03 January 2008

Jessie's Rules of Driving

I have a slightly severe case of road rage. Hey, I admit it. I cuss a blue streak, all the time, even when I probably should clamp my mouth shut. I invent words for when I drive. I can't help it. I drive in Atlanta. Yeah. Atlanta. And all the outlaying areas, since that's where I live. And let me tell you, I've decided there should be rules in order to not tempt me to go run someone off the road.

Rule 1: Don't go 15 miles under the speed limit in the passing lane.
See, this confuses people, I think. I've decided about 90% of the drivers do not actually understand the passing lane is for passing. It is not in fact for making a second slow lane. Hell, when the granny driver next to you on Wednesday (Old People Day) is faster, you have problems. If you have to go slow, move over to the nice lane that's creeping along like a slug. Can't miss it. It's the one blowing past you. And if you're afraid of going too fast, there are these nifty inventions call speed signs that tell you what the minimum limit is.

Rule 2: If lost, don't cut across three lanes of traffic during rush hour.
Seriously, don't. No, really. Because your ass will end up like a feet up armadillo. This is why accidents happen, people. Well, that and Rule 1. You see, if you miss your turn, it is just as easy to go to the next street or exit and turn around that way. Yes, it's a bit of a pain. But hey, at least you won't be singing off-tune with an angelic choir, okay?

Rule 3: Don't attempt Spaghetti Junction if you're not from here.
Again, it's a really bad idea. You see, that place makes the natives crazy. And some of us are born and bred (okay, not a lot, but a few), and we get lost. If we get lost, there's a high chance that you'll be doomed. Read those signs that tell you how the traffic levels are. Because they will come in handy. And if you're like me, you can take back ways home, and can avoid people like you.

Rule 4: If you have to use a phone, pull the hell over.
See, I can be flexible with this rule. If you can drive with one hand, more power to you. But if you're doing Rule 1, then those us attempting to not get hit because we have to slam on the brakes every two minutes reserve the right to knock you into next week. With a metal bat. I'm sure it's fascinating discussing who's wearing what, where you're supposed to be for your job, why your grandmother puts ketchup in spaghetti, but I really could give a fuck less. I'm more concerned with not banging up a nice car because you think it's cute. I drive with my phone. And I talk for all of about a minute, and then I get off. Because hey, I like not being upside down from someone speeding up behind me and not being able to stop fast enough.

Rule 5: Don't think you can navigate Atlanta roads, especially the 75/85 exchange.
Look, it's like Rules 2 & 3. Seriously. Except it's ten times worse because of the location. Right at 14th street, the crazy shit happens. As soon as you see the Varsity sign, you know you're gonna be in trouble. So stay in the middle lane. It'll branch off and you can go either 75 or 85 North. It's a lot easier. Trust me. Crossing something like six lanes of traffic because you're on the wrong side isn't cute. And, again, you can easily turn around and follow the little green signs.

Rule 6: Don't cut people off.
Seriously, just be aware of the cars around you. It's not difficult. You're surrounded by a couple tons of car on all sides. Use your mirrors. Don't cut someone off unless you want to die. Especially if you're anywhere near what was Techwood. In fact, if you're not from Techwood and you're close by, just drive away. Seriously. Trust me. It's Techwood.

Rule 7: The roads are insane. Embrace it.
We have some whacked out streets. Just ask Peachtree, which changes names a couple times, within about a mile. Oh, and about that. Yeah, you know, it's best to ask a local about the road names. Because I can think of two major roads that do that, besides Peachtree. One being Roswell, which becomes something before it's Piedmont. And there's a ton of side Peachtree roads and streets. Make sure you know which one you're talking about. Because West Peachtree is not the main Peachtree. They are two different streets. For one thing, West Peachtree only goes one way.

Rule 8: Pay attention the road!
If you are in a SUV or minivan, have at least four loud kids in the back, on the phone and smoking a cigarette, you shouldn't allowed on the road at all. Because you need at least one hand on the wheel. Seriously, it's not a hard concept.

Rule 9: Rules can change at my whim.
I reserve the right to change and edit these rules, depending on the mind-numbing stupid I see daily. And I will, trust me.

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Blogger Sue said...


The sad thing is that it is just as frustrating driving here. Where everything is a two-lane highway with passing zones, that are somehow interpreted by the general public as "speeding zones".

They'll do 54 mph in the two-lane portion when there's oncoming traffic preventing you from passing, and when they hit the passing zone, they bump up to 70 mph preventing you from passing without hitting Mach speed.

Oh, what I wouldn't do for a fricken laser beam strapped to my head some days. LOL!

10:04 AM  
Blogger Jessie said...

*grins* Oh, I'm a total speed demon. Mama says I should just join the stock car world. I seriously have to tamper down enough to go 10 mph over the limit, and not go up to like 20. Hey, it's not my fault that the speed limit is 55 and should totally be 75. *laugh*

We don't even have passing half the time. No one leaves room for it. Which is sad, because half the roads are four lanes (two each). Even the small roads, since Atlanta had a kaboom number of drivers as the population goes up. And I swear we've had an increase in the past six weeks. Because it wasn't the holidays and it still went from heavy traffic to stop traffic. I'm hoping they'll be gone when school starts Monday. Let me live in my happy denial place, damn it.

That reminds me, I need to add another rule on understanding the concept of a four way stop.

7:26 PM  
Blogger Pug & I said...

Well, Minneapolis isn't as bad as Atlanta, obviously. And I'm sure I'm one of your bad drivers sometimes - especially right after it has snowed. OMG - am I scared of driving in fresh snow. See, my car is ridiculously tiny - like, it brushes the floor when it drives. So with snow on the ground? Yeah, I lose all traction. So I avoid going out, but if I have to, I'm that annoying old lady driving 40 miles in a 55 mile zone. Forgive me, but I do NOT wanna die! :)

12:56 PM  
Blogger Jessie said...

But snow is a legitimate reason. Bad weather totally changes the rules. But on a good, clear, sunny day? Not even close to understandable. And these are things that happen every clear day.

5:21 PM  

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