Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Get Off the Road!

There is nothing quite as frightening as the thought that human beings have been put in control of rolling contraptions of mechanical death...

In recent weeks, as Mrs. Overlord recovers from her latest bout of respiratory illness, your intrepid Galactic Emperor has been forced to travel vast distances in his Nissan Tie Fighter to the ass-end of the Cosmos (re: Westchester County) in order to visit her in the concentration facility....where she is receiving extensive respiratory and physical therapy.

So, first, a shout-out to the wonderful people at the Burke Rehabilitation Center in White Plains, NY. They do some amazing things there for their patients, and the word you hear most-frequently in those hallowed halls is "miracle".

As to the point of this dissertation...

I'm traveling something on the order of 200 miles a day, ranging back and forth between the suburban cesspit of White Plains and the bucolic hellscape of Staten Island, and the absolute worst part of the entire experience is having to deal with other people on the road who seem to treat the operation of a motor vehicle as if it were a session of Grand Theft Auto, or alternately, as an exercise in free expression of the inner fucktard.

Here are, from my observation, the five worst categories of drivers currently turning the highways of New York State into a deadly hazard, ranked from least-dangerous/most stupid to most- dangerous/kill-that-fucker-before-he-breeds.

1. Suburban Soccer Moms in Luxury SUV's - there is something abominably wrong and inherently dangerous about putting a 4' 8", 92-pound, mass of uncontrollable hormones, conflicting emotions, and bulletprooof stupid behind the wheel of a self-propelled, $50,000, 8-cylinder Day Care Center with GPS, and allowing her unsupervised freedom of movement.

Such a creature either feels it necessary to travel everywhere at 25 mph, despite being encased in what amounts to an armored vehicle, makes extremely wide turns because her short, skinny arms have trouble handling such a big steering wheel, or, alternately, drives as if the fucking vehicle is on fire and being chased by Al-Qaeda, with a visible lack of control.

I assume that husbands who buy their wives such oversized vehicles have probably surreptitiously purchased huge insurance policies on their spouses in the secret hope that she'll turn the thing over, get killed, and leave him free to chase that secretary with big boobs and no brains around the office, simultaneously dodging guilt for having effectively lit a fuse and run for cover.

The unfortunate part of this fiendish plot is that the rest of us have to take our chances with her on the road.

2. Old People - There should be a law: as soon as you hit that stage of life where you can be considered "elderly", your drivers license should be taken away.

It's the loss of motor function that probably comes with dementia and Parkinson's, or maybe the failing vision (I have yet to see, anywhere, such a thing as a prescription, bi-focal windshield), the hearing loss, the weak bladders and sphincters, or maybe the force of habit that is ingrained in people who seem to remember the days when Iron Horses could never exceed 20 mph, and dividing lines that indicated individual traffic lanes had yet to be invented.

Whatever it is, your goddamned grandparents are a nuisance and a menace on the road. They seem to be always confused, unaware of where they're going (even if they have been going there for decades), incapable of distinguishing between the brake and accelerator pedals. Most I've seen recently look to be older than dirt, but probably younger than the Sun, and have the same look on their face, a combination of congenital constipation and utter confusion.

The worst are the old women whose age can only be accurately guessed at by Carbon 14 dating, who straddle two lanes, simultaneously, doing 15 mph in the left lane and constantly braking at every curve (and sometimes in the straightaways) who leave a distinct impression that they probably rose from their coffin specifically to clog the roads to ensure the Younger Generations can't get anywhere in good time.

For some reason, all the accidents I've seen in the last week appear to involve elderly folks who miss their exits, continue in a straight line heading into a curve, or who recklessly drive over something obvious -- like a traffic island -- in the process of making a simple turn.

3. The Police - charged with keeping the roadways safe, some police officers instead believe that possession of a badge, a car with really cool lights and a siren, instead gives them license to be douchebags on wheels.

Unsafe lane changes; speeding; using their lights/sirens to bully their way past traffic and then turning them off, I've seen it all these past few weeks.

Not long ago, I witnessed a convoy of police vehicles traveling north up the Hutchinson River Parkway in Westchester, lights flashing, siren's blaring, only to watch the last car in train, at intervals, leave the little parade to pull over to the side of the set up speed/ticket traps.

