Wednesday, February 3, 2010

My Problem with Other Drivers and Driving in the Winter

Folks, let's just get this out there- I hate driving in the winter. I learned how to drive by an over the road truck driver who has never been in an accident and never had a moving violation. My driving skills are mad. (Except backing up long distances-more than a driveway or space- and parallel parking)

And I actually enjoy driving. When I was 16 I was forced to choose drivers ed or poms camp. This is the worst decision a parent could force a high school girl to do. Drivers ed would give me independence. Poms camp would make me a popular girl which means, boys, friends, parties and the promise of a guaranteed hot guy for prom. But at the time I was going through my "I don't really give a shit" phase while wearing my latest Hot Topic couture, VANS, listening to everything from Marilyn Manson to System of a Down. So in the end I chose drivers ed because I didn't want to be the only fucktard without a license my senior year.

Drivers ed was horrible. I was TERRIFIED to drive. My parents tried to get me to practice and I just wouldn't. I almost killed the instructor and poor Steve Gregorich who was hot and who had practice. How I didn't kill us that summer is a miracle. And one day before my test my dad told me I had to drive with him. So he takes me to Jay Cooke State Park where you are in a forest, narrow winding roads where you can't really see when the next turn is or what direction it is. And made me do 40mph through it. I thought I was going to die. I think my dad aged 10 years in the car. I think I cried.

But I passed my test in flying colors and here I am. A licensed Wisconsin driver. (yay..) But I have road rage, I am not going to lie. I just expect everyone to be perfect like me and apparently the State of Wisconsin could care less because they hand out a license to anyone breathing.
So remember when I had to go to the dentist last week? Well the night before it had snowed around here and it also rained. I told Matt on Sunday that I was a little worried driving to Cloquet which is, at max, a 20 minute drive. (it takes longer if you are a loser). But I figured that MnDOT (MN Department of Transportation) would surely be sanding/salting and plowing the highways. WRONG. They were apparently called off at like 3 am for a mandatory rest break. So yay- I'm driving thinking, "I'm such a fucking idiot" as I'm literally sliding all over the place. But I just wanted to get my tooth thing done with and there really isn't a turn around here after Thompson Hill.

This is right after I got past Thompson Hill which is scary usually and the roads weren't even plowed, so I'm driving on slush, snow, and ice. Every few feet you'd hit black ice doing 70.
And you can see the roads are really no shape to be driving in. You may also note the lack of other cars.

That sign said "Caution-slippery road". You can see I am driving on glare ice. But after 45 minutes on the road white knuckling it I take the 2nd Cloquet exit to get to the dentist. Not plowed. 3 inches of snow on the exit ramp and then the merge lane. SCARY. When I get to Cloquet NOTHING is plowed and they had like 6 inches of snow. I heard later on that some school busses were in accidents, stuck in ditches, etc.

Remember when I talked about calling a gift shop to ask if they sold Scandinavian vibrators? This is the place! So I admit maybe I don't make the *wisest* decisions on whether it's safe enough to drive. But I do follow my road laws (except speed limits). I use my blinker. I pass with plenty of room. I take no fucking shit from people tailing me. But if you are going to do 25 in a 55 zone? You better believe my ass is going to be on you with the horn. You are a god damn road hazard if you can't keep up with the flow of traffic. I'm sorry you are 100 million years old and are scared of all the shiny metal whizzing by you. But if you are scared to drive, please don't. Also remember that GREEN MEANS GO. It amazes me that we will all sit there at a green light. Fucking go already. What is the problem?? Gas pedal on your right. Floor it, bitch.

I also talk to drivers like they can hear me. Like, "Hi? What the fuck are you doing??" "Um, does this look like a fucking turn lane? No, it isn't. That's what the big fucking median is for asshole". And I try REALLY hard not to do it with my kids in the car. Instead I just bang the steering wheel. And Olivia will usually say, "Lot of idiots out there, mama". Yes there are Olivia. Yes, there are.

That bumper sticker said "Sarah Palin for President 2012". I'm sorry, I'll for like go women! movements but fuck. Really? Sarah Palin is the BEST woman we could come up with? It's a sad day if she even makes it to the ballot. The kicker? It was an old guy driving this. You can't really see it, but that piece of shit appliance is held in that truck with a rope the diameter of a pencil. I feel super safe driving up the hills of Duluth behind this asshat. Unless you are driving a super duper nice car- please don't take up 3 spaces horizontally. Thanks, fucktard. I can't drive with Matt because he scares me. He has ADD when it comes to driving. He's so busy looking around that he has to slam on his brakes at every light and every time the car ahead of us has to turn. He basically rapes the middle line or the curb. Like raping it. All over the place. How he hasn't gotten pulled over for suspicion of DUI I don't know. Matt learned how to drive in the country and apparently, there are no road laws. You can just drive wherever because you don't see much traffic. Stop signs? Optional. And it's ok to stop for roadkill in the middle of the road.

