Friday, 26 June 2015

Sweary Driving

A friend of mine posted this on Facebook the other day. Apologies in advance for the language, but my, is it apt.

Thing is, we probably all do it when pushed. Not always the same trigger and not necessarily the same language - some of us have impressionable kids who repeat everything you say. Usually in the classroom.

For me, it's not quite so much people who drive as if they're in their own little bubble - after all, we've all had a moment of "Ooops, I didn't see that, I was going through my to-do list". No it's people who drive like there's no one else on the road - and it isn't accidental. They don't give a shit, toss, hoot. (Sorry - there I go again.)

My word for them? "Special". On any given day of the week you'll hear me say -

"Oh please, no. Blow right through that red light why don't you? You must be one of those special people." Grrr.

And then there are people who honk at you when you're not even doing anything wrong. They're speeding and they get annoyed with anyone who doesn't? To them I say "Oh sure, I'll get myself stopped and ticketed just so you can get to where you need to be on time. Why don't you just leave a little earlier?"

Or they honk at you when you're being nice? No lie - the other day I stopped to let a car out onto the busy road I was on. The driver didn't have a snowflake in hell's chance of getting out otherwise, and no one was stopping. So I did the nice thing, stopped, motioned .... and was given one of the "What the hell are you doing?" long, loud honks by the driver behind me. I was very tempted to get out, feign concern and ask whatever the matter was, but people carry guns over here, so it's not advisable to get into a fight whether intentional or not. So instead I let someone else out about fifty yards down the road....... ;-)

But the one that really gets me all sweary, is when you're trying to parallel park on a busy road and no one will stop. They just drive around you so that you can't swing back into the spot. Well, you can try but you'll probably hit the car that doesn't have half a minute to stop and let you reverse.

What's your beef, and most importantly. what's your response?


  1. Worst ones I think are those that will not get out of the way of emergency vehicles!!! grrr!!!! I have a few choice words for them and they are not "special"!!!!

  2. I have uttered every single one of those that your friend posted...and sometimes worse.

    Currently, my two biggest driving pet peeves is the not using the directional arrows (Oh? So, MY car is the only one one the road that has them?) and the people who blow through red lights (REALLY? What kind of jackass are you?).

  3. Amy - it's not bad here. People pull way over for any kind of emergency vehicle.

    Gigi - OK, I may be having a mental block but what are "directional arrows"?

  4. Oh numerous. People who don't indicate. People who cut you up at roundabouts. People who park on double yellows (obviously they are special too). My language can get very "choice" in the car.

  5. Okay... Here I go with my little story again (you push the right buttons, Toni):

    One of my biggest peeves (besides the too-lazy-or-too-arrogant-to-be-bothered-to-signal drivers) is drivers who don't understand how to get through a 4-way stop. It's not rocket science. The first car to arrive at the intersection has the right-of-way. If two cars arrive at the same time, particularly if they're on perpendicular courses, the car to the right has the right-of-way. These rules apply no matter if cars are going straight through the intersection or turning, unlike intersections with signals or two-way stops, where generally a car turning left (across traffic) yields to oncoming (through) traffic.

    We live in a city with many visitors from out of county, out of state, and sometimes out of country drivers. We're also largely a rural state, so many people don't have to deal with much in the way of traffic control or volume until they come to the "big city."

    So I'm tootling along one of my regular routes, a plain old two-lane surface street, calculated to bypass the most annoying roads, and pull up to a 4-way stop. There's a fair number of vehicles making their way through the intersection. We drivers are amicably and smoothly taking turns, based on the order of arrival. I want to make a left turn (across traffic for those across the pond); my signal is on. The car ahead of me clears the intersection and I pull up and stop to wait my turn. Across the intersection from me is a a one-ton flatbed truck with out-of-county plates: big red flags to us locals, indicating a driver who probably is on empty gravel ranch roads more often than not and who isn't in town but once in a while. Since the truck stopped after I did, I don't hesitate to make my left turn before it starts its right turn: it's my turn, after all, if the driver had been paying attention and understood the rules of the road.

    The driver and his passenger, a young woman with blonde hair, go ballistic, apparently in the belief that I was in the wrong. They are yelling and flipping me the bird in protest of what they apparently see as an egregious error. Following close on my bumper to the next intersection, the woman is (I am not making this up) hanging up to her waist out of her window, continuing her rant and flipping me the bird. I can see this all in my rearview mirror.

    I wave jauntily at them in the rearview mirror. It does not go over well. With this encouragement, my inner imp prompts me to go for it. The truck pulls up next to me, in the left turn lane, and still there is yelling and flailing about out the window. I cannot hear a word said, of course, but I got the gist. I wave again with a cheery smile, as if I am completely unaware of the ill wishes directed my way and just saying hi to some nice folks.

    The blonde ducks back inside the cab to update the driver on what that crazy woman was doing. When she popped out again, I waved, still smiling inanely, and the blonde looks at me for a moment before smiling herself.

    If it might have eased tensions, I would happily have bought them both a beer and advised them to get over it. Advice to myself.

  6. Actually, having spent 6 years living and driving in a city with traffic that will literally make you weep when you first experience it, my list of peeves has somewhat diminished. Because as long as we make it unscathed, undamaged, un-stopped by the police, I'm happy. I'm hoping that this laissez-faire attitude will last once we get back to the UK, although I honestly don't expect it to.

    Although, there are two things I hate about driving here. 1. When a driver simply stops on the edge of a busy three lane highway in rush hour so they can run into a shop and 2. When they reverse up the hard shoulder of the motorway because they missed a turn. Which is not illegal here...

    Is it any wonder I'm sanguine?

  7. I was doing a U-turn yesterday with four children in the car, when my daughter said, pointing at a waiting driver up the road: 'He's probably saying you're an idiot, but you're not.'

  8. I have to say, compared to Seoul, I find driving in the UK to be really very civil. In Seoul, it was never unusual to have someone honk at you because you weren't going at a RED LIGHT. Because if there weren't any cars coming, 'red light' was more of a suggestion than a rule. No room to get by? No problem. Create your own lane between two cars, or on the sidewalk. If you needed to stop your car - no matter where you were - you just did it. Driving in Seoul is All About Me and What Is Convenient for Me. And no one ever moved for emergency vehicles, either, because (of course) moving for an emergency vehicle is inconvenient.


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