I have been nearly rear-ended twice by police vehicles that find it necessary to tailgate me in order to gauge my speed (no radar guns, boys?), and having found me to be in compliance with local speed limits, suddenly break formation with an unsignalled lane change, speed past me as if the word just came over the radio that Dunkin' Donuts has a fresh batch ready, and then scoot across two or three lanes of traffic to hit the nearest exit.

And frankly, the worst offenders are NOT the local cops, but the State Police.

4. Wanna-Be-Homeboys/Bubblegum Ganstas -  aka Whiggers. There is nothing quite as comic as the experience of seeing, with one's own eyes, and hearing, with one's own ears, the unusual phenomena of the Upper-Middle-Class Suburban dickhead, with his droopy pants, his sideways-turned ball cap, riding around in his Mini Cooper -- suitably equipped with Ben Hur hubcaps (spinners extra), tinted windows, "Bad Boy" decals, and a stereo system in which the oversized bass does little more than cause the vehicle to (violently) audibly shake at stoplights -- trying to imitate the Gansta Lifestyle of their lower-class-Urban-Aborigine counterparts.

I'm sorry, Chad (I'll bet most of you are named Chad...or Devin...Or maybe even Taylor. Did anyone ever tell you "Taylor" is a girl's name, incidentally?), but no amount of imitation and pretense will ever allow you to overcome the irrational guilt you bear for having been born obnoxiously wealthy, and there is no amount of rap you can blast from a giant woofer in a tiny car that will ever gain you the minutest dram of solidarity with the masses.

But, hey, you can make up for it in college by taking Sociology and then voting democrat before Daddy sets you up for life with a legacy hire at Dewey, Cheatham, and Howe, and you need to change party affiliations in order to join the local country club.

In the meantime, please DO remember that a Mini-Cooper is little more than a pregnant roller skate that wasn't built to survive high-speed collisions, especially high-speed collisions instigated by a fucktard smoking really weak weed (I've caught more than a few whiffs. You kids have no idea what good pot is), and that even in my Nissan Tie Fighter, I probably still outweigh your vehicle by a factor of at least 2, and no, I will not allow you to slip in between me and the car in front of me just because you crossed three lanes of traffic to get there.

Get behind me...where you belong...And stop being an asshole.

And to the douchebag who got out of his Mini-Cooper to curse me because I got to the gas pump first, don't think I didn't notice how quickly you got back in it and locked the doors when I started walking towards you.

You're not fooling anyone, Reginald Eugene Aristocrat-Creampuff III.

5. Uber/Lyft drivers - A rolling advertisement for ending unfettered immigration, illegal or otherwise.

I've seen them all these last few weeks: Pakistanis who cannot master 20th century tech, like automobiles, street signs, and traffic signals.

East Africans who drive cars the same way they drive cattle.

Hispanics who dive 20 mph in the center lane of the FDR Drive, with an empty vehicle, only to increase to warp speed and handle the car like a speedboat with a fare in it.

Traffic was already bad in and around New York; it has gotten exponentially worse with the proliferation of ride-share drivers. The streets are literally chocked with them; they back up traffic picking up or dropping off fares, they tend to drive in small packs that take up all the available lane space. They cause back ups in every parking lot; they double park in front of every office building, hospital and shopping center.

I'm torn on this one, because while I admire the entrepreneurial spirit that goes into Uber/Lyft, and the freedom of choice that comes with it for both driver and passenger, the result leaves much to be desired, which is to say, roadways made dangerous by roving bands of immigrants who are unfamiliar with the esoterics of driving in New York, blatantly ignorant of the traffic laws, and unable to do the simple things like read signs, find exits, or follow a voice on GPS (even when it's available in their native tongue).

I'd like to kick the crap out of all of you, but thanks to Mayor DeBlasio that isn't necessary since you're allowed to freely urinate and defecate in the streets.


Anonymous said...

Matt, thoroughly enjoy your picturesque use of the language in your rants. Glad to hear that your love is finding some relief after her health scare. Wishing health, safety and prosperity.

Matthew Noto said...

Thanks much for both compliment and well-wishes!