A five-hour tour. IN HELL!!!!

Yesterday morning, all I heard was that “the big one” was coming. People were yammering on and on about how it was going to start snowing at noon and it was going to be crazy. But noon came and went, and no snow. Sweet, I thought, maybe it’s passed us by and I can stay here and get more work done.

But then Ian called me a little after 3 p.m. and started singing “Let It Snow,” which I took as my cue to look outside. It had started snowing big fat white flakes. Fast flakes. We debated whether we should stay or go home, and he told me to make the call. Nobody was leaving at work, and only a couple people on my Twitter stream were talking about heading out, so I thought we could just stay put.

And then 10 minutes later, I looked out the window. And almost had a heart attack. Everything was covered in white. The cars, the ground, the trees, the grass. Everything. In 10 minutes. A few coworkers and I gathered around a table in the office discussing commuting, and the decision quickly was made that people should leave. I grabbed my things (including crackers, just in case I got stranded) and headed for my car at 3:45 p.m., but apparently so did a lot of other people in my 11-story office building. I didn’t get out of the garage until after 4 p.m.

I got to the on-ramp of I-440West, which is maybe a block from my building, an hour later. Yes, it took me an hour to go one block on West End.

My first mistake was taking the safe route to 440. There is a very difficult-but-shortcut left you can make across Murphy Road to get to West End, but people were not moving and I can barely make that turn with regular traffic. So, I went around the side of our building out to the light. In hindsight I probably should have gone another back way through a neighborhood near our building, but whatever. Too late now.

Once on 440, I had a little less than a half tank of gas, which I was trying to conserve by not running the defrost too much, but my front and back windshields were constantly filling with snow that was quickly turning to ice. People were abandoning cars on the side of the interstate, there were several wrecks, and I started to worry that I wouldn’t make it up the somewhat steep hill before the I-65 interchange. I stayed in the right lane, which proved to be the right choice as several people in the lane next to me spun out repeatedly. I saw two plows, only one of which was putting out salt behind it.

I had to make it seven miles to the Murfreesboro Road exit to pick up Ian. That took me another hour and a half. Yes, people: It took me two and a half hours to go nearly seven miles. When I finally got to the Murfreesboro Road exit, I discovered that it was not plowed. It was after dark by then, and everything was beginning to freeze. I freestyled it down the exit and was greeted by several cops working a wreck on the ramp back onto 24/440. I saw someone slide down the very steep hill at Fessler’s Lane, and the guy driving next to me kept trying to slide into me. Partly because he was a moron and wouldn’t just drive in the tire tracks.

When I got to Ian’s office, I was greeted by him and a circle of state troopers (he works in the Office of Research and Statistical Analysis for the Department of Safety). After relaying the hell I had just driven through, the troopers began debating how they were going to make it home. Ian and I hung around for a few minutes and talked with the troopers, and then headed back out and up the hill to the lot where I had to park my car. (But before we left, I grabbed some more crackers from his desk. At this point I was starting to believe that we really might not make it home. I mean, if it took two and a half hours to go a little more than six miles, how long would it take to go 34 more?)

The car was down to about a quarter tank of gas by then, too, and we knew we needed to stop to fill up. The only problem? Ian’s office is basically at the bottom of a valley. Hills all around leading back to the interstate, and all of the gas stations were at the bottoms of hills. But we needed gas, so we stopped, I got more food rations (Coke, Gatorade, a PayDay and candy cigarettes because I know how to prepare for disaster), and we pulled out the side entrance of the gas station so we could build momentum to get up the hill.

Aaaand cue the jackholes that don’t know how to drive. Four people inching up a hill. GAH. We watched them get stuck, back up, and try to inch back up it again. We circled the gas station three times trying to wait for those morons to either give up or grow a brain, but neither happened and we had to abandon that plan. We then tried to drive down Glenrose and make a left on Nolensville, but that wasn’t happening. That road wasn’t moving at all. So we headed back toward the Department of Safety to try our hand at the hill again, and on our way we saw a broken-down semi, a couple of abandoned cars, and a fucking snow plow NOT DOING ANYTHING.

