Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Driving for Retards : Chapter One, the Pretty Lights that hang at Intersections!

Welcome back, deluded fools, and thank you for coming!

While I'm sure you're wondering why I took so long to make another post, I think your energy could be put to better use by paying attention to the following lesson on how to not be such fucking fools when you're driving down the road!

This lesson is going to be a series of some number I haven't decided yet, but it's come to my attention that despite the previous letter targeting all you heathens of the road, driving in Nashville is still as gut-wrenching and annoying as ever.

Just so you all know, there will in fact be pictures in this lesson, that way you all at least know what I'm talking about when I say things like "Green Light" and "Turn Signal". Perhaps you should all click print, or just take some old fashioned notes!

The object pictured here is something I'm quite sure those of you who live in civilized cities have seen often, and a few of you might even know what those pretty colors on it actually signify. Unfortunately, those of us with such knowledge are quite clearly, a minority. (Those of you living in counties with one or less traffic light, we obviously don't need to worry about you, after all you've survived this long!) You all might think there's no need for such a trivial thing to be addressed in this lesson but I assure you, this section wouldn't exist were it not necessary.

First, I'd like to point out for the less intelligent of you all, that there are in fact three distinctively different colors displayed upon this contraption.

Starting from the bottom, we have what's known as a green light. Those of you wondering what the word green means should pay attention here: green is not just another name for your marijuana, truly, for the word green has a different purpose.. AS A COLOR! If you'll all take out your marijuana now and compare, I think you'll notice that first and foremost, your pot is green.

When we incorporate this color onto our "Traffic Light", suddenly it takes on more meaning than just being the color of America's Favorite Schedule One Narcotic! When we see our "Traffic Light" hanging or standing in some manner above our vehicle, these are the things you should do, in this order.
First, you should look to make sure none of your fellow simpletons has chosen to pass through on your light (color, for those of you with issues), risking the death of both themselves, you, and whatever passengers you might be carrying at the time. Second, you should PUSH YOUR GODDAMNED FOOT DOWN ON THE FUCKING GAS PEDAL THEREBY CONTINUING YOUR TRIP! These two actions can even be performed together, should you but have the brains to pull it off.

Now let's tell you what NOT to do when confronted with such a mysterious shade glowing from the traffic light. Pay attention, as nearly all of you need work.
'The Green Light is NOT the correct time for...'
  • Putting the finishing touches on that hateful text message to your ex - this applies any time the vehicle happens to be in motion with you behind the wheel; in fact, 13 states have no made texting and driving illegal.
  • The same rule applies for those of you with those BlackBerries and those Androids and any other "smart phone" that you all can apparently not live without - while the laws might not actually say that sending that next e-mail to your long distance trick up in Arkansas or that last "Gotcha Boss" that couldn't wait till you got to Mapco, it's implied in the law.
  • Touching up your already horrendous makeup.
  • Fighting over things like custody and child support
  • Rolling that joint/crushing that line (pill popping is acceptable if done correctly)
  • Hunting through your ancient model cell phone for someone's name because you don't feel like tapping in the number.
  • Hunting through the online function of your cell phone to find ringtones
  • Changing the top you just spilled your coffee on
There are many more things the green light is not the proper time for, but we'll worry about those later. Let's move on to our next color.. that eye damaging color you see floating in your ghetto-ade at your local restaurants... in your yard on those faux-flowers that harbor various forms of bee.. and interwoven with the black on yellow jackets and some other breeds of wasp. If you've not guessed it by now, go look directly at the sun (that means now if it happens to be daytime!) If you're not blind by now, then you had thebrains to realize I'm talking about that funky color Yellow.

wordnetweb.princeton.edu/perl/webwn tells us this about our friend, the ugly yellow light: "the signal to proceed with caution". That's basically the definition you're going to get in nearly any state/government issued drivers handbook.

