It’s easy to get mad at bad drivers, but sometimes there’s a simple explanation for why somebody stops at a green light, or makes a left hand turn from the far right lane, or just blatantly cuts you off.
(Besides being too tired to see straight because they have kids who still won’t sleep through the night.)
Where the ’70s had custom paint jobs, the ’90s had vanity plates. And even though they’ve become something of a cliche, they’re still an accurate way of understanding what a driver is thinking.
Why is the guy in the vintage car you’re stuck behind going 20 mph under the speed limit? Because he’s “N2PL8Z” not “N2 DRVNG.”
Why did that teenager just sideswiped your neighbor’s mailbox? “I♥TXTNG.”
And why is the Nascar wannabe in the 2007 Dodge Challenger next to you at the stop light revving his engine? Because he’s “2FAST4U” (though, unfortunately for him, not 2FAST4 the highway patrol car waiting behind the overpass up ahead.)
But as good as vanity plates are, they’re not nearly as insightful as bumper stickers.
If it’s “EARTH FIRST!” that means it’s good driving second, which easily explains why that bio-diesel conversion that smells like a giant french fry is driving the wrong way down a one way street.
Not to be too political, but if you’ve ever been driven off the road by a convoy of protesters racing to their next rally, you know that just because somebody’s “PRO LIFE” or “PRO CHOICE” doesn’t mean they’re pro-stop sign, pro-”Do Not Pass” or pro-speed limit.”
And while “MEAT IS MURDER,” running somebody over is just vehicular manslaughter, which is why that emaciated 20-something in the vintage Volvo seems more concerned with finding the only Vegan restaurant in town than looking out for pedestrians.
Not that anyone is perfect, of course, but why call attention to yourself?
It’s great to “PRACTICE RANDOM ACTS OF KINDNESS,” but not for every single driver who wants to cut in.
“WHAT WOULD SCOOBY DO?” He’d let Fred drive because he’s too stoned.
And if we’re supposed to “CALL 1 800 EAT-SHIT” to lodge a complaint, how can we do it from the car if we’re not allowed to use cellphones anymore?
Still, as irritating as other drivers can be, it’s not like we can just walk away.