Friday, February 22, 2008

People In Iowa Can't Drive

What the fuck is up with people driving in Iowa? I swear to Christ people in Iowa can't drive. That's right, I swear straight to Jesus Christ that people in Iowa can't drive. That is the extent to which people in Iowa can't drive, that it makes me swear straight to Jesus Christ.

I'm sorry, I know this is probably not the article most of my loyal readers have waited all week to see, but I have been driving to work in Iowa for five whole days now and this problem has already become markedly apparent. Something needs to be said. This needs to be brought to their attention before they can continue being so obliviously stupid about driving.

Before I get angry replies from the various overweight, entitlement-happy, middle-aged, blue-collar farmers that tend to populate most of the state, let me just clarify that it might not be all Iowa drivers who don't typically possess the motor skills necessary to successfully operate a vehicle. Also, your daughters tend to be hot.

I haven't driven through a large percentage of the state because for the most part, Iowa is a state that consists of boring punctuated with sporadic instances of more boring. There may be some secluded, magical village in Iowa where everybody knows how to drive immaculately, and traffic flows as smoothly as that intersection in England that is one big "O" is supposed to instead of the congested mass of parked, honking cars and angry motorists that it generally is. If such a place exists in Iowa, I have yet to find it due to my overwhelming lack of enthusiasm to actually look for it. I hear you can get to it via Mr. Rogers' magic toy trolley.

More specifically, what I do know is that people in Davenport, Iowa don't know how to drive, and I am using the people of Davenport as a basic population sample to represent the rest of Iowa because, as anyone who's ever driven through the Midwest knows, the details might vary slightly from one place to the next, but it's all essentially the same big, boring mass of stupidity.

You see, I grew up in Illinois, and although Illinois is as boring vertically as Iowa is horizontally, Illinois has several things that differentiate it from Iowa. Mainly, Illinois has Chicago. Sure Iowa may have all the boring parts crammed into one neat little package whereas Illinois is more spacious so there are sparse areas of extreme nothing in between the spots of general melancholy, but Illinois has one of the largest cities in the world to cap it off, so when travelling through Illinois, you automatically have a glistening metropolis awaiting you. What do you have waiting for you when you travel through Iowa? Kansas? Fuck, pass.

Something else that differentiates Illinois from Iowa is that, in Illinois, they teach their residents how to drive, and then they test their residents on their comprehension before just handing them licenses. The Illinois Department of Transportation seems to understand that the control of a multiple-ton, speeding instrument of death should not be given away liberally to any crack head who wanders into the licensing bureau looking for a tire gauge to convert into a crack pipe. It seems that Iowa doesn't always err on the side of caution.

I know that Illinois tests their drivers on basic concepts like interpreting road signs, converting speed limit ordinances to actual driving speeds, and what the fuck to do when confronted with the imposing traffic light system. I don't know what Iowa does, but it seems to not be working in Davenport where the city spent hundreds of thousands of dollars installing cameras along their roads and intersections to catch moving violations, advertised the system for over a year before enforcing it, and still raked in millions of dollars in moving violations by drivers who were too ignorant to know any better or too stupid to care. Of course, Iowa couldn't actually claim any of those millions of dollars because within two months of enforcement, the system was declared unenforcable according to the state's constitution. Ha-ha, no flood wall for you.

Have you ever been behind someone who you just hate for no other reason than they did just one stupid thing in front of you and you can't pass them, so you just direct the summation of your mental energies into forceably hating this person in hopes that they will somehow be able to feel the battering of your brain waves through the windshields? I consistently find myself yelling at other drivers from behind my steering wheel for even the slightest infraction. I'm already irritated by all the stupid drivers so I'll even catch myself yelling at people for completely reasonable actions, like: "WHY ARE YOU FUCKING STOPPING AT THAT. . . red. . . light. . ."

When I get in my car, I'm on a mission to get where I'm going the fastest and most convenient way possible. So I already hate people who impede this by doing things like driving slowly or waiting a half-hour to make a left turn across a busy thoroughfare instead of rounding the block and turning into traffic instead of across it. If you pull out in front of me, you better be prepared to drive by my rules because you're in my way. If you're in so much a hurry that you can't wait an extra second for me to pass you, then you need to drive like you're in the emergency that caused you to cut me off. One of my biggest pet peeves is having to slow down because some asshole decided to get in their car without a destination in mind and they plan on taking as long as possible to go nowhere. I swear to God the only reason people with type B personalities were put on this planet was to piss off the people with type A personalities.

People in Davenport drive in ways for which I cannot fathom a meaning or reason. I had to pass a Suburban because it was driving less than 10 MPH on a thoroughfare with a speed limit of 40 MPH without its hazards on. Do you know what it's like when you're cruising down a road at upwards of 40 MPH or higher and you suddenly come upon a truck doing 10 MPH? It's like hitting a fucking wall. The truck might as well have been stopped for all the progress it was making toward its destination. If you are planning on being a road hazard when you go out driving, you need to switch on your hazard lights so people will identify you as the road hazard that you are.

The other day, I saw a driver make a right turn from the left lane of a four-lane road. What the fuck? There's a whole lane dedicated for you to make a right turn from, it's called the right lane. The reason it's called the right lane is that it's correct. You know what they call the wrong lane? Left. YOU DON'T MAKE A RIGHT TURN FROM THE LEFT LANE BECAUSE IT IS WRONG!

Today I pulled up behind a guy waiting at a traffic light who parked on the train tracks crossing the road. Don't these people even know that you don't wait for a light to change while sitting on active train tracks? If a freight train comes through, it's not going to give much of a shit about your pathetic, little pickup truck that it's crumpling like that slip of foil that covers a stick of chewing gum, and it's certainly not going to be able to come to a stop in time to avoid eliminating one more idiot from the world. I would assume that not parking on train tracks is common sense, but if it was, there would be no purpose in posting signs around train tracks telling people not to park on them.

These may seem like minor infractions, but when you distribute it among tens of thousands of people and apply the result twice a day five days a week, I'm sure you can understand how the frustration can quickly mount. Also keep in mind that these are only a few examples that I pulled from recent memory after I started noticing that Iowans driving like schizophrenic meth addicts seemed to be a definite trend. I could give many more examples, some petty and some extreme, but after a while it would just become redundant and this entry is long enough as it is. Suffice it to say that, despite the fact that nobody ever really drives properly, people in Davenport seem to suck far worse than their peers on the better side of the river.

np: KMFDM - "Money"


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