Road Worrier – part 1

I live in East Tennessee in the U.S.A. It is a beautiful place but only if you like natural, tree-topped mountains; clear mountain streams with cascading waterfalls; incredible wildlife roaming through the National Park; and, since I’m in East Tennessee, bad drivers. I know what you’re thinking: “Doug, you should see the drivers where I live! THEY are the worst!” To be fair to you, I’m sure that based on individual criteria, you may have drivers worse than we do. But it you look at the overall picture, I’m sure we’ve got you beat.

Let me establish my credentials before you assume I am just a road-raged driver venting. I am a road-raged Commercial Driver’s License-holding, passive-aggressive, passing-lane aggressive, driving trainer who has driven everything from an 84-passenger bus down to a go-kart. My buddy put me into the wall the other day when we were racing and spun me out so bad I couldn’t get the kids off the bus. I’m joking! It was a go-cart but there were kids in the other carts… who hit me as they passed while I was stuck without a reverse gear and the guy who was supposed to be watching out for those who got stuck was ordering a couple of pizzas for lunch on his phone. Not that I’m bitter. Is it any wonder the drivers are so bad here! They start at such a young age! Next time they are going into the wall! Muhahahahaha!! But I digress.

Photo by Alexander Popov on UnsplashAllow me to make my case for our drivers being the best of the worst. This morning, while minding my own business, listening to my podcast and driving to work, I saw someone cut across four lanes of rush-hour traffic. Now, gentle reader, you may be wondering why that was so problematic. You’ve surely seen someone do that before. This escapee from the Tennessee Home for the Criminally Insane was driving a Class-A RV while towing a Hummer 2 – in rush hour traffic. Granted, rush hour in Knoxville is nothing like New York City, L.A. or Bismarck, North Dakota, but it still has some heavy-ish traffic. The Hummer had a bumper sticker that said, “Drive it like you stole it!” My first thought was, “Well, at least there is truth in advertising.” Being a conscientious driver, I backed off and maintained my three-second following distance while debating whether I should call 911 to tell them an outraged orangutan was driving an RV on I-75.

Did I mention the weaving? This deranged driver could not stay in one lane. He was taking up at least two by meandering back and forth between the two fast-lanes. I wondered if it was too much coffee, not enough coffee, or meth. I decided it had to be a meth-head driving that $500K RV because they can all afford those.

Photo by Jonathan Borba on UnsplashNaturally, when my exit came up where I change highways, guess who got off there, too? Yep, Captain Meth-for-brains and his recreational vehicle of Death. How he made it through the exit without bouncing off the concrete barriers and plunging onto the Interstate beneath us is a mystery. I got off the next highway and watched him drive off into the sunrise.

I only hope he didn’t hurt anyone before the Tennessee State Troopers returned him to his padded room where he can wear the nice white jacket with the sleeves that fasten in the back. I hear they are serving lime Jell-O now.

Next time, I’ll tell you about the really bad drivers.