Alright. Perhaps Paul McCartney may have written this song to refer to an old blues euphemism for sex, but this entry is about exactly what it sounds like – driving a car. Unfortunately, numerous individuals who have obtained licenses to do just that, seem to continue to find this task to be insurmountable. It’s a scary world out there folks – especially come 8-10 AM and 4-6 PM. Just how are these people passing their drivers’ exams?
I’d like to offer a bit of help. Just a few pointers that will maybe help you through your daily task of navigating the roads so you can make it to your destination safe and sound. I usually don’t care if people listen to me…but in this case, I insist. Warning: may contain sarcasm.
1. Signals are our friends. Get to know your signals. They will be with you through thick and thin. They are like extensions to your arms, pointing the way to where you’d like to be. I realize that there are some brand new cars where signals are considered optional equipment – I understand that it was more important for you to get chrome accessories and your GPS set up. I also realize that you know I’m a mind reader, and expect that I should be doing my part to help you navigate your lane changes. Just remember that sometimes after a long day at work, my mind reading capabilities are diminished…so pretend for an instant that I can’t tell where you want to go, and just reach out your little finger and click that signal. Make sure it’s the correct direction. I do love a guessing game, but I’m not always up for it. It’s great sport when you make me work for my own lane changes as well – when I put on my signal, of COURSE I’m only joking. I didn’t really want to get into that lane when I put it on. Thank goodness you were there to help me with my miscalculation.
2. Lane markers are definitely guidelines. You certainly don’t need to stay within them, and if you prefer, you can ride them or even weave around them in a poetic dance. For the sake of that rule of staying in the lines when we colour however, sometimes it would be nice to stay between them. If it helps, you could always pretend it’s a game – you know, like Operation. If you touch the lines, your car gets an electric shock or something to that effect. Wouldn’t that be fun? But I digress. Oh, and don’t forget, pointer 1 works in tandem with this pointer.
3. The goal of an on-ramp and off-ramp is most obviously to treat it like hot lava. You do NOT want to be on that part of the landscape for any particular length of time. What possibly could the point of all that pavement be anyway? Imagine…using the entire length of the extra lane to accelerate or decelerate to an appropriate speed to enter or exit the highway? Perish the thought! Why would anyone want to merge into a highway lane at the same speed as all the other drivers already there? That would make it too darn easy.
4. Drivers, I’m quite certain that your passengers don’t require constant face to face contact for every comment that you make while driving. They remember what you look like and can hear you while you’re talking. Speaking with your hands while driving is also not a necessity. If you use sign language, it might be a good idea to hold off on the conversation until you’re out of the car anyway.
5. Passengers, for the sake of your driver and my sanity, please refrain from resting your unclothed feet on the dashboard of any vehicle you are travelling in. It is also wise to keep all hands and feet inside the vehicle at all times. This isn’t just good advice for amusement parks.
I don’t think I need to go into further details about the hazards of using cell phones, eating full buffet meals or providing boot camp discipline to your children while behind the wheel of a car. Course, what is it they say about common sense not being so common anymore? Right.
I’m going to start carrying around some pre-made signs with messages I’d like to send to other drivers (though I would hope that their passengers would be the ones to read them). You know, things like “Funny, thought you were in a car, not a phone booth”, “This road is free, you don’t need to lane shop”, “You’re right, I didn’t need any space ahead of my car – where are my manners?” and “Where’s my wave?!?”. And once I have those signs, oh boy. Drivers of Kitchener Waterloo would do well to pay attention to them.
Consider yourself warned.