Saturday, August 28, 2010

Left Lane Losers

The Great Republic of Texas has thousands of miles of highways in it. In the course of business and otherwise, I find myself on a lot of those miles. I am truly amazed at the number of complete idiots I encounter behind the wheel. I'm going to vent here about one particularly insidious type of idiot - the Left Lane Loser.

In Texas, the left lane of the highway is for passing. Indeed, if you are riding in the left lane and impeding traffic, you are breaking the law and can receive a citation, no matter what speed you are driving. In spite of this, there are people who insist on misusing the left lane. There are several subtypes of the Left Lane Loser:

1) Ma and Pa Kettle. Elderly folks who can barely see over the steering wheel, who insist on driving in the left lane. I don't know whether they are trying to relive their race driver past, or if they think they are safer in the left lane, but there they are - plodding along at 5mph below the speed limit, completely oblivious to their surroundings.

2) Eco-Nazi. Jerks in econo-boxes who drive right at the speed limit in the left lane, deliberately trying to force those around them to drive at the same speed. Whether they are trying to be a civilian traffic enforcer, or trying to make us all save gas by going slow, I don't know. I don't care.

3) The Baiter. This A*hole rides in the left lane at the speed limit, clogging up things. If you try to pass him on the right, he immediately speeds up just enough to keep you from passing him - then he slows back down. He will do his best to run you into other cars in the right lane, forcing you to slow and fall in behind him again. There is a special place in hell reserved for this guy.

4) The Cop. The police officer who rides in the left lane at the speed limit, creating a huge traffic jam behind him as all lanes try to slow down to keep from passking him. He's just sitting there, either screwing with the public, or trying to bait someone into moving ahead and earning themselves a ticket. There's a special jerk amongst these, the one who gradually slows down to 5-10mph under the speed limit, just to f*** with the civilian drivers.

5) Little Miss Cell Phone. Teenage girls, in the left lane, dialing their phones or texting their peeps, speeding up and slowing down, swerving all over the road as their attention is primarily on the tiny screen in their hand.

6) The Clunker. A vehicle that should be in a junkyard instead of on the street, putt putting along, belching blue smoke from the tail pipe and from the multiple cigarettes being smoked by the trailer trash inside. These folks apparently just want to be a pain in the ass to everyone else.

7) The Trucker. Truckers drive long hours, and they get bored. A favorite type of entertainment for them is to play a game where two trucks line up side by side doing the speed limit, backing up traffic in both lanes, mile after mile. Eventually they will tire, and the one in the left lane will speed up by 1/2mph, completing his pass of his buddy in about 5 miles.

and 8) The Jock. While technically an All Lane Loser, they are equally worth contempt. These are young men, typically black, driving high dollar cars, typically BMWs, typically painted black. They've got the front seats laid all the way back, cell phones glued to their ears, weaving in and out of all the lanes and both shoulders at 90-100mph no matter what the traffic conditions are. Why 'Jock'? Because there are usually fraternity or university license plate brackets on the cars. All evidence points to this being a college football player - a star who's been given the keys to this car by a booster or the coaching staff as a perk. You see a lot of these around the Austin area, for some reason .....

You know, I am not the fastest driver on the road, although I confess that my highway speeds are usually a bit over the limit. However, people that fall into the above categories are oxygen thieves. They should be forbidden from driving anything. I confess that I do take pleasure in causing these idiots some discomfort occasionally as they interfere with my drive.

Left Lane Losers ... Left Wing Losers ... some synergy there ....

1 comment:

Margot said...

I passed thru five states this summer and the left lane problem is epidemic. Living in Florida, I try to be tolerant of the eldery. They just get in a lane and concentrate on getting to, and remembering, their destination. Alot of the time the far right hand lane becomes what should be the left land (lol).

One of those states was Texas. I recommended to Enterprise when I returned to the airport that they provide first time visitors with a special sign in the back window stating that there was a possibility that the person in the car was lost and to please not force them off the road onto an exit that they didn't want to take which will then require finding somebody who speaks English to get directions. OMG. I was amazed I wasn't killed. I consider myself a good driver with some directional sense and understand about the left lane but as far as I could tell - Texans are in a big hurry and they are all left lanes! Florida would drive you crazy!