Sunday, July 18, 2010

Memo to Motorists

Specifically, this is a memo to motorists who insist upon driving in front of me while I'm delivering pizza.

1. Please do not drive 15 miles under the speed limit.
I realize that this is North Carolina. I realize that there is a good chance that you reached into a box of Cracker Jacks one day and just happened to pull out your driver's license. Maybe it was given to you in exchange for serving dinner at a soup kitchen once. Whatever the case, I get that you may not have actually received any real training on what driving is supposed to be like or how to understand those funny signs over on the right side of the road. See, periodically you'll come across these posted numbers that have the words "Speed Limit" printed above them. Sometimes the numbers say 25, sometimes 35. On those big, main roads, however, they'll often read 45 or 55. Now, I know, that's when things can get a little out of hand for you, and you'll be tempted to maintain that 30 miles an hour that you're so comfortable with. Maybe you're afraid that a police officer is just sitting on the shoulder up ahead and you don't want to get caught speeding. But if you're doing that posted number, there's a good chance they're not going to come after you. I'd be willing to bet, they've got bigger fish to fry. Like the guy that doesn't have his headlights on when it's pouring down rain.

2. Turn your headlights on when it's pouring down rain.
That's not so much for the people driving in front of me as it is for the people coming from the opposite direction while I'm trying to make a left turn across a heavily trafficked roadway. It's just common courtesy, people.

3. If you're making a right turn and you have a green light, it's okay to go.
Example: I was sitting at an intersection waiting to make a left turn. On the other side of the road, two cars were waiting to make right hand turns. I did not have an arrow giving me the right of way. Therefore, I yielded to the cars who just kept sitting there. Eventually they realized that they had the right of way, but by then my light was turning yellow. Yes, I went on through, and yes, I know that I could have technically received a ticket for that. But I was fueled with a slight case of road rage at that moment and I desperately wanted to floor it so I could get past these people who had no idea what they were doing back at the intersection. I did pass them. Because it was a 55mph zone and they were doing roughly 35. Refer to number 1 above.

4. If you're gonna turn on red, wait until the way is clear, not until you "think you can make it."
I know that when you see my gaudy pizza delivery light sticking to the top of my car, you automatically believe that I no self-respect and therefore deserve none of your respect as a fellow driver on this road of life. But I'm here to tell you, that's not what that sign means. It's really just an advertisement. I'm delivering pizza and the guys that pay me to do that also pay me to get their name and phone number out there so that more people will think, "Hey, I want a pizza too!" So when you see me driving toward the intersection, knowing that I have the green light and knowing that I am absolutely going the speed limit (perhaps even 5 over), it is not an invitation for you to pull out in front of me because you think you can make it. As much fun as it may be for some people to slam on their brakes, it isn't the sort of activity that I like to brag about. Oh, and testing my seat belt, just to make sure it would secure me in case of a crash, also not my idea of a good time. It's also, how should I put this, impolite, to pull in front of someone and then drive 10 under the speed limit. So when I was riding your bumper for roughly the half mile you were in front of me, it was because I was angry. I'll admit, it confused me quite a bit when you honked your horn at me as we went our separate ways. Maybe you were mad at me for crawling up your tailpipe. But I was mad at you for cutting me off when I was clearly in the right. I'm pretty sure we're even.

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