Saturday, December 25, 2010

Things I Never Learned in Driver's Ed

I see a lot of things on the road they never taught me in driver's education classes. The curriculum has likely been updated several times since I took the course nearly 40 years ago. Here's what younguns appear to be learning today.

1) To get to the McDonald's across the street from the gas station you're at now, it's perfectly acceptable to zip straight across six lanes of traffic. Safer options are too time consuming. With gas prices as they are, take the most direct route at all times.

2) When attempting to turn left from a side street or parking lot onto a busy road, roll on out into the road a little bit. Oncoming traffic will have to stop so you can make the turn. Performing this maneuver as often as possible saves hours and hours of time you'd otherwise spend waiting to make turns.

3) Leave at least two car lengths between you and the car in front of you when you stop for traffic lights and stop signs. The extra space will keep you from getting trapped in the event the vehicle in front of you breaks down. You'll also have more time to react should the person in front of you throw their vehicle into reverse for no apparent reason.

4) Instead of just nosing out when making a left turn onto a busy street in heavy traffic, pull all the way out. It's perfectly acceptable to block all the lanes between you and the lane you desire while you wait for an opening. Nobody minds. Those horns you hear are applause.

5) It's perfectly acceptable to wait to make a hopeless left turn out of a parking lot onto a busy road in 5:00 traffic from the only exit. Turning right makes no sense if that's not where you want to go. Patience is a virtue--just keep waiting.

6) You can change your mind about where you want to go. The fact you're in the right lane should never prevent you from hooking left across five lanes of traffic to hit Krispy Kreme while the red light is on. Anyone who's had a hot one will understand.

7) Turn signals are optional and nearly obsolete. Unless you're eating or putting on make-up, everyone knows you need one hand for the steering wheel and one for your cell phone. Besides, it's really nobody's business where I'm going.

8) On a traffic light, green means go and yellow means floor it. Red means stop, unless of course you've been waiting forever and should have had a turn a long time ago. Blinking lights of any color mean every man for himself.

9) At four-way stops, whoever has the biggest cahones goes first. If in doubt, it's safe to assume it's not you. Wait until you grow a set to move forward.

10) You can do whatever you want in a parking lot. Directional arrows on the pavement are just decorations. Unless you can pull through, always back into your parking space.

These are just a few of the tricks I've learned. Now I'm ready to offer offensive driving lessons. If you're interested, contact...

The Crotchety Old Man

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