young drivers have a natural aptitude for driving probably because they are not fucking morons. They realize that going five over the speed limit is socially acceptable and work their way up from there. They are comfortable with many of the normal functions of driving such as switching lanes, merging and not endangering others on the road.
c.) Dangerous: This category alone is why car insurance for people less than twenty five years of age is as high as it is. When you look at a sixteen or seventeen year old with their baggy pants, their hip hop and their MTV, do they really look trustworthy? You can see these drivers going upwards of ninety miles per hour weaving through traffic all the while high-fiving their friends and listening to 50 Cent’s new album entitled, “Money, Bitches, and the Pursuit of Happynezz”. These kids are dangerous and rack up a hefty death toll every year. If an average human can discern this about these younglings, why can’t their parents?
Father: Honey do you think Timmy is ready for his own car?
Mother: Of course. He received a D+ in Physics. He understands the responsibility.
Father: Say where is Timmy?
Mother: I believe he’s outside torturing squirrels.
Father: Oh that little rapscallion. He’s such a bucket of sunshine. I can’t wait to give him a piece of machinery that is capable of going excess of one hundred and fifty miles per hour and taking countless human lives if improperly used.
Mother: Me neither dear. Let’s go to IKEA.
Drivers oblivious to lane responsibilities – The right lane is for…. Driving. Well done children. And the left lane is for…. Passing. Nice work everyone. That’s pretty much all of your responsibilities. However, without fail you will see some jackass in the left lane just cruising around five miles an hour above the speed limit listening to Vanessa Carlton’s “White Houses”. Look dude, I understand the song has deep symbolic meaning about her first sexual experience as a young woman and the piano melody brings you back to a time in your life when you were bright eyed and exploring your sexuality like that time when you and your fraternity brother touched penises in a hot tub but swore never to tell anyone or even speak of it again, but get the fuck out of the way. People who fall in this category frequently fall into the next one as well…
Driver while on their cell phones – We understand that the NASDAQ is down 150 points and you need to get your broker on the line. And you know what? I don’t think it’s a bad idea for people to be on their cell phones while driving, but sweet gentle Jesus, get out of the left lane if said cell phone conversation will slow your progress to beneath the travel rate of other drivers. Stop driving Miss Daisy and move (This is not a comment on the race of the driver, but rather a comment on the leisurely and plodding nature of their pace).
I think someone should introduce a bill to Congress that all citizens of the United States (and those visiting on work permits), should be legally obligated to ram other cars if they are caught going below the speed limit and conversing on their cell phones. That or they should be shot or prevented from reproducing.
Drivers who took The Fast and the Furious too seriously – You know these people. They have their orange Honda Civics with fluorescent lights, a large spoiler, terribly loud exhaust pipes that sounds like an elephant is farting, and chrome racing rims. Not only does your car look like the automobile equivalent of an acid trip gone wrong, but none of this shit makes your car any faster. These drivers will be seen unnecessarily zipping around their small town where no street racing takes place and pretending like their penis is over two inches long.
Drivers with sound systems – This is pretty self explanatory. These drivers can be seen with windows down in February in St. Paul, Minnesota so that everyone can hear their 15 inch sub woofer, or their totally bitching Alpine speakers. Nope. Stop. Girls don’t like it. Guys think you’re obnoxious and your parents stopped loving you. Your sound system costs more than your car? Good idea. You should have saved your money to put a down payment on having a fucking clue.
Savvy drivers – These drivers know what’s up. They drive ten miles an hour over the speed limit, change lanes responsibly, understand all the rules and can handle it. You would probably want to have a beer with this individual. They probably have really burly stories about that time they went to Thailand.
Drivers with infants – These drivers are new parents who fall into the speed category of old drivers, but have the skills of savvy drivers. They understand they have precious cargo and take the appropriate steps to ensure its safety. They should be respected and given space unless they are yuppies from the 1980’s who drive blue Volvo station wagons with “Baby on Board” stickers. These people should be corralled by a roving band of vigilante bike riders who distribute highway justice. Social services should then be alerted so that they can start training the shrink who will be dealing with this child in fourteen years.
Fast drivers – They drive fast, are sometimes safe, and feel that shaving five minutes on their arrival time is adequate compensation for a potential $500 ticket and a point on their license. These drivers also play a lot of KENO and bet on horse racing quite seriously
Drivers picking their noses – These drivers have been known to have an insufficient understanding of the fact that their car does not make them invisible. I personally see nothing wrong with picking one’s nose in general or even while driving, but there is a certain level of discretion that is involved in doing so. “Car” does not equal “invisibility”. These drivers have been known to shirk their lane responsibilities in search of “buried treasure”. We understand your need, but just move over.
Drivers who really like their music – These are often white people who enjoy treating their steering wheel as a set of drums or turntables. They can be seen shaking their heads out of rhythm, gesturing wildly and not caring how many people on the road are silently judging them and taking videos of them with cell phones.
Drivers who think their sunglasses make them important – You’re not a Terminator. You’re not in The Matrix. You’re not a secret service agent. You’re not Blade. You are just another driver among many who hates it when sun slaps them in the retinas.
Drivers who are eating – As long as they are not eating something sloppy like a burrito, taco, or massive sub, they are safe to drive near. However, if they are eating something that looks difficult to eat, or that it should involve two hands, such as NY Strip steak, a salad or any of the above mentioned culinary delights, back off.
Drivers who don’t understand four way stops – It is not always your turn. No matter how much you want it to be, it is not. These drivers cannot grasp the concept that they are not revered by other drivers as being the most important vehicle in traffic. They will frequently cut other drivers off, give the finger and drive away shaking their heads. The make the same face that people who support the Iraq War do when they are in disbelief that people don’t believe there are WMD’s. “I can’t believe those guys. Don’t they get it?” Oh we get it. You’re a fucking idiot. These drivers are also aspiring sociopaths.
Drivers who are women – I’m not even touching this.
Drivers getting road head – Other male drivers can live vicariously and be happy for the common good of males, but be careful for they are quite dangerous as the driver might become unpredictable while in the throws of violent coitus.
Drivers who need a cigarette – They are the drivers above only four to six minutes in the future.
Drivers from New Jersey – Don’t make eye contact, pull a U-turn, and contact the Vatican. You’ve just witnessed a miracle. It is quite uncommon for someone to survive an encounter with a New Jersey driver with their wits and limbs about them. Driving anywhere near a New Jersey driver is like snorkeling with piranhas: You might be able to survive for a little while, but things get increasingly dangerous the longer you are in the water.
So that’s it for the types of drivers. Good luck profiling and taking the vehicular steps necessary to ensure a safe, fun, piranha filled driving experience.
*Thanks to Cioppa for his contribution on the old lady fantasizing about walnuts in her brownies joke.