Rulez of the Road
I know it's been awhile since I last rapped at ya, but it's been terribly busy lately at the Shuffhausen Clinic in Vienna. Between work and Thanksgiving travel, I’ve had plenty of time recently to ruminate about things other motorists do that make me wish I had a hood-mounted cannon on the ol’ Shuffhausenmobile. In the interest of beating the Top Ten motif to death, here is my list of the ten most obnoxious people you see on the road and how they should be punished. As a handy reference, you may wish to just paste a copy of following post on your dashboard.
The Offender: The “Thank You” Wave Forgetter
Setting the Scene: You are leaving a packed parking lot after a sporting event and cars are funneling down into the one main lane out. Being the polite person that you are, you allow someone to jump in line in front of you. The problem is he doesn’t acknowledge your good deed with a wave, smile or even a head nod. This is incredibly poor form.
Appropriate Punishment: Since the ingrate is now right in front of you, turn your brights on and keep them on until you are out of the parking lot.
The Offender: The “Lane Closed Ahead” Sign Ignorer
Setting the Scene: Since his time is much more important than everyone else’s, this guy thinks it's OK for him to skip ahead of 40 other cars who actually obeyed the sign and moved over. Sadly, someone ALWAYS lets this boor in.
Appropriate Punishment: Under no circumstances should this motorist be allowed to cut in. You must ram this offender into the rail when he tries making his move into the line. If I ran the world, the cost to repair any damage your car incurred while nudging Lane-Closed-Ahead-Sign-Ignorers off the road would be paid out of their insurance. Plus you would be given a $500 reward for your service to humanity.
The Offender: The Intersection Blocker
Setting the Scene: It’s bumper to bumper traffic with cars just creeping through green lights. Instead of waiting to make sure he can get all the way through, this guy gets stuck in the middle of the intersection after the light turns red and now he’s blocking traffic in the other direction.
Appropriate Punishment: Since everyone in their cars is stuck, pedestrians need to pick up the slack here and give the Intersection Blocker a pressed ham until he can get his car out of the intersection.
The Offender: The Ambulance Pull-Over Place-Hopper
Setting the Scene: The rule is as such: after everyone pulls over for a passing ambulance, everyone resumes his place in traffic. The Place-Hopper uses this opportunity to dangerously try jumping ahead a few spots.
Appropriate Punishment: Since his NASCAR-style moves will have gained him two whole car lengths by the time you hit the next traffic light, you’ll see him again. Hop out of your car at the light and give him the ol’ banana in the tailpipe bit Axel Foley-style.
The Offender: The Too-Late Left Turn Signaler.
Setting the Scene: Bear with me on this one. You are on a busy four-lane (two in each direction) city street. Up ahead are stop lights. At the intersection, cars in the left lane may turn left or keep going straight and cars in the right lane may turn right or keep straight. There are ten cars in the right lane and only one car in the left lane. You want to go straight. The car in the left lane does not have on his blinker so he must be going straight too, right? You choose the left lane. The light turns green and NOW he decides to put the turn signal on. Meanwhile, you are watching the ten cars on your right whiz past and you don’t even get through the intersection.
Appropriate Punishment: When you are in this situation, grab whatever is available and expendable (spare change, empty beer can) and throw it hard at this guy’s rear window.
The Offender: The Two-Parking Space Taker-Upper
Appropriate Punishment: Dig your keys into the hood of his car and carve the lyrics of your favorite Michael Bolton song.
The Offender: The F.I.B.
Setting the Scene: The next time you see some maniac tail-gaiting, swerving in and out of lanes and going 90 on the Interstate, look at the plates. I guarantee you the guy is from Illinois.
Appropriate Punishment: The Preemptive Middle Finger. Just flip off all Illinois drivers the minute you see them. They are about to do something rude or dangerous any minute anyway. Giving them the bird now just saves time.
The Offender: The Bicyclist
Setting the Scene: A member of the spandex mafia is doing 15 mph in a 25 zone in the middle of the lane right in front of you. He demands equal respect and lane space yet he feels quite comfortable creeping at a snail’s pace and ignoring red lights.
Appropriate Punishment: Being a dumb outfit-wearing, self-righteous bicyclist is its own punishment. Either he is a radical environmentalist who is “thinking globally and acting locally” or an insufferable health nut. Just know that your sheer presence in an automobile galls him either way. Plus he stinks like sweat all day.
The Offender: The Well-Meaning Crosswalk Recognizer
Setting the Scene: You are standing at the crosswalk waiting for a chance to dart across a busy three-lane, one-way street. One motorist slams on his brakes and motions for you to cross. Meanwhile, every other car is zooming by. The Well-Meaning Crosswalk Recognizer gives you a puzzled look and is clearly wondering why you aren’t crossing when he is trying to let you.
Appropriate Punishment: This person wins points for trying to be nice and technically even obeying the letter of the law, but he loses points for his lack of awareness. He’s about to get rear-ended any second by the car behind him and that will be punishment enough.
Savvy Trousers readers (and first graders) will notice now that my list is finished yet I only delivered nine out of my promised ten. That is where you come in, dear reader. Submit your favorite driver pet peeve in the comments section. I’ll choose my favorite and it shall round out the top ten.