Friday, October 13, 2006

Some Days I'm Just Happy to Make It Home Alive


To the woman driving the Toyota Tercel, license plate YXM801, northbound on 14 Street SW yesterday around 8:15 am, those of us who share the road with you, would appreciate if you could put down your god damned cell phone for a moment and stop reading those papers while you are driving. I think the people in the lane next to you, whom you repeatedly almost swerved into as you leaned over the passenger seat to shuffle pages (with the cell phone still firmly attached to the side of your head), would particularly appreciate if you could pull the fuck over to conduct your business. Personally I am glad I was behind you, not beside you.

To the woman who was behind me in the lane reversal stretch of Memorial Drive yesterday afternoon, you are clearly fucking insane.

For those of you who weren't there, allow me to elucidate. Firstly I should explain that the City of Calgary, in all their wisdom, decided to help the westbound flow of traffic in the evening, by imposing a lane reversal along Memorial Drive. Between 3:30 and 6:00pm, there are now three lanes flowing west and one lane creeping east. Guess which direction I drive during that time?

The problem of course, starts quite a ways before we actually go down to one lane, as many people whip out into the left (disappearing lane) rather than wait in the right (good guys') lane, so that they can cut in at the point ot cutoff. This will always happen everytime you have a disappearing lane (of which we are blessed with several) because essentially people are arseholes. So those of us creeping along in the good guys' lane keep a very short distance between us and the car in front so that those ignorant bastards can't cut in, because after half a year of this nonsense, we are tired of it.

Yesterday I heard somebody honking while we were creeping along and I thought to myself, why would someone be honking, we're not even moving? After a bit, I noticed the vehicle behind me was really really close to my bumper (like, a hair away) and then the honking started up again, and it was the car behind me. By this time we had passed the cutoff point, so we were now down to one lane of traffic.

And that's when the driver behind me really started to go nuts. She laid on the horn continuously, while weaving her SUV from side to side, all the while within inches of my bumper. I started to believe that she must have been having a medical emergency and was honking for assistance, and was ready to go check on her, but then we stopped at the red light and I caught a glimpse of her face in the side mirror and she looked fine, just really pissed off, and I thought there's no way I'm getting out of this vehicle.
I really am puzzled by what she thought she could accomplish. Even if she was having some kind of crisis, there was nowhere for her (or the rest of us to go). To our right was a sidewalk, to our left was oncoming traffic. Did she expect me to go up on the sidewalk to allow her to pass? And if so, what about the other 45 cars in line in front of me? What the hell was she thinking?
If you are amazed by the increasing amount of assholery you are witnessing on the road, here is a nice mellow driving song for you. It's by Novillero, who are generally really energetic and whose live show is really very lively indeed, thanks in no small part to the wild enthusiasm of their slightly pudgy tambourine player.
I'm going to see them again next week, when they play with the New Pornographers. Yay!
Let's Pull Over Here - Novillero





Get music codes at Bolt.

48 comments:

mellowlee said...

Ooo I need that song, so soothing. That lady really needed to hear it apparently eh? Wow, glad I don't drive!

kees said...

Good grief. The world's going mad. Stu has literally just told me about some nut in a Merc who tried to kill him today. People should have psychometric testing before being allowed to own a car.
Great track, soothing indeed. What a great concert! Jealous! You must be peeing your pants with excitment, I would be.

Allison said...

I think that cell phones should be outlawed on the highway, for reasons just just described. Between Sarnia and London, the 402 HWY has lanes always closed for construction and you have drivers like you described and then you have transports, its a no win situation, I don't understand people, you'd go faster if it was physically possible. Clearly its not!
I once saw a lady eating fried eyes and toast during the morning rush hour, with silverware and everything!! I was blown away.
Going to listen to the song now :)

Barbara Bruederlin said...

You are right, Mel, that lady is the one who really needs to hear this song. So, insane lady, wherever you are, this song goes out to you.

I think we should all just put the cars away for a day, Kees, and take a deep breath. Personally I'd be content to stay home that day or to walk to the store. It's not worth killing someone over!
But yes, I am really excited about the concert. I saw both bands in the spring and while I was disappointed that Neko Case and Dan Bejar were not on the tour, it was still a great show. Carl Newman is my favorite ginger rock star who looks like an accountant.

