Situation Normal. Atmosphere Breathable. Brainstem Injected. Dialogue Engaged.
Friday, April 15, 2005

Mean Spirited Urine

I'm an asshole driver. I freely admit this. I routinely drive ten or fifteen over the limit, particularly near the airport. The only police there are customs agents. They won't bother me. They're looking for illegal immigrants and kidney smugglers.

I'm the guy that swerves in and out of lanes with mere inches to spare because you have the temerity to drive one under the limit. I'm the guy that speeds up to catch the tail end of a yellow light. I have no patience. I don't like it when people drive casually. To me it's urgent and serious. Especially in the morning. If you're out at five a.m. and you're driving under the speed limit, you're drunk and you should've been home hours ago. The rest of us are going somewhere out of necessity and we want to arrive ten minutes ago.

I use unfair stereotypes to help me drive efficiently. I keep mental file folders, and I've been working up a new one over the past week. This new group I'll get to last. First off, the regulars. Why? I like to gauge the lackadasical before I overtake them. There are a few select groups of people that drive at five, and these are the prevalent stereotypes.

I always look for eighties model Ford compacts with more rust than paint and eleven heads bobbing inside. Mexican immigrants live together and drive together. Very slowly.

Minivans with Baby On Board signs are also slowpokes. This mother is more interested in wiping the graham cracker crumbs off little Timmy's shirt than watching the road in front of her. Fast forward ten years and she's got an honor student bumper sticker and a cellphone, but the driving remains unchanged. For somebody that professes to live in a constant hectic rush she drives like a retarded turtle. Where is she going this early?

The white workvan is an unknown. These bluecollar roughnecks drive with padlocked vans full of giant wrenches, pipe threaders, spraypaint, boiler plating, blowtorches, and who knows what else. Depending on whether they secure these items to the side of the van, they can drive anywhere from twenty under to thirty over. The one constant is that these men always wear gloves and never set down their coffee. I approach them with caution.

Now there's a new type. The Catholic praying mantis. These people are so stricken with grief over the pope's death they now fly the national flag of Poland from their driver side window. Not only do they deprive themselves of fresh air, but they drive like elderly people on motorscooters at the zoo. If we had pandas and lemurs on the roadside these papists would gridlock the entirety of Chicago.

Is that really necessary? If you care that the figurehead of your professed God is dead, why don't you fly the yellow papal emblem? No, you don't care. It doesn't matter that God's Spock has died, what matters is he was Polish. That's why you all chose the red Polish standard instead. This is an excuse to declare your love for the homeland you fled so eagerly, the land of beets and rocky fields. That's okay with me, but please stop driving like infants on heroin.

I know you're suffering from spiritual confusion. Now that the pope is dead, can your family switch back to Judaism or maybe go Protestant? The peer pressure is off, right? Surely the pope will be from Slovakia or someplace, not Poland. To this I say: Keep the quandry at home, idol worshipper. Keep it off my road. Oh, and by the way, fuck the pope.

I was on time this morning.
7:30 AM - Bottle Rocket Fire Alarm


April 15, 2005 10:15 AM, Blogger clothosfate said...

I laughed my ass off... a great feeling first thing in the morning. Retarded turtle... that is fucking perfect. I am still laughing about it.

As for shitty drivers, I live in a city where it seems that everyone here came from a small town. SO I am behind a teenage guy in a dirty old minivan and there is absolutly NO ONE ahead of him, and he's not taking the van over 40km.... I have fanatsies of ramming him at full speed, or laying on my horn until he swerves out of confusion.

April 15, 2005 10:26 AM, Blogger Anonysis said...

Yesterday as I was turning left, a car across from me was turning right, on MY arrow. It was a car full of high school boys, driving Mom's hand me down sedan. They not only cut me off, but they proceeded to drive about 10 miles under the limit for a long way of one lane, no passing zone. What pisses me off is there is no category, no corner in which to shove this group of people. Why weren't they speeding and blaring Nelly? That pisses me off worse than soccer mom and, old timer and unpredictable vans. Which at least we can predict are going to be unpredictable. There was no way to rationalize that they are mentally in another place. It goes against reason!

April 15, 2005 10:32 AM, Blogger Imogene_Pix said...

