Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Other drivers

So, today, despite the obstacles, I had a reasonably good day at work. Even when the skies opened and tried to flood our office just as I was about to leave and I had to try and stem the tides, I was still in a relatively good mood. But then, on the way home, I hit traffic.

Crawling at speeds that a tortoise could beat isn't even that bad- it gives me time to wind down, look at the scenery and figure out what I'm going to do that evening - but once in a while, someone screws with my little bubble of motoring happiness. There are a variety of ways to make me fill my bubble with rage-laden expletives and most come in the shape of other drivers.

#1 The Overly Cautious Driver

Yes, it would be nice if we could all keep our distance from other cars but this is rush hour, people want to get home and you're leaving a six car gap when you're doing under 10 miles per hour. Unless you're drunk or visually impaired, I'd hope that you'd notice if the person ahead of you broke and you'd be able to do the same with a reasonable response time.

#2 The Under Cautious Driver

We all see them, zipping along at double the speed limit, switching lanes with a blindness to other drivers that means we all end up having to slam on the brakes to accomodate their whims and fancies. Add the fact that most are oblivious to the presence of indicators in their cars and just watch the cars pile up.

#3 Granny in the Fast Lane

You know the score, you're thundering along in the fast lane, sun in the sky and the wind in your hair and suddenly you roll up on a Granny in the fast lane. Now, I don't mind Granny in the fast lane as long as she's going fast. When Granny is going 50mph and I've got some git in a Beemer flashing his lights up my arse, I'd appreciate if the Granny mobile would move over and let him through before he gives her a heart attack with his horn.

#4 Git in a Beemer

Once upon a time, I thought BMWs were lovely cars but then, like in many cases, my tastes changed. Now, BMWs have come to represent everything that I loathe. Put some money in man's pocket and put man in a BMW. Like some strange chemical reaction, Man in car rapidly transforms into Git in a Beemer. On my frequent journeys along the motorways of this country, I have come to encounter Git in a Beemer with an alarming frequency as he speeds up behind me at about 110mph and sits on my bumped, blinding me with the flashing of his blue-tinted-million-watt headlamps until I move out of the way. Should he overtake, like under cautious driver, he will not bother with his indicators and is happy to weave across four lanes to his exit. Wanker.

Of course, he could just be severely distracted by the sat nav, computerised push-this-button dashboard which is probably shouting at him in German whilst massaging his bottom. Or his mobile phone, which no amount of £60 fines is going to stop him doing.

#5 The Ubiquitous White Van Man

No journey along a British road would be complete without the experience of the white knuckle kind that comes courtesy of White Van Man. He will drive like a nutter, stop in completely inappropriate places and scrape along the side of your car if you're not careful.

#6 Anything on two wheels

Rogue cyclists and motorcyclists with attitude are two things that the world could do without. Rogue cyclist can be seen flying through red lights, apparently unaware that traffic will probably be coming from other sides. Bikers with attitude weave in and out of traffic, springing up on you from nowhere and overtaking at stupid points. Buddy, its you - not me - who's going to go flying off their bike to belly flop onto the concrete and shatter their spine.

#7 Bendy buses

Possibly one of the stupidests ideas that Mayor Ken ever had for London. Actually, make that the stupidest idea that anyone ever had.

I could carry on but we'd be here all night and I'd quite like to watch Big Brother.


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