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Journal Bill Dog's Journal: jerk or not 6

So I'm driving to work some morning this week. BTW, I love having a commute now. It makes me feel so... normal. I take fewer things for granted now, and let fewer things bother me, now that life's given me such an attitude adjustment. It's fabulous to be stuck in traffic, now that I have a purpose again to be stuck in it. Quite often I have to park a 20-minute walk from where I work, because the parking's so bad there. Totally ridiculous, but I don't care, not in the grand scheme of things. I've been made to seriously think about one way life could be really bad, and now that I'm (hopefully) back from the brink of it, everything is just so fucking wonderful -- I'll take the pain with the pleasure, as either is better than that long drought of numbness.

So I do between 70 and 75 on the freeway, as the limit is 65 around here, and I figure I'm prolly safe from tickets as long as I stay under 10 over. This speed also means that about a fourth to a third of the traffic is passing me, which also helps keep me safe, I reckon. So I'm in the 2nd-to-left lane, and I come upon a string of about 6-8 cars all going at some speed between 65 and 70. I hate to pass on the right -- I think it's an asshole thing to do. There's generally slower traffic there, and so it's opting for creating more of a hazard.

So I get in the fast lane and slowly proceed to make headway on this string of cars. Too soon there's someone behind me, who gets on my butt, and my nerves. I have a choice -- speed up to around 80 and beyond the string of cars and out of this guy's way sooner, or stick to 73-74 MPH and he'll prolly get madder and madder at me. Frankly I don't really care how much above the speed limit someone wants to go, as long as they're not creating a hazard. So I have absolutely no problem with this kind of driver, except for the being on my ass part.

Well I don't want (to risk) a ticket, so I maintain my speed, and eventually I get to the first slowpoke in the line and signal my intentions to both and move over just as soon as I can. As I was afraid of, evidently Mr. Speedy is kinda irate at this point, as he seemingly puts the hammer down as soon as I'm out of his way. The freeway is bending right at this point, and as I've gotten over and look over to see him speeding off, we get up to a pillar that holds up an overpass, and motorcycle CHiP is there just getting on his bike, takes instant, dramatic notice of this guy and immediately turns on his red and blue lights and proceeds to start it up and get going after this guy.

Mr. Speedy must've seen it too as he immediately slows and starts moving over multiple lanes. Now he's prolly really mad at me. I try to take notice of what he might be driving, so I'll know where to expect the bullets some day to come flying from, but it's some nondescript snoozemobile like an Accord or Camry. And I have a rather distinctive car.

Incidently, I don't think I would've done what he did after seeing the lights. Seems like pretty much an admission of guilt. I won't even brake when I pass a highway patrol -- I'll just let off the gas and let the drag slow me down, or shift to 4th. It's not like he could tell the officer that he didn't realize his speed had crept up a little too much or something and sorry about that. He prolly ruled out any possibility of getting just a warning, if he had any.

It was fun in a way watching the cop go after him and pull him over, but I feel a little bad about it. If I had sped up to make him happy(ier), then *I* prolly would've got the ticket, as then I would be the speed leader in that part of the freeway. If I hadn't gotten over just as soon as could, we might've both gotten past the cop without anyone going too fast there. If had passed the slowpokes on the right, I wouldn't have inflamed this guy to mash his go pedal at what turns out just the wrong point. Then again, he might've been going 80 there anyways, and still got a ticket.

Now that I think about it, I think it's only people who are driving boring commuter cars and SUV's that I see pulled over. I have a bright blue Mustang GT, with a hood scoop, and no cop has shown any interest in me. I see all the fast cars in the slower lanes. I think the cops think that people driving muscle cars know they stand out and so play it extra cool, but the masses who drive the bland, silver, Japanese foor-doors all think they're invisible and can get away with murder, so the cops are more expecting of it from them. I haven't gotten a ticket since my very last week of college (!), and I always exceed the speed limits. Or maybe it's just luck.

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jerk or not

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  • Naw, you're not a jerk, 'cuz I do the same thing, and I'm not a jerk :)

  • by chill ( 34294 )

    I agree with mgessner. That's what I do, and I'm not a jerk. :-)

    Do the math. The extra time you may -- depending on traffic -- save for an extra 5 MPH saves you what? 5 minutes on a decent commute?

    The only times I go more than +5 is when driving across country or racing to a hospital. Some of them long stretches of quiet interstate in the Midwest just beg for 100+ MPH.

    And last winter when my wife "missed" with the hatchet and chopped her thumb... The hospital is the next exit down the interstate from me

  • I think you are not a jerk and it's cool what happened.

    Years ago I was driving from San Diego to Phoenix at night. I was I-10 and had my cruise control set. At one point, still in California, I passed a guy. Once I got past him I moved back to the right lane. Within moments he moved into the left lane, passed me, got into the right and slowed down. In less than a minute I was overtaking him and had to go around him again. In all of this I never touched the accelerator or break. Well, he continued th

  • If you're in the left lane, and you're passing the person to your right, you're not a jerk. The speed of the person behind you doesn't matter as long as your speed exceeds that of the person to your right.

    If you were instead camping out in the left lane, making people go around you, while not passing anyone at all, then you're oblivious. Not necessarily a jerk, unless you're trying to impose your will upon the masses, most likely just oblivious and not checking your mirrors. Those are my second least f
  • So I saw the "driving while in Beaverton" photo/ticket van sign just across from my driveway as I was leaving the house. So I don't get out of 1st Gear, as it's not a real good idea to exceed 15mph in a 25mph zone by those vans, they're often set too low. Some kid from the high school pulls up behind me, starts honking, making a racket. So I pass the van, get out of radar range, hit the gas. Still didn't execeed +5 on the speed limit, but my sudden acceleration down to the red light then stop gained me

  • I don't think it's just that the cars are conspicuous. People driving the nice cars actually care about their cars, and pay more attention to their driving, and are more likely to follow the rules. The people who are irresponsible are usually driving the crappy cars, because ... well, duh, they're irresponsible and so can't manage to get a nice car.

Quark! Quark! Beware the quantum duck!