We got back to the hill and got a good running start, and despite being behind another slow-going asswipe, we made it. Of course, once we finally got to I-24 it was like driving on a frozen tundra. A crunchy, unplowed, unsalted tundra where you just grip the steering wheel and hope nobody rams into you. For the most part, traffic moved between zero and 15 miles per hour with the occasional sprint up to 30 until we got almost to Smyrna. By then the interstate was still horrible, and some geniuses flew by going 80mph despite the cars in ditches on either side of the road, but Ian stayed in the carved-out path made by the cars before us and we were able to get up to about 40 mph.

We made it home at 9 p.m. Five hours after I left work at 4 p.m.

I had never been so happy to see my cats, my couch, my Slanket and a bottle of wine before in my life.

Happy Monday to you, too, Nashville

Getting out of Murfreesboro was surprisingly easy this morning, because apparently Rutherford County got the memo that Davidson County didn’t about how you should put salt down when it’s icy.

Apparently TDOT didn’t salt any exit ramps, so my first fun part of the day was carefully navigating the ramp from I-24W to Murfreesboro Road. Then I assumed that as usual Glenrose wouldn’t be plowed or salted, so after I dropped Ian off I tried to go back to Murfreesboro Road, except some jackholes in front of me stopped at the green light and I got stuck on the hill. People: DO NOT STOP AT GREEN LIGHTS. Especially ones that are at the top of an icy hill.

Thankfully there was a nice man who saw me spinning my tires and stopped to direct the convoy of semis to back the F off so I could back down the hill, turn around, and head back to the Dept. of Safety where Ian and a few state troopers escorted me over the railroad tracks on the unplowed, unsalted back road and made sure I didn’t get stuck on the tracks.

I had fun navigating the ramp to 440W, which wasn’t salted and hardly plowed. Then I, along with several other people, almost spun out on West End a few times as I tried to get to the side road that runs along our building since I wasn’t about to chance it with another hill, and the main entrance is made up of a hill the Civ doesn’t much like even when the weather is not apocalyptic.

This day sucks so far, but I don’t want to curse it too badly because I still have to go back to the Murfreesboro Road area, get Ian, and then try to get home.

Fuck.

May 21 | Fuck you, Metro

On Wednesday, the speed limit on I-24 West at MM60 was changed from 70mph to 60mph. On Friday, I was pulled over right at the speed limit change and given a ticket. No warning, nothing, regardless of the fact that I haven’t had a ticket in 12 years. I was going 75mph and was confused as to why I was being pulled over at first.

Now, between MM60 and MM56, the speed limit goes from 70 to 60 to 65 to 55. Great job, Metro Nashville. You’re special. I hope you put my $107 to good use, you bunch of assholes.

The great gas fiasco of ’08, or, Nashville is insane

Two weeks ago when Ian and I ordered a TV cart and bookshelf from American Signature, we decided to save the $100 delivery fee and pick it up ourselves. Ian’s dad has a truck and graciously told us we could use it to haul the furniture. Even considering the cost to put some gas in the truck, it wouldn’t cost us near $100 so we decided to go for it. Well, also, American Signature won’t deliver to Murfreesboro on the weekend and we didn’t want to have to take time off work to wait around for them. Especially since they only deliver to Murfreesboro once a week, and it’s been a pain in the ass to get them to come out here in the past.

Anyhoo, so Friday rolls around and people start freaking out about gas in Nashville. The Murfreesboro stations we passed on the way in to work were fine, but when we got home Friday night people were lined up at each station. My Civic was almost empty, and knowing we’d have to drive to Mt. Juliet this weekend, I decided to stop at the Exxon by our house and fill up. Not because I was in a panic, mind you. I actually needed some frikkin’ gas. Well, the line was all the way out of the station, so Ian and I hung out at home and periodically checked on the station (we can see it from our upstairs bedroom window) until we saw the lines were down to just one or two at a pump. This was about 10:30. Yes, people were freaking out until after 10:30 last night. Of course, all they had left was premium. Fuckers.

