Thursday, March 19, 2009

The Dumbfrakistan Drivers Test...

(HDR image from fsudaft on Flickr. I like high dynamic range photos!)

Sometimes I think that Oklahoma is the buttocks of the known universe and the intersection of 86th and 129th in Owasso is its anus. I've had more trouble at that intersection than in all the other parts of my commute combined. There simply must be some explanation, and after considerable thought I may have hit on one.

It a concept I call the douchemobile. It's sort of like Stephen King's "Christine" - a haunted car that slowly takes possession of its owner. But in my example, it not an object - it's a geographical location.

Obviously it doesn't affect everyone. Some drivers, those who are dimwitted to begin with or those who've substituted large steaming heaps of fecal matter for their under-used and under-educated cranial filler, seem to be particularly susceptible. Perhaps that's an exaggeration.

No. It's not.

There's another thing operating here. I'll call it the 'passing imperative'. In Oklahoma as in the rest of the country, it's a sin to proceed at less than the speed of traffic. Cyclists, then, are big time sinners. Naturally any good, God-fearing motorist wants to put as much distance as possible between himself and a near-satanic bicycle rider. The best way to accomplish this is by passing immediately while maintaining speed or even accelerating. Motorists in the oncoming lane will understand. They'll even pull off the road so some bubble butt in a '74 Douchemobile can roar by a slow moving cyclist.

By now you may have guessed that I had another less-than-pleasant encounter with one of our motoring shit-headed brethren. Am I that transparent?

The mile long section of North 129th East Avenue between 76th Street and 86th Street is still under construction. It will be widened to 4 lanes soon, but at present the northern half is still 2 lanes through the construction zone. And of course, that's where I've met numerous colorful individuals including the Queen Of All The Oklahomas and today's aforementioned Senor Bart Bubblebutt. He insisted on passing me despite oncoming traffic and the narrow lane, and thought to "teach me a lesson" by zipping past my handlebar with about a foot of clearance. Then he flipped me off when I yelled.

Meanwhile, God made the stoplight at 86th turn red. I caught up to Bubblebutt, who was frantically winding up his window at my approach, and - politely - informed him that he had to allow 3 feet of clearance when passing. He yelled through the window that I was supposed to get out of the way.

This is the first time in quite a while that I've been very tempted to simply smash someone's window. Instead, since I'm a relatively calm, sane person who deflects anger with humor and sarcasm, I've developed the People's Republic of Dumbfrackistan Drivers Test. Enjoy!

1. Is it necessary to stop at every stop sign and red light?

Yes, if a police car is present.

Yes, but only if there are other cars in sight.

Only if it's still daylight.

Stopping is a sin.

2. The intent of a speed limit sign is to:

Set an upper limit to your speed.

Provide a challenge to your manliness.

Offer a convenient target for beer bottles, deer rifles, and handguns.

Driving at less than the speed limit is a sin.

3. "Share the Road" means:

Get out of my way, asshole.

I don't do sharing, asshole.

I'm driving a car! I don't have to share, asshole.

Sharing is important in church on Sunday, but otherwise it's a sin, amen.

4. Most people riding bicycles are:

Communists, liberals, and bunny huggers.

Illegal immigrants.


Anarchists or maybe the AntiChrist. Spelling ain't my thing. Anyway, I'm agin 'em.

5. At a four-way intersection with stop signs, who has the right of way?

Whoever has the largest 'magic Jesus fish' on his bumper.

Whoever honks.

Whoever is driving the oldest, nastiest car.

Stopping is a sin.

6. When approaching a crosswalk where pedestrians are present, a motorist should:

Drive behind them at high speed.

Drive in front of them at high speed.

Honk and curse while dodging to whatever side has the most room.

Stand on the brakes in order to bring the car to a skidding stop while simultaneously honking, cursing, and flipping them off.

7. While driving with your family, you pull out in front of another car whose driver has to brake to avoid a collision. What do you do next?

Speed away.

Brake suddenly to "teach him a lesson"

Flip him off.

Instruct your children to flip him off.

(Honestly, that last one happened to me recently. A pickup truck pulled out in front of me and a pre-school kid - standing on the front seat, no less - turned around and flipped me off! It's one of the real highlights of my stay here in Dumbfrakistan.)

8. Bicycles, motorcycles, and pedestrians are small and sometimes difficult to see. What should a motorist do to be more aware of them?

Honk the horn when encountering one, regardless of your direction of travel.

Yell something incomprehensible.

