I have enough experience, thirty years to be exact, listening to Russell’s rants and rages, which are annoying and sometimes downright frightful.
Katie is running a close second on that act. So between the two of them I’ve heard just about every complaint, frustration, exasperation and bewilderment imaginable.
One time Russell and I were running late for an event and this little old lady in front of us was poking along. If I recall, I’d say she was going about 25 in a 45 mph zone. Pretty soon, Russell was on her bumper and I mean close-up and personal. I said, “Honey, back off! You’re about to run over that little old lady!” He said to me, “Well, I can’t help it; thanks to you and your nail polish and the fact that you let your car get on empty!” I admit that from my determination (nail polishing which he says asphixiyates him) and my cluelessness (gas, what gas?) combined with his impatient, quick starts and sudden stops (riding her bumper), there were tiny red scratch marks on the door panel, the overhead car roof and even on my fingers. “Watch out!” I said, as I smeared my pinky nail, also while the little old lady turned into the convenience store. But no, Russell wasn’t watching out, because he too pulled in right behind her. The last thing I said was, “I hope that’s not anybody we know. How embarrassing!” Oh Lord! Turned out it we knew her alright. It was our church secretary. I ducked down. But luckily, she parked at the front of the store, not at the gas pump. She was probably running in to get some Tylenol for her headache, or maybe some duct tape to cover her rear view mirror so that she couldn’t see US anymore!
I scrunched down further in the seat, hoping she wouldn’t see me. I noticed Russell turned his back to her while pumping gas, though he categorically denied it later.
Where we live, there are three phases of bad driving. And none of them have to do with rush hour, mall closing time or school being out. They are, instead: bad, worse and worst of all! Honestly, you take your life in your own hands when you leave your driveway. I am always quick to point out to Russell (when he tries to tell me how to drive, which I never listen to), that I took the certified Smith Driving Course. Even if it was twenty years ago, I’m still proud of it and I know it’s kept me from having wrecks or from getting tickets. Maybe I should just say from getting tickets and quit while I’m ahead. I was working for a large telecommunications company and everyone had to take that course in order to drive company cars. And, as a matter of fact, I never, ever wrecked a company car. But let’s don’t talk about my personal vehicle, Lucy, the Toyota.
Anyhoo; Katie recently ordered a bumper sticker and actually stuck it on her bumper. It says, “I can’t read minds. Use your turn signal!” I don’t know if it’s effective, because how can you gauge that sort of thing? It’s not like you can say, “See! That driver read my bumper and used her turn signal!” Not only that, it’s on the BACK of Katie’s car and she wants the drivers in FRONT of her to give turn signals.
Well, since I believe strongly in World Peace and I think Peace begins at home (though not necessarily our home), I’m going to create some catchy non road-rage signs to encourage driving safely, reduce road rage and give us all a cause to pause. They’ll be like the old church fans: A sign on a stick, if you will. You’ll just hold them up to send a message to a driver when needed. There’s not one curse word, no hand signals and no yelling.
Here we go:
“You may know a lot about a lot, but you don’t know much about driving, from what I can see.”
“Slower drivers stay in the right lane. Stupid drivers get off the road.”
“Unless you’re taking your pregnant wife to the hospital, no speeding.”
“Riding on my bumper might cause this vehicle to stop suddenly; kind of like the service trucks you read about.”
“Blinkers were invented for a reason. Blinkers and brains work well together.”
“If you’re a tourist, visit the Chamber of Commerce for a free map. Then use it.”
“Plan ahead. Your inability to brake properly may cause my inability to break down (mentally).”
“No weaving in and out of traffic. Weaving is for looms, not loon-a-tics.”
“Read the entire ‘Life Is Short’ series, not while you’re driving though. That’s illegal.”
Ann Ipock ìLife Is Short, So Read This Fast!î email@example.com www.annipock.com