I dig asshole drivers... especially the NY type. Moms in minivans, slow pokes? Usually around here these are the most rabid and noxious of drivers (still retarded albeit). Must be the screaming kids and the husband who neglects them that cause them to take out their angst on the rest of us.

April 15, 2005 10:49 AM, Blogger Dave Morris said...

You were on time! Isn't that all that truly matters?

We're friends so I feel I can share this link - it's a piece I wrote back in March that echoes your frustrations, and it's a bit of a fantasy of mine...

Have a great weekend...

April 15, 2005 10:56 AM, Blogger Mokuyobi said...

is poland the land of beets and rocky fields? Should I know that since im of Polish heritage and my family are Polish Catholics?

..I like beets, but not people who drive like morons.

April 15, 2005 10:57 AM, Blogger ty bluesmith said...

you made me feel all road-rage-y

April 15, 2005 11:09 AM, Blogger Mags said...

People are really posting Polish flags on their cars?

April 15, 2005 11:18 AM, Blogger Bottle Rocket Fire Alarm said...

Thank you everyone for your empathy.

Mags, yes. All over Chicago. We have a huge Polish community, particlarly on the north side. The flags are just like the sports team flags that clamp onto the top of the window. You have to keep the window up or it'll fly off. I'd say they're 8" x 12" and they make the car look like a mailbox.

April 15, 2005 12:48 PM, Blogger Cindy-Lou said...

Oh my god, did you really just say fuck the pope? That is so funny, I'm glad my boss isn't here. He might wonder why I suddenly burst out laughing.

April 15, 2005 4:47 PM, Blogger Lostinspace said...

Ha ha. I laughed at the minivan mother thing, the fastforward ten years, etc. God, I hate California drivers. They fucking cannot drive. I understand your rage.

April 15, 2005 5:09 PM, Blogger OldHorsetailSnake said...

You forgot one class of driver, you asswipe: Me. You cut me off at the pass twice this morning, and I'm comin' with a tire iron, you fat fuck...

April 15, 2005 9:12 PM, Anonymous honestyrain said...

i love the guy who races past me to get to the same red light we will all be stopping at in ten seconds. horrah for him. he wins.

you're that guy, aren't you? just can't stand to not be first ;)

April 15, 2005 10:10 PM, Blogger Bottle Rocket Fire Alarm said...

Now that I'm done with some vile plumbing chores I think I'll answer the choir's reprimands.

Clothosfate, Thanks.

Sis, I understand your frustration. We share more than genetics.

Imogene, I think this is universal.

Dave, I remember that one. It's certainly an appropriate rejoinder, I agree.

Dusty, not at all. I'm referring to the foreign born. Despite this bizarre behavior recently they're a very charming and hospitable lot.

John, deep breaths, count to ten. Who am I kidding? That shit never works.

LostInSpace, yep, that confirms it. Universal.

Cindy Lou, I certainly did. I'm a proud agnostic.

Finally, some hostility! I've been waiting for that. I expected more for the religious stuff than the traffic.

Hoss, I can't cut you off if the rotation of the earth is faster than your acceleration, effectively causing you to drift backwards.

Also, I am not fat. If I was a sedentary creature I would no doubt be perfectly content to take up behind you and read your McGovern bumper stickers.

Honetryrain, yep, that's me. It's worth it on my route, because if I'm in front I don't have to wait for the Hoss to finish picking his nose. Or hope he hits the gas before the light turns back to red again.

April 16, 2005 11:50 AM, Blogger Saucy Monk said...

come on, admit it.

you're actually a cab driver in this city, aren't you?

April 16, 2005 2:02 PM, Blogger OldHorsetailSnake said...

Rocket: U one funny guy. Hoss is properly put in his place. Grrr.

April 17, 2005 1:37 PM, Blogger You've Got What I Need... said...

Is a retarded turtle any slower than a non-retarded turtle?

A very snarky and much loved post!

April 18, 2005 9:08 AM, Blogger Bottle Rocket Fire Alarm said...

Monk: I would downright mosey were I a cabbie. I'd also have a bead cover for my driver seat and a silly hat.

YGWIN: Same speed, but they travel in stuttering circles instead of in steady semistraight lines.

April 18, 2005 4:06 PM, Blogger Stace said...

u r horrible. PERIOD THE END. :)


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