I'd take that one step further and outlaw cell phones while driving, period, Allison. And there's always horrific crashes on the 402, sometimes a factor of weather but usually as a result of idiocy.
That lady was eating fried eyes? What a sicko! (I know you meant eggs, but it's funnier the way you said it).

Allison said...

LOL. I really should start to proof read my comments ;P

Fried eggs, toast and ketchup. People.

668 aka neighbour of the beast said...

hahahaha.. fried eyes....my dog now thinks i'm insane as i've burst out into snorting laughter.

John Mutford said...

Is it Bizarre Traffic Day or what? I was pulled over today because my car matched the description of one they're looking for for some unknown reason here- and in a town this size, the other guy should be easy to find. And it made me late for work!

kelly said...

just so ya know that pic in your post from that movie taken on the highway taken on vancouver island here....they closed down the highway for 5 days for about 10 minutes of movie...they evn borrowed our rescue truck...never used it though...paid us$750 per day to have it sitting there

Evelyne said...

Cell phones should never be used in a car, that woman totally explains why!

It seems that people think that they own the world and that they are the only one that matter... can't they understand that they have to share the road?

Barbara Bruederlin said...

Oh no please don't proof read your comments Allison - you've just given me my giggle for the weekend.
You could tell she had ketchup? Man you've got good eyesight, or she had a pile o' ketchup on her plate.

I know what you mean, 668! I always do things like that to my cat. I generally get a disaproving glare.

What was it you were alleged to have done, John? You better watch it now, cause you are now in their radar. And wouldn't your students have a heyday with that one?

What movie was that, Kelly? I just found the pictiure on Google. And how come they didn't ask you to be in the movie? Bastards.

That is so true, Evelyne. It's selfishness that is behind it. These people all think that their time, business, car, whatever, is so much more important than everybody else's.

John Mutford said...

Nothing that the man could say, but when he checked my license and registration I was ruled out or something to that effect. The intrigue is probably way more interesting than the truth- though I'd still like to know.

Btw, what movie scene is that? I know I've seen it, but for the life of me, I can't place it.

John Mutford said...

Oh wait, nevermind the movie question- I just reread the comments. I'll await Kelly's answer...

Deb said...

I really like that song.

I could completely relate to every single word re traffic taboos and idiots who don't yet know the rules of the road or the etiquette that comes with them.

kelly said...

ok i found it...was called Trapped had Kevin Bacon, Courtney Love and Charleze Theron......ask me to be in it....haaa haa haaa...i am the least photogenic...except as a little kid with a tougue on

kelly said...

toque?
however its spelled

Barbara Bruederlin said...

Maybe Professor I. Grapefruit could make up something for you and set it to a beat about your run-in with the law today, John. And then you would be immortalized in music.

So it's not just Calgary, Deb? Damn, I was hoping that the rest of the world was a little more sane.

I get to be Charlize Theron, Kelly, when they make a movie about my traffic incident, because don't you think I look a lot like her?
It's spelled toque and don't forget we've seen pictures of you in your bathing suit.

michelle said...

I'm afraid it's not just Calgary, Barbara. Our traffic re-distributing is useless here in Seattle. It makes for some fun times exercising your middle finger, but in the end you're always worried that either bumper is going to get torn off by some idiot on a cell changing lanes without a clue.

I think Virginia instituted some law making it illegal to drive while talking on the phone - & I'm like well duh... life was just FINE without talking on the road before, NOTHING is that fucking important.

I wish for a simpler time in a yert, some snowshoes, & plenty of Courvoisier. :)

So sorry to hear about your road woes, influx can serious suck.

Barbara Bruederlin said...

I wish for a simpler time in a yert, some snowshoes, & plenty of Courvoisier".

Oh yeah, Michelle, I like the way you do simple! Always gotta have the Courvoisier! And hardwood flooring in the yert.

kelly said...

theres a woman up here that rents out yurts on the beach,what a flake..she is into new age crystals and inner harmony...etc...sorry if i offend anyone but.....the yurt part is fine....just the rest of it

kelly said...

next you're gonna want to make me stop playing solitaire on my computer while driving

Ben Heller said...