So Saturday morning we drove out to Mt. Juliet to pick up Ian’s dad’s truck, and along the way noticed people were forming crazy long lines around every station we saw. People were filling up gas cans and lawnmowers in addition to their own vehicles. I wondered why they thought they’d need 100 gallons of gas to get them through the weekend, but then realized these are the same people who freak out and buy Kroger out of its milk and bread when it is rumored to maybe think about perhaps snowing a quarter of an inch in two weeks. (I have never understood why people buy two of the most perishable items when they think they are going to be stuck in their house, cut off from civilization, for weeks. Makes no sense. Wouldn’t you buy canned goods?)

Anyway, we got to Ian’s dad’s house, jumped in the truck, and realized that it was almost on empty. No biggie, we thought, we’ve got enough to get to Cool Springs and then back to Murfreesboro, where we can put enough in to get us back to Mt. Juliet (and not leave Ian’s dad in the lurch when he needs to use the truck again).

Well, we made it almost to Cool Springs and the E light came on. Ian called his dad, who said he wasn’t sure how long we could go, but they decided we needed to get gas rather than risk getting stranded on the side of 840 with $700 worth of furniture in an open-bed truck (especially since it had rained a bit on us earlier in the day). So we pulled off the road in Triune to try the Citgo and the Kangaroo. Both had lines going down the road.

We foolishly thought we’d have better luck in Cool Springs, where there are tons more than just two gas stations, so we ventured on.

Boy were we wrong. We passed at least 10 gas stations that didn’t have any gas at all. Finally we found one Mapco that had one pump, but the attendant (who was helping someone fill up) advised the folks in front of us to leave and go down to exit 61 on I-65, as they had lots of gas.

We were starting to worry a little—not worry like “Oh my god we’re not going to have gas for days or weeks!” but worry like “Holy shit we could actually get stranded in fucking Cool Springs and not be able to get home.”

So we headed down to exit 61, where we passed another four gas stations that were totally out. We came to a BP that was part of one of those TA travel stops, and low and behold it had gas. Regular only, $3.79/gallon. Fucking sweet.

Well, it was fucking sweet to find gas, but the line was not sweet at all. When we pulled up, there were about 50 cars in front of us. But it was organized, I’ve got to give them that. An attendant came around to make sure everyone knew which side their gas tank was on, and advised us that a man up at the front of the line would tell us which pump to go to. The guy also asked if we were about to run out (we were), and said that if we happened to while we were waiting in line they would sell us a gas can full enough to get us up to the pump. Luckily we made it, but we waited almost an hour and a half before we got to the pump. We put $50 in. That got us to a little over a half a tank. Enough to make it back to Murfreesboro.

And when we did, of course there was some asshole filling his van all the way up… and then his gas can.

Seriously, isn’t that what makes this worse? Just put the gas in your fucking vehicle and go home. There is no need to hoard gas, people, shit!

We finally made it home with our furniture, but didn’t have the energy to go back to get my car, which is still in Mt. Juliet. We also decided to skip the blogger meet-up at the Flying Saucer, which sucks, but we were emotionally and physically drained from playing Mad Max all day. Also, we weren’t sure how long Middle Tennesseans were going to keep freaking out about gas, and figured we should use the gas it would take to drive the 70 miles or so to and from the Saucer for the work week.

Seriously, who started the rumor about there not being any gas? And if you find him/her, can I punch him/her in the neck?

What grinds my gears

Yes, that’s a Family Guy reference. Yay if you got that.

