Trying to drive at something....

Damn! A whole day went by without a post! I just returned from a long drive in horrid driving weather, and I'm going to attempt to use my blog as a way of processing my unresolved anti-traffic bigotry.

While I normally hesitate to stereotype or judge people, I wish to offer a few observations and generalizations about drivers.

For brevity's sake, and because it's late, I'll limit myself to three stereotypes tonight.

1. Drivers who are obsessed with finding, then zipping in and filling any gap or space which appears between any two cars ahead of them. It was brought to my attention that this type is usually young enough to have grown up playing video games, which conditioned him to drive that way before he ever learned to drive. So, it's second nature for this clown drive as he'd play a video game. Spot the gap and zip in, regardless of manners or safety (neither of which apply to video games, of course).

2. Elderly drivers who wear hats. I don't know whether hat-wearing causes bad driving, or merely evidences the personality of this driver, but elderly hat wearers tend to hug the middle of the road, and go much too slowly, often gripping the steering wheel with both hands at the top of it, while peering over the dashboard with a blank stare. Scary. Don't get behind them.

3. Drivers with more than twelve stuffed animals arranged on the inside ledge of the rear windshield. This type is also slow and erratic, and often in a bizarre and unpredictable manner. Not sure why; perhaps there are medication issues.

And I'm afraid that's the end of the road for tonight!

posted by Eric on 06.05.04 at 11:55 PM


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Tracked on June 8, 2004 7:25 AM


I don't know whether hat-wearing causes bad driving, or merely evidences the personality of this driver...
I knew I'd seen this observation somewhere before. It took me longer (a couple of minutes) to find the book itself than to find the passage in it:
Bond saw a chance and picked up fifty yards, sliding into a ten-yard gap left by a family saloon of slow reactions. The man at the wheel, who wore that infallible badge of the bad driver, a hat clamped firmly on the exact centre of his head, hooted angrily."
-- Ian Fleming, Goldfinger

Hmmm, got both Type 1 and Type 2 annoying drivers in this passage. Bond, of course, hadn't grown up with video games (though that impostor in the recent movies probably did).

Eric Wilner   ·  June 6, 2004 1:28 AM

Hmmm.... ....and might not also those twelve or more stuffed animals interfere somewhat with the view to the rear?

I can't stand bad drivers. Old people and teenagers seem to be the worst drivers, too slow or too fast, too cautious or too reckless. Speaking of Classical Values, Aristotle might have had something to say about that. The Golden Mean -- but not the middle of the road.

Sorry about no S & G's lately. I'll try to think up some good dialogue later if it fits somewhere. Right now, I'm going to go to bed. See you in the morning.

Can't recall the Goldfinger quote, but there seems to be a universal constant.

More here:

Golden Mean? Mean in the Golden years?

Eric Scheie   ·  June 6, 2004 1:13 PM

I'm sure going to mean in my golden years. I'm looking forward to it. I'm already crotchety and reactionary and misanthropic enough and more as I am now. The M*strh8r.

The most un-PC joke I shall make this week:

Q: Why couldn't Helen Keller drive?
A: She was a woman.

Ian Hamet   ·  June 7, 2004 3:55 AM

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