Flip them off, except for motorcyclists who could catch up and beat the shit out of you.

Aware of what?

9. Your sixteen-year-old son just passed his drivers test and wants to visit a barber shop for a fresh mullet before his photo is taken. Do you:

Take numerous photographs of this proud moment.

Put a personal notice in the local newspaper.

Send out party invitations to the rest of his eighth-grade classmates.

Hold his beer while he gets the haircut.

All of the above.

10. You're pulling out of a motel parking lot with a woman who is not your wife sitting in the passenger seat when you're involved in a minor accident. Before the police arrive, do you:

Give her another hundred bucks for 'cab fare' and tell her to get lost.

Give the other motorist the hundred bucks and tell him to get lost.

Leave the car and get home as quickly as possible. Report the car stolen by some anonymous hooker.

Stopping is a sin.

Scoring on this is relatively simple. If you actually took the test, drop your driver's license in an envelope addressed to your state Department of Motor Vehicles. Everyone else, well, never mind.




Blogger Coelecanth said...

Ah Ed, I'm glad you channel the adrenaline into this sort of thing. 'Cause that level of asshattery can lead to unhealthy responses. I once took my U-lock to the quarter panel of a pickup. Never mind that I had just been placed in extreme danger, indeed, had been assaulted in the eyes of the law, I still regret it. Nothing good came of it and if passers-by hadn't come to my aid someone would have been seriously hurt.

7:27 PM  
Blogger Ed W said...

I was that skinny kid with the black glasses back in high school. You know, the one with the pocket protector, a working knowledge of how to use a slide rule, and courses in physics and electronics. I was "that dweeb in gym class" surrounded by jocks bigger, stronger, and faster than me. So I had to learn a kind of verbal judo, sarcastic and witty enough to confound them, yet not so over the top that they'd beat my brains in.

Balance, grasshopper, balance!

8:45 PM  
Blogger WheelDancer said...

It seems most days present some mouth breather that tries to screw up my day but I try to remember the ones that go out of their way to offer respect like the fellow yesterday who followed me on a narrow parkway for nearly a half mile rather than trying to squeeze past. I was going just under the speed limit, I love a good tailwind, but when he finally did pass it was with a wave and a smile.

He's the type of driver that keeps my faith in the motoring crew and balances out the Dumbfrackistan drivers who, by the way, won't be able to read some of the big words in your test...

11:00 AM  
Blogger jasonk said...

Ed, I've ridden in that area before, usually on the Monday night ride. I've never had any issues, but that's because it is after the rush hour, and there wasn't construction then.
On my commute, I have a couple of places where the drivers frustrate me. The worst place is in my own neighborhood. You would think they would be used to seeing me out there, but they drive like idiots. My commute to work has gotten much better as drivers have become accustomed to me, and I have few issues with drivers anymore. But I had to switch routes on the way home, because the return trip was much more hazardous for some reason. It was completely stressing me out to ride home. So I mapped out a different route home, through Jenks and Sapulpa instead of West Tulsa. The drivers in Jenks and Sapulpa are almost completely patient with cyclists, and the commute home, although it is about three miles further, is totally stress free and relaxing. Four monster climbs, yes, but not stressful.
On Mapmyride dot com, I have my commute on my public profile. It is just one big loop. 36 miles round trip.

9:39 AM  
Blogger Brandon said...

Ed, you are overlooking a very important component. This intersection is adjacent to a HIGH SCHOOL!!!! And there is another school just south of there. A friend and I were buzzed three times last week on a ride in rural Rogers Co near Claremore. Ya just never know. I hope your knee holds up and you have better experiences soon.


1:23 PM  
Blogger Yokota Fritz said...

Bad day, huh?

Regarding number 9: I thought the intoxicant of choice in your part of OK is ditchweed.

5:24 PM  
Blogger Ed W said...

I dunno about ditchweed, Fritz. I think the big buzz is about meth. I've come across 2 chemical dumps on my commute home. and the latest method (don't ask me how it works) is called 'shake and bake'. Apparently, it's both faster and more dangerous.

As for the hellhole at 86th and 129th, I ride through there well after school lets out, though to be truthful, I've had problems with some teenage drivers. There's also the Baptist Retirement Village at the south end (76th and 129th). Some of them are 'submarine' drivers who look at the road through the steering wheel. I haven't had problems with any of them - that I'm sure of, anyway - but I've encountered some elderly drivers who really shouldn't be out on the road.

6:30 PM  

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