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Road Warrior

Traffic around here is a zoo, even as far out as I live. Mostly because closer in, they can't drive as fast. Too damned many cars in the way and gridlock much of the day.

Yesterday was something of an unusual day even for me. Three acts of random craziness.

First there was the guy in the blue SUV who tried to run me off the road after leaving a toll booth. It's every man for himself around here, granted. I take the far left lane so that I know I only have to watch someone on my right, not someone on both sides, trying to do something crazy. Which he did. He came out of the toll booth next to me and just assumed he was taking my lane. We go from about 6 potential lanes down to 3 with no lane markers. Every man for himself, as I said, all at 70-75mph. Well, I'm not one to give way when I have my lane. I'm not going to drop back when I'm in the left lane to start with. He pushed over. I held my lane as we accelerated to the normal ridiculous speeds we all use on that road. He kept pushing. I straddled the breakdown, the rough edge of the road sounding quite loudly, but I held. I had plenty of room still. Another push. Another move into the breakdown area, but we were going the same speed, yes we were at least going 70 by then. I had my eye on him and the car in front of me and the hell with anyone who might be behind me. I don't know whether he had someone on his right, he's too f'ing big to see around. The nicest thing I can say is that he might not have seen that I was there at first. But once he did, he expected ME to move out of HIS way. Like hell, buddy. And then there was the horn as he finally realized I wasn't going anywhere and pulling up beside me to do whatever, in the middle lane. Didn't matter to me, I needed to watch the road. Which I did. Miss E reported that he eventually gave up, but I continued to envision him following us all the way home and pulling out a gun.

It had been that kind of day.
The thought running through my head?
"Shoot straight, you bloody bastard."

Then as I was driving to my writing workgroup an hour later behind this person going 30mph on a 50mph road, a white pickup that is jacked up higher than it should be suddenly guns and spills oily smoke as he passes both of us at once on a road that is, well, not exactly meant for passing. Whatever. At least it was in the one place marked for passing for all of 20 feet. (Then five cars plowed through the one-lane bridge against an oncoming car, but I was ahead of them and just shook my head.)

The final indignity was in a small town further towards my workgroup. A truck pulled around me across double-yellow lines in the 25mph zone, still a quarter mile from the speed change to 35 and then 45mph another half mile after that. What? I was going too slow at 30mph? May he find himself pulled over. In the small towns, I obey the damn signs. My one ticket was from one of those 25mph zones.

Monday was that kind of day. No incidents on the drive home from writing. Lots done at writing. Have to disassemble Helen, but that's nothing new. Trashed her first paragraph, but that's not new either. I might get to use it as the LAST paragraph. Not sure yet. But it all feels right, so that's good.

As for Tues? I got to run around and talk to my bank about being charged for checks being returned on my business account and how do I get business online banking and faxing forms for selling my parents' apt when all I really wanted to do was work on Helen. But at least I wasn't driving much. Just the 3 miles into town.

Frog Out


( 7 comments — Leave a comment )
Jan. 30th, 2008 12:18 am (UTC)
Driving--all the savagry and danger of the Pleistocene without any of the natural beauty.
Jan. 30th, 2008 06:22 pm (UTC)
Well said!
Jan. 30th, 2008 06:20 am (UTC)
Gee, Oz, I was bragging to a friend of mine on the phone today about your big sale to Analog. In so few subs to boot. Sorry, but this all sounds rather dull to your Xmas news. Oh well. Sure be cool to be bumper-to-bumper in the sales acceptance world, wouldn't it? That's what I'm hoping for! And for you, to boot. *G*

I got a personal reject today for "Pandering Dwarves" from Sheila at Asimov's. She said, "This story is well done but didn't quite work for me." Gee, weren't the midgets decadent enough? I'll have to work on that. hee Didn't bother me though. As I'd just taken a cab home after quitting my telemarketing job in a fury over getting ripped off there. Now I've gotta find somewhere else to pimp myself out. Wish me luck. wink
Jan. 30th, 2008 11:35 am (UTC)
Dull? Yes, indeed. That's my life in a word. Even the chickens are interesting by comparison, though they don't give you quite the same adrenaline rush.

Congrats on the note from Sheila on a clever story.

Back to Wendy's, huh?

Jan. 30th, 2008 06:23 pm (UTC)
Yikes, that is frightening driving behaviour. Good for you for not giving way, though.
Feb. 2nd, 2008 01:08 am (UTC)
Incident #2 reminds me of a driving story I heard from a Desert Storm vet: he was in the tail truck of a convoy, and a local driver behind them was getting impatient with the slow speed. Over there, claimed my tale-teller, the idea of caution in driving is a foreign concept. Inshallah, you can pass. If you get in an accident, Inshallah. Since it appears not to be a matter of personal responsibility, the rules of the road are very different.

So the local pulled out to pass the convoy. As happens, there was in fact a vehicle coming the other way, at speed. Big Smack. The convoy just kept rolling.
Feb. 2nd, 2008 02:57 am (UTC)
Clearly, Inshallah, as you said.
( 7 comments — Leave a comment )