10.30.2005

A note to drivers in California (PSA)

...and with apologies to my readers across the country, but this is a public service announcement that a) may be forwarded to any California drivers you know and/or b) apply equally well to drivers in your local municipality. Please feel free to print this epistle and place it on the windshields of offending cars, as warranted.

Attention, cell phone users (and I am one): if you cannot drive and talk (and I can), kindly relent: do one or the other. If you are speeding up and slowing down and speeding up and slowing down, and speeding up and slowing down? If you are neglecting your turn signals (more below) because you cannot simultaneously drive, eat your bagel, put on your tie or mascara, and hold your phone to your ear? If you are "sharing" my lane?: You cannot drive and talk. And since your huge car is about to squish my precious Blanche, GET OFF THE PHONE AND DRIVE.

Attention, fuckwits and shiteheads: that little arm there on the left side of your car's steering column is a TURN SIGNAL. Here's how you use it, and I'll use small words so you can follow along: when you anticipate making a turn (note the word "anticipate", 'cause it means to plan or think ahead), push that little arm up if you're thinking about making a right turn or changing lanes to the right, and push it straight down if you're thinking about making a left turn or changing lanes to your left. (Please note that this is especially important the faster you're driving.) What will happen is that a small yellow light on either the rear right or rear left side of your car will begin to blink. It will be visible to cars behind you, and on either side, to your rear, and it will tell them what you plan to do -- it's like talking to those other drivers! -- isn't that nice? You will hear a clicky-clicky-clicky noise, and you will see an arrow flashing on your dashboard console; this arrow may be green or yellow, and the "clicky-clicky-clicky" may be fast or slow. Do not be alarmed! This noise (and the blinking and the flashing) will go away once you have made your lane change or right or left turn. Yes, it will. And no harm will come to your car whatsoever by using this device, called, say it with me, a TURN SIGNAL. What is key, fws and shs, is NOT to turn this signal on AFTER you slam on your brakes and change lanes or make a turn off the thoroughfare on which I am following you.

Attention, Mr. and Mrs. I Own the Whole World: Your p.o.s. miniature 4-door sedan does not need a 12' parking space, especially in San Francisco, where street parking is at a premium. Go ahead and get right up there 6-9" behind the next car up, or pull back to the next car back. Have a care for the rest of the driving public. A word to Mr. and Mrs. I Drive the Biggest Car Yet Invented to Make Up for My Obvious Shortcomings: you do not need to grease and lever yourself into an 8' space so that neither the car in front of you nor the one in back can leave until you've flattened their bumpers into slivers removing your behemoth from that weensy spot.

Attention, Mr. and Mrs. LEARN HOW TO FUCKING MERGE: Speed up when entering the freeway. Whether it's 101 or the 405, even the slow lane is going a minimum of 55 mph (and yes, I saw you there, Mr. I-Thought-It-Was-the-Crawl-Lane, but I'm not talking to you right now, although thanks for the opportunity to test my brakes by pulling in front of me going 47 there in Irvine when everyone else was going a comfortable 70), and you need to adjust your ass to the fact that you are entering a highway and not a g.d. country road. Speed up, SIGNAL (see above), and flow smoothly into traffic. This does not mean speed up to 85 and ride the breakdown lane in order to get to the "front" of a never-ending line merging onto the road -- you're not going to get to the front, son, because there is no front. Similarly, while I appreciate you anticipating your exit once you see that nice big green sign telling you how long you've got, kindly do not slow to 40 in the right lane 3 miles before said exit. And use your fucking turn signal.

Love & kisses, Auntie Dew

p.s. Oh, and to all you BMW drivers out there, I apologize. 20 years' driving made me think your cars didn't come equipped with turn signals, but I was proven wrong on Thursday morning when one of your 3 Series cut in front of us and didn't turn his signal off for 12 miles down the 405.
p.p.s. Here's what to read if you need to know how to give directions.

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