While there really shouldn't be a big problem in figuring out how to handle yourself in a "Yellow Light" situation, yet there is. This problem is generally the most severe in the following groups of people: New Mothers, Asians, the Old, new teenage drivers that have never done anything wrong or risky in their entire lives, and Mormons. These groups are the main perpetrators of taking the definition of the "Yellow Light" just a wee bit too literally. These are the people who, even if they're nearly under the light when it changes to Yellow, still manage to slam on their brakes coming to a screeching fucking halt causing thousands of dollars worth of damage in the ensuing 5 car pile up. They're also the ones who tend to come to a screeching fucking halt two hundred feet from the light when they see it change, instead of merely pumping the brakes as needed to come to a calm, and less death dealing stop when that "Yellow Light" goes dark, and our next friend, the Top Dog, comes to play, but more on that in a minute.
What you SHOULD be doing in the case of a "Yellow Light Event"...
  • If you are within oh, 15-20 feet or so when the light changes, you should take CAUTION not to hit anyone else as you put a bit more force into the gas pedal
  • If cars ahead of you force the need to move your foot to the left, engaging the brake pedal, make sure you do so lightly as not to cause death to anyone who might be near when you shove your foot through the floorboard trying to stop. Sometimes it just takes a light touch
  • If you've already started passing beneath the light when it changes, then you'd be better off worrying about the next "Yellow Light Event" in your future, as they generally happen often during the course of a driving trip.
What you should NOT be doing in the case of a "Yellow Light Event"...
  • Looking at your radio because of the off color joke you heard
  • Looking to see who's calling your current mobile device
  • Attempting to program your GPS unit
  • Having an anxiety attack (it's just a light, perhaps some Xanax would help you if you've got this problem)
The deeper meaning of the "Yellow Light" section is this: If you know yourself to be behind one of the aforementioned groups of lily-livered cowards, and you've got the chance to pass them, yes even on the right side, you should take that chance, else your very life could be at risk. If you're on a one lane street, you'd probably do well to either turn off or swerve into the other lane to pass (as long as there's nothing coming toward you). Either option is preferable to continued following of one of the danger groups.

I'm sure you all know that the "Yellow Light" is merely a transitional light, which brings forth our Top Dog, the "Red Light"!

Let us again look to Princeton for our definition of the "Red Light", for those of you who are too fucking stupid to know what you're supposed to do in this situation. Princeton gives two definitions for "Red Light", but only one of them applies to the picture I've helpfully posted for you all. Definition 1: a cautionary sign of danger. Definition 2: the signal to stop.

Clearly only one of those definitions is correct, unless you're in one of the groups I mentioned above, and if you didn't guess Definition 2 then maybe some ECT is what you need because you're clearly a nutcase. The nutjobs in our 5 caution groups tend to take the "Definition 1" approach when handling a "Red Light Event". This means that the danger you faced when following them to a "Yellow Light Event" has just been multiplied by 100%, and you should start thinking about the future Lava Side view you'll own in Hell when you're damned for eating from the Shoney's Seafood Buffet last Friday night.

The real danger in the "Red Light Event" however, doesn't come from the foolish cowards wearing that stripe of yellow down their backs with pride, no, it comes from people who don't observe the proper forms when confronted with the Red Light.

We all know that occasionally passing through a "Red Light Event" without stopping can sometimes be unavoidable, however some people are attempting to make this rank ignorance of the light into a career.

The reality is, you've got less to fear when the red light is on your own side of the street because you're already stopped. It's the people in the cross lanes (especially if said cross lanes are empty) that become the problem, because people don't seem to realize that RED MEANS TO FUCKING STOP IN A SAFE FASHION! It does not mean to slam on your brakes, as the Cowards do, but it doesn't mean you just keep going. That's what causes death.

On a different side of the "Red Light Event", those pesky Americans that you all seem to whine about blowing their secondhand cigarette smoke into the air, are the Americans that outside of the Transportation Administration, have true power over the red light. Everyone hates sitting at some of them, the ones that last for 20 minutes even though there's no traffic from either direction. You've backed up and pulled forward so many times trying to run over the sensor that the people behind you think you're on meth with all the twitching, you've blown out one of your headlights trying to make the light change "Emergency Vehicle Style", and now you're starting to get really pissed.

Worry not, wandering lamb of ignorance, worry not! When you're just about to crack in the left lane because you have to take a shit, your friend in the right lane is pulling out a cigarette in the hopes they might have time to get it lit. That cigarette is obviously what triggers the light to change back to green, making travel once again possible.

Stop fucking with the smokers, and come back for Chapter Two, those pretty signals and buttons in your car.