In an attempt to rid myself of all negative energy so that I can enjoy the upcoming three-day weekend, here is a list of what is grinding my gears today:

Stupid old people in Buicks. After dropping Ian off at work and heading down Glenrose, I was turning left next to some old biddy in a Buick who decided she wanted to be in my lane and, mid-turn, moved over into it, almost hitting me. Then, instead of wondering why she was being honked at and actually stopping—or getting the fuck back in her lane—she proceeded to try to run me off the road. I honked for a good 20 seconds, and then she turned down some side street (Note: If you want a horn that people will respect, don’t buy a Honda Civic). If I wasn’t already running late I would have followed her ass. (Just to get her plates, I am not stupid enough to try to drag some fucktard out of a car window and beat her silly. That’s what cops are for.)

Of course, she was on her cell phone and didn’t even look up.

Bad drivers on cell phones. Was every god damned driver this morning on their cell phone? Jesus fucking Christ. Every asshole I saw driving (badly) was on his or her cell phone. Hi, if people are tailgating you or whipping around you because you are on 440 going 25 mph, maybe you should get off the phone (or how about the interstate) and pay attention to what you are doing, assjacket.

Single riders in the HOV lane. (This is a big one.) Before I started carpooling, I would get mad when people would drive slowly (70 or 75) in the HOV lane even if they had two people in their car. My thought was that people who actually need to get someplace drive much faster than that, and I would get mad when I couldn’t use the HOV lane to pass the other slow assholes in the lane right next to it.

I would like to announce right now that I apologize to all you carpooling people I might have cussed out for exercising your right to use the HOV lane. I would also like to give the big middle finger to people who drive in it with only ONE person in the car and are not using it for passing only.

You see, I understand that there are a lot of retards who drive in the lane right next to the HOV lane and only go 70 mph. I know, it really sucks. And sometimes you, single driver, need to pass those people using my HOV lane. That’s fine, I gotcha. Go ahead.

But you assholes who drive in the HOV lane ALONE, going 70 mph or slower (hell, 75 mph or slower), really, really piss me off. You obviously think that the law doesn’t apply to you, and even though there are tons of people (carpoolers and non-carpoolers) trying to pass you, you are content to clog that lane up all by yourself. Because you are above the law.

See, I am a carpooler. I take time out of my day and my evening so that I can drop Ian off before I go to work and pick him up after I leave. Ian gives up a bit of his independence by being car-less during the week. He works longer hours without getting paid because he has to wait on me to come get him after I leave work. We are both making sacrifices (and maybe helping that thing called the planet), and all that we ask is to be able to use the lane that is actually designated for drivers like us.

But no, single driver in the HOV lane, you have decided, “Fuck the sacrifices made by the carpoolers of Rutherford County! Fuck them in the a-pipe! Even though it’s illegal, and really I could be driving in one of those other three lanes just as easily, I am going to poke along at 65 mph in the HOV lane. Oh, except when I see a state trooper up ahead. Then I’m going to slam on my brakes and almost cause a wreck trying to merge back in to the lane I’m supposed to be riding in.”

So to the cell-phone-talking, slow-or-bad-driving, illegal-HOV-lane-riding motherfuckers of the world, I hope you have a shitty weekend. I hope you burn what you try to grill, get a wicked hangover, and maybe fall down some stairs. I hope a dog bites you, and your cell phone battery dies when you run out of gas on the interstate.

I would wish you a car wreck, but that might involve hurting an innocent driver. Plus, it would probably fuck up traffic for me. And you already do that enough as it is.

Damn you, Davis Market!

When I first moved to Murfreesboro for college in 1997, I heard that Davis Market, a fabulously ghetto market on the corner of E. Main St. and Tennessee (now Middle Tennessee) Blvd., was the “center of the cosmos.” Rumor has it that once you entered Davis Market, you would never leave Murfreesboro. Even if you were to move away, you eventually would return. And die here.

Obviously, I thought this was bullshit. But I kept the rumor in the back of my mind when I frequented the market for snacks (my freshman year I lived on campus in a dorm right across the street from the mart) and later for the coldest beer in town. They also sell crack pipes there (you know, the kind where you buy the rose in the little glass pipe), but don’t worry, I never had any use for that. Crack is whack.

