Friday, January 6, 2012

Moving At The Fantastic Speed Of Slow

This post was inspired by this post written by this kewl blogger

Flashback time.

Early 80's, when I had hair, gas was about $1.25 per gallon, there were three grades of gas: regular, no lead and super and I was a newbie driver at the tender age of 22 (yes, I got my driver's license late. It also took me three tries, but that's another story for another time).

Car of choice? Whatever mommy dearest was driving at the time.

One day, while I was driving to the other end of the Berlin Turnpike, I was sitting at a traffic light. Specifically, at this intersection:

Because this is an 80's flashback, you'll have to picture the following item that used to be located in that shot. Just off to the left of the SUV heading towards you, there used to be a weird triangle that had a small tree, in which you had to take in order to make a left turn onto Main Street. Also, the road used to be only four lanes in all directions.

Anyways, I was sitting in the combo right turn/straight lane waiting to go straight, when Methuselah pulled up next to me in the left turn lane. I pretty much ignored him until the light changed to green, when he decided to go straight and cut me off.

Chagrined, I let him go ahead of me until we got to this next intersection:

The light was green, and since I was in the right turn/straight lane, I went straight. Methuselah, who was in the left turn lane, went straight as well. When we got to this next intersection:

I had the green light, so naturally I continued straight...and so did Methuselah.

So far this guy had managed to cut me off at three consecutive traffic lights and almost put me into a very large tree at the first light. Suffice to say, I was mighty pissed off. But there was still one more cut off for him to do.

When we got the next working light, I was in the left turn/straight lane, while Methuselah was in the right turn lane. Since he was overly concerned about staying in front of me, he pulled forward and blocked me in so that I couldn't go around him.

Which turned out to be a moot point since he made a right turn the second the light turned green, while I continued in the same direction.

Moral of this story? None to speak of, other than to point out that I spent about the first two years of my driving life acting like Casper Milquetoast.

However, I would like to point out that had this happened now, the story would've gone something like this:

Elderly driver cuts off younger driver. Younger driver leans on horn and gives elderly driver the finger plus a few choice adjectives. Younger driver immediately sideswipes elderly driver as he accelerates to about 55 miles an hour through the center of town, oblivious to any other cars/pedestrians. Younger driver would also roll down the window and give elderly driver the finger while laughing maniacally and driving erratically.

Moral of story #2: Thug driving is da bomb.


  1. After the second time I would have gotten out of my car and pointed that he was in the wrong lane. and to back the f up.

  2. From innocence to auto maniac! How many of us have taken that road. :)

  3. I think your prediction of what would happen in the same scenario today is pretty much spot on.

    Those damn kids! :shakes fist:

  4. A few months ago, Rick got into a shouting match with a cab driver who cut us off when we were both making a left turn... there were many "choice adjectives" exchanged... and the cab driver had passengers in his car at the time. I sort of felt sorry for them, because while I was able to just sigh and shake my head in a "yes, my husband has a bad temper" sort of way, the cab passengers looked genuinely concerned... :)

  5. I kind of like that this was just a story for story's sake, with no moral. And here's my question ... Is the Berlin Tpke still a driving destination for gearheads? Or for whatever passes as gearheads today? I'm not too sure what would be a hip car by today's youth's standards.

  6. Bearman: That would be too much work for me. Sticking my arm out the window after jamming my horn would've been the extent of my visual display of anger back then.

    Charles: Didn't take me too long to hit that state of being. By the time I was 25, I was already driving in thug mode. Connecticut is perfectly designed for incredibly rotten and dangerous driving. :D

    Chris: Thanks. I've seen quite a few examples of that exact behavior in today's world, especially by the younger degenerates with their pimped out mobile boom boxes.

    Lisa: Nice. Not for the passengers though, but sometimes in the city, you have to be just that assertive (I speak from experience, unfortunately). I'm sure he felt tons better afterwards. :D

    Joanne: Thanks. I do have a few of those from time to time.

    The Berlin Turnpike is not the gearhead destination of our misspent youth these days. About the only place on the Pike that has any kind of car shows with regularity is Burger King, which is next to Joey Garlic's.

    Nowadays the Pike gets more motorcycles (Harleys) than it does cars.

  7. Otherwise known as "Vroom, vroom, and fuck you!" I have a good friend who got her license at 25, btw.

  8. M: Pretty much.

    Joanne got hers in her mid 20's as well.

    I actually got mines while I was a senior in high school, but I was very much a newbie/respectful driver until my mid-to-late 20's, so putting up with bullshit like this was part and parcel of my driving landscape.

    I had a co-worker who didn't get his until he was actually working with me. One of the job requirements was that you needed a driver's license, and up until he worked for our agency, there was no need for him to get one as he did everything via foot patrol and public transportation. I think he was in his late 30's by the time he got his.

  9. I wonder what kind of driver I'll be. I'll start out cautious, of that I'm sure, but maybe I'll get all road rage when I'm more confident.

  10. S.R.: Everyone starts out cautious when they're driving for the first time, no matter what the age.

    It's how your environment responds to you that will eventually determine what kind driver you'll turn out to be.

  11. In a very real way I miss the courtesy and respect given to the elderly...including but not limited to those who may not have deserved it. I am hard pressed to argue we are better off today

  12. Darth: Nowadays, I usually show the respect that the elderly have more than earned. My beef remains with those who are too stubborn to realize that they should not be driving anymore and that they should investigate the possibility of having a family member or a friend drive them around.


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