We've had a ban on cellphones in cars for a few years now and 99% of folk follow the rules religiously. You still get the odd tosser still risking everyone's life.

You've got the weekend to relax after the highway trials and to play some soothing music (just like the one you posted).

Barbara Bruederlin said...

Is that Jen that you're talking about, Kelly? I'm telling her called her a flake.
Playing solitarie on your computer whilst driving is just fine, as long as it's not pinball.

I think my old boss is one of those people who talks on his mobile while driving in the UK, Ben. I'm pretty sure he's stopped now, after being ticketed, but it took a substantial fine to make him change his ways.

kelly said...

i would never call jen a flake...she reads thes ya know

Will said...

Crazy scary ... but funny when you write it. I'm just learning to drive right now so all of this should be fun stuff for me to deal with. Some people on the road have many, many problems.

mellowlee said...

I'm downloading that song now...it's so GOOD. Now that I've announced to you that I'm making CD cover art, I'm totally stuck for ideas ....oooo the press-sure! ack.

Barbara Bruederlin said...

She does not, Kelly. Your Jen-bashing is safe here.

Barbara Bruederlin said...

I didn't mean to scare you away from driving, Will. This was an extreme example of assholery on the road; most people aren't that bad. Although they do tend to more impatient than they used to be, but at least less people drive after drinking now.

Isn't that a dandy song, Mel? Good Winnipeg band that.
Hey - don't feel pressured to create high art. It's supposed to be pressure-free.

Barbara said...

I am actually grateful I am taking public transportation to work these days... then i can play with my cell phone all I want or read or eat fried eyes....

Barbara Bruederlin said...

There would be definite advantages to public transit, Barbara W, not the least of which would be the freedom to eat your fried eyes in peace. Okay maybe some people would want a taste, but you just elbow them out of the way.

Maureen said...

I am SOOOO glad we don't have any form of traffic here (well it's less than a five minute traffic jam, so it really doesn't qualify). It's something I don't miss at all about Tranna :)

Barbara Bruederlin said...

It's getting pretty gruesome, Maureen. I am getting mighty sick of my 45 minute commute, and I think all the arseholes have also now moved here from Tranna.

kelly said...

soooo thats why its happeneing, the tranna people are moving to calgary and then the calgary people are moving out here....we just been blaming the evil alberta empire

Maureen said...

it's a total westward shift - but where do people from BC go???? and funny how us eastcoasters totally skip quebec and keep on going

kelly said...

maybe they start over...back in PEI?

Barbara Bruederlin said...

Kelly, Maureen, I thought after BC, they put you in the ground.

kelly said...

well there are lots of really really old people here...i think they start coming after 48

Barbara Bruederlin said...

I'm packing my bags! No problems staying at your place for a couple of months, Kelly?

kelly said...

yikes...ummm...errr....well...damn sometimes i have a big mouth

Barbara Bruederlin said...

hahaha that'll learn ya!

kelly said...

but....i do know that if i downloaded some james blunt and played it loud....you'd be high tailing it back to alberta real quick...haaa haaa haa

Barbara Bruederlin said...

touche!

She's Crafty said...

Great photo! I hate bad drivers, and I guess that means me too! I might not be so good at it yet but at least I am safe.

I will never answer my cell phone or talk when driving. My mom is always reaching to the back of the car to grab her's. It makes me crazy!

Barbara Bruederlin said...

I'm sure you will be a good driver, Serah, if you are concerned about safety and since you have a reasonable attitude toward cell phone use. I think the world is in good hands.

Maureen said...

ok, now I'm scared to go to BC - they're gonna kill me aren't they???

Barbara Bruederlin said...

No, no Maureen, only if you are over 48 years old.

kelly said...

no maureen its only the ones that come to the island...you're going up to the cold cold north

phlegmfatale said...

gosh, bitches on the road! what can we do? Yeah, hang up and drive, jerks! Sorry to hear that's not just an American phenomenon. Love that song.

Barbara Bruederlin said...

Road assholery seems to be contageous, PF. That incident took the cake for me, though.