Anyhoo, when I started working in Nashville a little more than two years ago, my mind immediately turned to moving to Nashville. Ian recently finished grad school and is now also working in Nashville. We have sought out advice from tons of people–friends and coworkers–in regards to where to move in Nashville. We were kind of bummed about how expensive it is to live there (i.e. not in cracktown), but a few months ago discovered the quiet and convenience of Bellevue, and were close to looking at two homes. But we started thinking, and since we don’t want to just give away our condo, we decided we’d wait. One more year. We’d make some updates in here—new livingroom furniture, paint some rooms, put hardwood downstairs, etc.—and be ready to list next spring. We would be ready for Nashville.

But then, something happened. I started looking around me, and saw the center of the cosmos. Well, my cosmos. I saw all of my friends. I saw my family (ok, Ian’s family, but they adopted me as their own a long time ago). I saw my old hangouts. I saw my new hangouts. I saw growth. I saw a town that held so many memories for me, and a town that is expanding so rapidly. I saw a town that took me in and helped me find my way. A town that grew with me.

And suddenly I wasn’t so sure I was ready to leave Murfreesboro.

I don’t really get it.

Mere months ago I was bitching to anyone who would listen about how I couldn’t wait to move. I was certain I would just die if I had to commute much longer. I was having panic attacks driving home. Seriously. I have had to pull off the road into a parking lot and calm my ass down before. But since Ian’s been working in Nashville we’ve been carpooling as much as possible, and it’s not as bad. Actually, it’s kind of nice. Someone to talk to, and we get to use the HOV lane legally.

And today, we found ourselves near the center of the cosmos again. We were downtown. LOOKING AT HOUSES. In Murfreesboro. Go ahead, people I work with who might be reading this. Take a moment and clean the beverage you just spit all over the keyboard. And don’t worry, we didn’t go in any.

But here’s the thing. Where we live now is about the farthest from Nashville that you can get and still be in M’boro. Sure, we’re about three miles from the interstate, but the traffic is so bad on our main road (Hwy 231 South, Church Street, which we can see back up from our bedroom window) that sometimes it can take 30 minutes just to get to I-24. There’s a colleague of mine who also lives in Murfreesboro, but whose commute is probably 10-15 minutes shorter than mine because he lives near the center/north end of town. If I were to try to drive to his house in the morning, even with just regular traffic, it would take at least 30 minutes.

So the houses we looked at today were mainly on the north end of town. I mean, shit, if we’re going to stay here I want to shave at least 15 minutes off my commute. I’m guessing we’d be looking at about a 20-30 minute commute from Bellevue. If we can save $15,000-$30,000 on a house here and have a commute that’s only about 10-20 mins. longer, that might be something to consider, especially when we take into account the other factors (friends, family, town that for some reason I feel attached to). Ok, and, if we have babies one day, wouldn’t it be so much easier if we have friends/family in town to help out? [Go ahead, clean up your keyboard again. You just heard Megan mention babies. It’s a bit surreal.]

I know, I know, this is crazy talk. I can’t believe, of all people, I am even writing this down. Ian says he doesn’t mind if we move or stay, although I know he doesn’t want to live in several parts of Nashville (well, I don’t either, and there are several areas we just can’t afford. God damn Nashville is overpriced. Seriously), but I know he is more intrenched in Murfreesboro than I am. I mean, it’s his family that’s here. And he’s been here since he was in 8th grade, giving Davis Market and it’s crack-fueled cosmos much more time to get its hooks into him.

I just don’t know. We just don’t know if we should rule staying in Murfreesboro out quite yet. I know I don’t want to live where we are much longer (the location isn’t great for a Nashville commuter, and honestly, we’re outgrowing the condo). I would love to have an easy breezy commute to and from work, but I just don’t know that I’m ready to leave what feels like my hometown yet. Is that really all that nuts?

Sigh. Can’t someone just pick up the ‘boro and swap its location with Antioch or LaVergne?

