For those of you who don't me, I have a short list of intolerances I refuse to endure while I'm driving. Those include, but are not limited to, driving in the left hand lane without passing, changing lanes without signaling, matching the speed of the car to your right, driving too slowly, swerving, random irrelevant braking, slowing down to forty miles under the posted speed limit when you see a cop, speeding up to 100 miles an hour for thirty-seconds when I've passed you on the right because you were driving in the left hand lane without passing, and flipping off other drivers.
Those are things I do not ever do, and will never do. My parents (and now my wife) foolishly try to explain to me that I can't change other people. I know this. I am simply trying to lead by example.
Yes, I am a saint.
As you may be able to imagine, this causes no shortage of frustration for me while I'm driving America's highways. Take Friday evening, for example. I had combinations of all of the above in spades. I wanted to know why these people weren't being arrested. Where are our law enforcement? Unfortunately, I'm not allowed to police these roads myself. Using skill, clutch, and accelerator, I finally broke free of the mayhem and retardation of these drivers and beat the pack. I won. There was nothing but open road ahead of me, and 500 idiots behind me. A sense of calm overcame me, as I passed one last car (who then chose to draft behind me - fine by me, as long as I was in front), crested the hill at 90 miles an hour, and saw the State Trooper on the side of the road, waiting for me. I engaged the clutch, grabbed the stick, looked at my wife and said, "Its four miles to the State Line, think we can make it?" A mixture of fear and arousal seemed to fill her face before she realized I was not serious and I slowed the vehicle to 65 and waited for the Trooper to pull me over.
He got between me and the car which was drafting, and hit his lights. I turned on my flashers and pulled over to a complete stop on the shoulder. He hung his arm out the window and started flapping it like a clipped rooster. I had no idea what he was indicating and remembered the last time I got pulled over for doing 90 was in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Labor Day weekend, the weekend Princess Diana was killed. The weekend I proposed to my wife in Saint Louis. I was driving from Philadelphia to Kansas, but didn't quite make it all the way. The Pennsylvania State Cop had used his onboard PA-system to give me further instruction - "Pull completely across the bridge before stopping." I had complied, but I saw no bridge here. I looked around. This guy was giving me no audible instruction. Just the frantic pointing and waving of his arm.
Then he turned off his lights and pulled back into traffic.
We did the same.
Confused, we watched as he pulled over the car which had drafted behind us, and exited the vehicle. I felt sorry for the guy he'd pulled over, as it was no doubt my car which had triggered his radar (though I must admit, the Tiburon GT has a rather small radar cross-section.)
It wasn't until we were in Oklahoma we wondered if the Trooper's gestures were meant to say, "Stay here, I'm going to pull over that other guy also, and I'll be back for you."
Eastbound and down, loaded up and truckin'
Ah we gonna do what they say can't be done
We've got a long way to go, and a short time to get there
I'm eastbound, just watch old Bandit run!