But he drives a Jeep Cherokee and everytime I get in, I see this sticker:

My friend Lisa will not drive with Matt because he almost killed us going to ValleyFair. That's a story for another time. But when Matt is busy raping the curb this is what I see. It's scary. Now I drive a mini-van because hi, I'm a mom. Which always throws people off when they figure out it's the van with the GUnit rap coming out of it. :) Plus I find that I have to haul a lot of shit all of the time so it was practically forced onto me. But that's ok. It's perfect for roadtrips!

But I really like to drive, alone, with my music cranked so I jam out, by myself. It's just the other douchenozzles that drive me nuts.


Danielle said...

HAHAHAHA! I LOVE THIS! I as well love to drive, and don't have the patience for shitty drivers who don't know what the fuck they are doing! The pictures are freakin priceless especially with the guy who had a POS appliance attached with a rope onto his truck! I see people like that all the time and I say "look at that junkie probably going to go get money for the metal off that thing ... ridiculous ... now get the fuck away from me before that contraption comes flying off and kills me asshole." :) I appreciate that you're a road rager as well!

Ankit said...

Very clear photography , i m too a nightmare when it comes to driving .. :)

Krysten @ Why Girls Are Weird said...

Oh. My. Gosh.

This is awesome. The pictures are awesome. And I fully understand because I deal with the same exact thing.

Is it spring yet??

Jenn said...

Oh dear goodness, this is the funniest thing I have read in a long time. I was literally nodding my head in agreement as I read it. Brilliant!

Organic Meatbag said... crack me the fuck up...oh, and I think it's also ironic that you were taking pictures while that: WHILE driving... you are quite the little road hazard, aren't you? Hahaha

Sara Strand said...

@Danielle- road ragers, unite!

@Krysten- seriously, it needs to be spring. Or maybe MnDOT can get their shit together and do their jobs without whining. They get paid $20+/hour--how bad can your job be??

@Ankit- if you are a sucky driver- please use the public transit system.

@Jenn- THANKS!

@Meatbag- I'm not a road hazard, I'm an excellent driver. Except the one time I almost killed Tammy but that, I swear to god, was the GPS's fault.

Julie H said...

I've never driven in snow. I don't think it would be good!

I think I'm a pretty good driver although I'm a little slow on the breaking sometimes. Apparently that stressed my husband and kids out lol.

My husband does the total road rage. Many trips have been ruined by him freaking out about traffic and stuff. It's like verbal abuse and I HATE IT. I drive when ever we are going somewhere with a lot of traffic now.

Green Stone said...

I found that alternating loudly praying and swearing helps a tonne.

"Oh god oh god USE YOUR TURN SIGNAL oh god get me out of this F*** WHY CANT YOU DRIVE YOU F*** S*** B**** THATS ALL ICE oh god oh god i'll go to church on sunday if i can just get to the grocery store alive F*** F*** F*** S*** F*** YOU IN THE JEEP"

Yeah, I'm a class act.

Anonymous said...

HAHA this was biggest thing about the drivers of today is that we can spend thousands of dollars on a vehicle and can't use a turn signal. That is something I contemplate everyday.

And I am the most impatient driver in VA so that never really helps.

Mr O said...

Wow, this was one of the funnest posts I have ever read.

But I have to say, I was laughing at the fact that you were talking about how dangerous the roads were, yet taking pictures haha. You are awesome.

As are your kids, if they talk to you about idiots. How great is that?

And speaking of Sarah Palin... I actually have nothing to say, I just wanted to mention the word idiot and then say "speaking of Sarah Palin." that's my attempt at humor

Sara Strand said...

@Julie- you are so brave. I've deemed Matt incompetent to drive. Even my friend Lisa can attest to his lack of driving skills.

@Kate- I don't bother with the praying- just full on swears. And occasionally Olivia will say, "You tell him, mom!"

@Melissa- at least around here people hardly use turn signals. Are they broken? Are they scared of the blinking noise? Is it distracting for them? Crazy. I have NOT use my turn signal. I'd rather have someone know what the hell I'm doing than get rear ended.

@MrO- I can do that because my driving skillz are mad. Like beyond mad. Plus I figure if I'm the only one on the road it's totally reasonable to do 20mph to take pictures. Who's going to report me?? ;) And I laughed at your SP comment. I was like, "Oh you can't be fucking serious" when I saw that sticker. I totally went the long way to follow this guy to get the picture. Idiots.

Cristina said...

I think we are driving soul sisters! But, I must say, California drivers are the WORST. They always drive at least 10 MPH over the speed limit (it's like an unwritten law), wait until the last damn second to merge (which always seems to be right in front of me because I'm the dumbass who leaves at least two car lengths between me and the car before me), would rather rear end the car in front of them before letting someone merge in front of them and also seem to be allergic to using turn signals. I hate every single one of the motherf*ckers.