Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Impose a "Stupid Tax" & retire the national debt.

I'm not a slow driver. I've gotten a ticket doing 100 in Montana, 85 in California (recently) and even going 85 in a loaded U-Haul in Wyoming (downhill with a tailwind). So, if I'm not exceeding the speed limit, there's a reason; cop nearby, too much traffic, I'm in a school zone, the road is covered with ice. Something like that. So, if someone is tailgating me, it's not because I should be going faster, usually I couldn't go faster even if I wanted to. So, I don't like being tailgated, there's no reason for it except to get personally involved with me when our vehicles collide because the moron behind me couldn't stop in time. One of the tricks I do to hint that maybe your car is a little too close (at stoplights when I'm stopped) is to put the car into reverse and flash my backup lights at them. I have never (before) had a response that wasn't one of two things 1-oblivious and continue to drive like they are oblivious or 2-they back off. Not the guy driving the Grand Wagoneer on 21st south tonight. He's driving with a coffee in one hand, cigarette in the other spending more time looking at what's going on on the sidewalks rather than in front of him and following me close all the way down 21st, almost touching my bumper when we come to stop lights. I try the old flash the back up lights a few times, and the first couple he's oblivious. At the intersection of State Street he finally notices and, no he doesn't back off, he starts waving his hands around yelling at me. So I roll down the window and start yelling "then back off buddy" back at him. The light turns green and, still screaming, he does the old jump the car at my back end trick, revs it up comes shooting towards me and then slams on the brakes before hitting me. Yeah. Nice. Well, I continued my yelling back, but it was no longer "buddy", and slow down to somewhere between snail and sloth. Yeah, I'm a little nervous, and I am planning out escape routes, but I refuse to let assholes intimidate me. We get to the light at Main Street (one block for those of you unfamiliar with Salt Lake) and he guns it, pulls into the left turn lane and starts to pass me. So, I figure, fine, let him, and I slam on my brakes to let him pass. Now here's the funny part. He was turning left there. He couldn't just back off for one block. I tell ya, I'm beginning to appreciate my UofU Transit pass more and more every day.

6 comments:

A Paperback Writer said...

I think I met his "friend" today just after I spotted the ugly truckling I called you about.
I was stopped at the light headed west on 1300 South and 1300 East. (For anyone who's not driven this part of SLC, just picture a good hill in San Francisco, and you'll get the right idea.) There were about 8 of us in line when the light changed. The speed limit's 30 down that hill, and I usually take it at 40, but there were 5 cars ahead of me. Suddenly, on my left, IN THE UPHILL LANE ON THE LEFT-HAND SIDE OF THE STREET, this guy in a small grey pick up (I think it was a Toyota, but the make doesn't really matter here) came down the hill at about 50 and forced his way in just before the red light. (Not just in front of me -- because I so would not have let him in -- but someone did.) He then proceeded to tailgate the person ahead of him until westbound widened into 2 lanes at 700 East. He then switched lanes back and forth at least 6 times, stuck behind two people who were probably laughing their guts out at having trapped him, until he went around one of them in the intersection of 400 East and took off like a bat out of hades. I had to turn on 300 East, so I lost track of him. I was too darned stunned to be angry. You know what the visibility's like on that hill off of 1300 East. I'm amazed that no innocent driver got plowed. However, if the guy had hit something like a rock wall, I would've laughed and stayed as a witness just so I could've had the pleasure of telling the police whose fault it was.

Funaki-naki-naki said...

Situations like these are why we all need signs. "Back Off Dumbass." Does it get any better than that?

jannx said...

Wow, that is a very scary situation. Is it my imagination or are people becoming increasingly selfish and inconsiderate. No matter how wrong they are, they will justify the bad behavior.

Max said...

Writer: Sounds like we met dumbass and second-cousin-twice-removed of dumbass. And it probably was a Toyota. I had a friend that was a tow truck driver for a decade or so, and he said the most common vehicle he pulled out of snow banks, and other self induced situations, was the Toyota 4 wheel drive pickup. He said that the drivers tended to be arrogant people who seemed to overestimate their own abilities and the capabilities of their vehicles. Now, I’m not saying everyone who drives a Toyota pickup is a conceited jerk, they are good trucks and a lot of people buy them because of that. I’m just saying that conceited jerks tend to be drawn to them. Like the H2 and H3 (Hummers) and the Camaro.
Naki-naki: Jerkbag probably would have reacted the same with the sign. I hadn’t even moved backwards towards him, like I sometimes do, all I had done is flash my backup lights at him. Can you imagine if I’d flipped him off? He probably would have pushed me right into the intersection.
Jannx: So, it’s not just me, and it’s not just Salt Lake City. I’m completely convinced that people in this country are getting more self-centered by the day. They will block traffic, costing everyone time, just to save themselves the extra 20 steps from the parking spot to the store, because they’re going to be “just a second”. They slow down the checkout transaction by talking on the cell phone during the process. I have to work on not letting it bug me or I’m going to end up being a hermit.

jannx said...

No, it is not just you. And no, it is not just Salt Lake City.

Max said...

Yeah, I was afraid of that.