Short Stories From 10 Years Ago – September 13, 2004
Short Stories From 10 Years Ago – September 13, 2004 – Who invented the mini-van? Is this person in jail? If not – why not? If he or she actually spent time in the slammer then they were probably paroled just in time to invent the SUV and the Hummer. Why don’t these vehicles have their own roads?
These drivers need specialized training, yearly testing and psychological counselling. Most of them are nuts. They think they own the road – these gods of highway hierarchy – riding way up in their high seats, looking down their collective noses at us poor, pathetic mortals. We drivers of practical cars, minders of our own business, sensible charioteers in normal vehicles.
When I get into my car. I start it – put it in gear and proceed from point “A” to point “B”. I’m a very civilized driver. I allow other cars to merge, I stop when the car in front of me signals his intention to park, I let him do so without benefit of blaring horn, steely glare or the “finger”. I’m not in so much of a hurry that thirty seconds will alter my arrival at my destination in any measurable way. I drive sensibly, with my eyes on the road and I concentrate on traffic around me, in the event that another driver loses his or her mind while behind the wheel.
So why is it that the drivers of mini-vans et al think that the rules of the road don’t apply to them. I have a theory about this. They are so high off the ground that the lack of oxygen is boggling their minds and their reflexes. I’m sure that mini-van owners started out their driving careers as well-meaning individuals. But give a person a bigger toy than anyone else on the road, and something goes “click” in the mind, and these formerly sane husbands and wives morph into obnoxious, self-serving, road hogs.
Now I realize this doesn’t apply to every single person who drives a mini-van, an SUV or a Hummer – so if you’re in the ten percent of these drivers who are responsible – courteous and respectful of other road users – you are excused. This pet peeve is directed against the ninety percent who are morons.
I detest being behind these behemoths. It’s impossible to see what’s going on in traffic around them. Green men from Mars could be on the highway and I’d have no way of knowing. Hell – Kink Kong could be in the middle of the road. And why are so many of these urban menaces driven by twenty year old blondes in size 2 jeans who glare down their perfect little noses at the rest of us?
These are things I ponder as I inch my way along in traffic behind any of the “Big 3”. I’m not totally without cause in my harangue against these drivers. A couple of weeks ago, I was almost run off the road on Cleveland Avenue, by the driver of a Ford Explorer who was headed straight into my lane while kissing his girlfriend. Last week the woman driver of a green mini-van ran a red light in front of me at Bayview and Mortimer – she was reading a book as she drove. These drivers routinely perform the old “rolling stop” at intersections, tail gate outrageously, flash their high beams at night, drive down the centre of two lane traffic, double park in rush hour, park illegally, unload at prohibited times and flaunt traffic laws.
They do it because they can, they feel entitled and they’re bigger than everyone else on the road except an 18 wheeler. How often do you see one of these drivers pulled over by the cops? I wonder if the police are afraid of them? Perhaps there is a secret league of mini-van, SUV and Hummer drivers. They meet once a week with one explicit purpose – to think of new ways to vex us everyday car drivers.
The war in Iraq probably has something to do with mini-vans – it’s not about oil at all. It’s entirely possible that most bad things in the world can be related back to “the mini-van”. I’m sure there is a conspiracy theory, I just haven’t figured it out yet. Until I do, I may lobby for a new law that says anyone can buy mini-vans, SUV’s and Hummers – they just can’t drive them!
Okay – Rant Over – it’s 2:10 P.M. on an otherwise normal and pleasant, late summer day!