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Let’s play “Who’s that commuter?”

After more than two years as a Murfreesboro-Nashville commuter, I’ve learned there are several truths about Nashville-area drivers. The No. 1 truth I have discovered, and I believe a commenter on Music City Bloggers mentioned this once, is that drivers on Nashville’s interstates take being passed as a sign of weakness. It doesn’t matter if they only want to travel at 73 mph. If someone tries to pass them, they will speed up to at least 85 mph before they resign themselves to being passed.

I admit I have been guilty of this occasionally, though only if the passer has already passed me only to then slow down to a speed less than what I was traveling previously. Otherwise, I just suck it up and let them go on about their way. Since I mainly travel at 74-76 mph, anyone going faster than me runs a greater chance of getting pulled over by one of the many state troopers on the road, leaving one less cop for me to watch for.

In my time on I-24 and 440 (I have a 75-mile roundtrip commute each day), I have come to the decision that most Nashville interstate drivers can be categorized. There are countless types of drivers out there, but these are the worst that I encounter most frequently in my daily commute. I call them the Asshole Commuters:

The Pusher. This is the driver that no matter what lane you’re in, and no matter how much over the speed limit you’re already going, will come up behind you and act like he is prepared to hit your back bumper unless you MOVE OUT OF THEIR WAY IMMEDIATELY!!!! While the Pusher mainly targets drivers in the HOV, left and middle lanes, I have actually seen the Pusher once force someone to merge left to let them pass in the far right lane.

The Floridian. Generally driving a Buick, Lincoln or other old-person sedan with Florida tags, the Floridian will drive no faster than 10 miles under the speed limit. The Floridian is elderly and always has an elderly passenger with him. Nintety-seven percent of the time, the Floridian will drive in the HOV lane and refuse to move to let you pass. Technically they are allowed to be there since there are two of them in the car, but in rush hour Nashville traffic this is a dangerous feat to attempt, as the HOV lane is often the last refuse of those trying but failing to pass in the other lanes. I have come to believe the Floridian is OK with taking such a risk because he is resigned to the fact that he only has a few years left to live, anyway, and why not go out pissing somebody off that has several years left to spend fighting traffic.

96_geo_metro_coupe_2.jpg

An example of a vehicle the Hillbilly might utilize. Other common options include a Dodge Neon, Chevy Lumina or Chrystler LaBaron

The Hillbilly. Like the Floridian, the Hillbilly is most often found riding in the HOV lane at several miles per hour under the limit. The only entities capable of persuading the Hillbilly to move out of the way are the Pusher and a state trooper or Metro cop. However, unlike the Floridian, the Hillbilly is always riding alone and most likely in a vehicle that would best be described as “busted.” The Hillbilly’s vehicle might include any four-door sedan made before 1995, will have at least two hubcaps missing, at least 25 percent rust on the body, and may be utilizing a donut tire. If you see a vehicle that resembles the aforementioned and notice the license plate has tags from Bedford, Warren, Cheatham, Hickman, DeKalb or Cannon counties, you are driving near the Hillbilly. Roll up your window immediately to avoid projectile cigarette butts and the tell-tale sounds of Def Leppard.

Mr. Important. Mr. Important always drives a BMW, Saab, Audi or Mercedes, and travels at a speed approaching that of light. He is most often found riding in the HOV lane, because let’s face it, he doesn’t have time for all that passing-slower-cars business. Mr. Important occasionally appears to be the Pusher, though he will not bother you after you’ve moved out of his way. He doesn’t want to traffic-battle you; he just wants to make his 40-mile commute in 20 minutes. If you are ever having trouble fighting your way through traffic, try to stay in the wake of Mr. Important. He will always find the quickest way out of a pack of slow drivers.

