Large Metal Objects That Have the Ability to Maim Human Flesh

Dear Drivers of Other Cars,

Listen. It's time we had a talk. I've been avoiding this confrontation for years now, using passive-aggressive hand motions and only yelling at you from the safety of the interior of my vehicle. But all of that has to stop now. I've reached my limit. So here goes:

Please learn to drive. No, I'm not trying to insult you (it's just a happy side-effect). I'm actually telling you to do what you need to do to learn how to drive. Hire an instructor. Take a class. Whip out that little booklet produced free of charge by the DMV. Because if you do? I really think you'll realize quite a few of the things you do in your normal course of driving are actually EGREGIOUS errors and may even be illegal. If they aren't, they're still just plain obnoxious. Here are a few:
  • Turn signals are standard issue in every vehicle for a reason. USE THEM.
  • You ARE allowed to turn right at a red light. You ARE NOT allowed to do so without stopping and checking traffic first!
  • When pulling from a turn lane onto a two lane street, it's not just customary or advisable to pull even with the closest lane. It's MANDATED. BY LAW. Stop trying to side swipe me.
  • Smoking, texting, and dealing with your children all at the same time may constitute distracted driving and may get you a ticket. Or kill someone. NAMELY ME! And probably your children, if those pesky rumors about second-hand smoke are to be believed...
  • Brake lights are not optional. I'm talking to you, Dude With The Tricked Out Truck With Heavily Tinted Windows and a Modified Tailgate--you can't just remove your brake lights and replace them with metal. It's not okay!
  • Four way stops. Just review them. Or avoid them. But stop doing it wrong.
  • On a clear day in the middle of the summer on a straight paved road, it is not reasonable to go fifteen miles an hour under the speed limit. Just sayin'.
  • Turning left from the far right portion of the lane (or vice versa) will not win you friends or influence people. Unless you would like me to influence the paint right off of your car. 
  • Pulling out in front of me, switching lanes with no warning, or passing me AND THEN going slower than I am is just. Well... Not only do I now want to hit your car out of spite, but I would also mark you down as someone who does not play well with others.
  • If a cop is going under the speed limit on the highway, it's okay to pass him as long as you don't go over the speed limit. That's why it's called a limit. They can't getcha unless you pass the limit. Maybe you should take an English class after you finish your driving class.
  • Stopping in the middle of the neighborhood road (and I do mean the exact middle) to chat with people or talk on your cell phone or do your make up or whatever the heck it is you are doing when you block my path out of the neighborhood and then pretend I'm not waiting patiently behind you makes you a jerk. FYI.
If any of you Drivers of Other Cars feel that any of these suggestions or, you know, THE LAWS OF THE ROAD are too difficult to master, please visit your local DMV office and hand in your license and take a cab home. Because seriously? It's not that hard.

And before I sign off, I would like to say one more thing. I hate to just to conclusions or stereotype anyone, but I have a strong suspicion that you Drivers of Other Cars who struggle with the concepts above are the same people whose children do not have THE FEAR. You know, THE FEAR? I think I can see the root of our problem already. THE FEAR is what well-parented children have of punishment, danger, or death.

So just in case these are your kids, after you've handed over your license or have recommitted yourself to decent citizenship, please instruct your children in the correct way to behave around these large metal objects that have the ability to maim human flesh that we call cars.
  • When they are riding their bikes or playing in the neighborhood, advise them to GET OUT OF THE EVER-LOVING WAY of any approaching vehicle. 
  • It would also be helpful and appreciated if you would prevent them from building ROCK TOWERS OR WALLS across the road, since they would probably rather go to college than pay for my repair bills. 
  • If they are using dirt bikes, ATVs, or other motorized recreational equipment, instruct them to keep to the proper trails and to AVOID POPPING UP FROM NOWHERE RIGHT IN FRONT OF MY CAR.
Because I'm pretty sure you love them and want them to see their eighteenth birthday. Or you don't really love them, but you can't wait until they reach their eighteenth birthday because then they aren't your problem. Either way, just trust me and do yourself a solid. I promise you'll thank me later, either because you have live children or because you're not in jail.

All my love and both my middle fingers (I'm just kidding, MOM!),


  1. Sarah Pearson9/23/11, 6:45 PM

    Sometimes I'm glad that my lack of spatial awareness means I can't drive.

  2. Metacognitivethoughts9/23/11, 9:28 PM

    This right here: "Four way stops. Just review them. Or avoid them. But stop doing it wrong" should be printed on a mini-sign and placed below all stop signs at four way stops. Perhaps I should make it a project.

  3. You forgot the round-abouts. That is whole new kind of mess!

  4. "Passing me AND THEN going slower than I am"...This happens to me ALL the time. Like lady, are you seriously trying to passive-aggressively teach me a lesson for going ~only~ 10 miles over the speed limit? Also, I think you're on to something. Because my little brother does not have THE FEAR, and I don't know how old he'll be before someone lets him learn to drive.

  5. But I have an excuse! I have spent more time driving in Germany than in the US. 4 way stops say that the person on the right has the right of way. We should just do that.. NO confusion that way. AND right on reds will cost you your license in Germany.

    In other news, I have fully reverted to Stateside driving. And I still continually get angry at the non-blinker-users. See: http://www.anaveragealyssa.com/2011/06/extreme-blurbage.html

  6. Ha! Yes. Sometimes, I wish I had a driver or could just take a (really clean and really spacious) subway/elevated train/metro to work. But I do like the ACT of driving. I just don't like the Other Drivers.

  7. DO IT!! I fully support that.

  8. I didn't even go there, because they scare me. They're like four-way stops with no stop signs! CHAOS!!!

  9. THE FEAR was coined by my Sister-In-Law and I should definitely give her credit. We've noticed that fewer and fewer children have THE FEAR these days. It's like their parents *want* them to get run over or something...

  10. Ha! Well, I guess that's an okay excuse. Except that if you cut me off, I will probably still use my passive-aggresive gestures at you. Because I will not know WHY you are driving badly. Just that you ARE. ;)

  11. I think you meant "obnoxion"

    I love what you said in comments about 4 way stops. They scare the crap outta me. I'm so scared to turn off, I just keep going around and around.