The Redneck. Not to be confused with the Hillbilly, the Redneck only drives a large truck (think Ford F-150, Ford F-250, Ford F-350, Dodge Ram, Chevrolet Avalanche or any of those other big-ass trucks. No Rangers or Tacomas allowed). He can have plates from any county, though most found along I-24 will be from Rutherford or Davidson counties. The Redneck is annoying because when he passes you, your view will be obstructed–but only momentarily, as the Redneck is generally found speeding way more than you are. Incredulously, the Redneck is actually the most courteous of the Asshole Commuters, as the majority of the time he will move out of your way if he can see your tiny car behind him through all the glory of his American-flag-painted back window. The Redneck is also good about staying in a lane that fits his speed, and you will rarely have to pass and then move back in front of the Redneck. You will, however, be assaulted with an onslaught of “They took our jobs!” “W, the President,” and “It’s not a choice, it’s a life that I don’t want to raise or pay for with welfare programs but I’m going to vote for politicians who want to force you to have the bastard anyway” bumper stickers.

The Soccer Mom. The Soccer Mom drives–yep, you guessed it: a minivan. The soccer mom is not usually on the interstate for more than 10 miles or so, as she is either shuttling her kids to or from school or heading to work after dealing with the kids, but the damage she does in a short amount of time is unmistakable. If she has her kids in the car she will drive–slowly–in the HOV lane, even though technically her kids don’t count toward HOV-lane occupancy, as they are not licensed drivers that otherwise would be operating an additional vehicle in traffic. No matter what lane she is driving in, she will not move out of your way, no matter how slow she is traveling, until she sees her exit. She will then increase her speed by 70 percent, whip across four lanes of traffic without looking, yielding or turning down the Dave Matthews Band or the Doodlebops, and hit the exit ramp completely oblivious of the chaos left in her wake.

The Blocker. The Blocker is a commuter who doesn’t just want to prevent you from passing him, he doesn’t want you to pass anyone. He will maneuver his vehicle to a position that traps you behind another vehicle but next to him, and maintain the same speed as the vehicle in front of you so that there is no way you can get out of the pocket unless you slow down considerably. This can be dangerous, though, because the Blocker will often target vehicles in the middle or left lanes of traffic, and you risk pissing off other drives by slowing down to get away from the Blocker. The Blocker will also slow down or speed up to match your speed, so you must plan your extraction strategy carefully and be ready to initiate when he least expects it. The Blocker is most often seen driving a large-size SUV or a small, sporty luxury car.

The Megalomaniac. The Megalomaniac is perhaps the worst commuter you will encounter on the road. He drives an SUV the size of a house, and will do everything in his power to make your commute miserable simply because you dared to drive within 100 feet of the ridiculous amount of emissions coming from his vehicle. The Megalomaniac drives primarily in the left lanes of traffic, including the HOV lane, at approximately 65 mph, and under no circumstances will he move over to let you pass. Ever. If the pavement in his lane were to suddenly go up in a 20-foot wall of flames, the Megalomaniac would come to a complete stop, end his cell phone call to ring up 911, and then wait for the fire department to clear the road before he would move to another lane. You will most likely have to pass every Megalomaniac you encounter on the road once, but once he realizes what has happened, he will speed up immediately and become the Pusher. Once he has pushed you out of his way and is traveling in front of you again, he will then slow down until you are forced to brake and swerve to avoid hitting him. The Megalomaniac often exhibits signs of The Blocker as well.

The Douche. The Douche is a commuter who is driving a small, sporty luxury car but obviously does not understand how to operate such a vehicle. The Douche varies his speed from slow to did-he-just-pass-out slow, weaves in and out of traffic for no apparent reason as if still asleep, hugs either the right or left line of his lane for miles before taking up half of your lane temporarily and frequently, and taps the brakes unnecessarily. If you suspect you might be driving near the Douche but aren’t sure, look for the bluetooth headpiece in his ear or a three-letter vacation destination sticker on his back windshield.

These are just some of my pet peeves that I encounter on my way to and from work every day. I know I am not completely faultless when it comes to inconsiderate driving, but I really do try my best. Unless you piss me off first. Then it’s on, bitches.

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