Wednesday, January 7, 2009

I'm Dreaming of Not Driving Near Christmas

In the past few weeks, I've come to realize yet again that I'm just not a big fan of people. I am not a people lover. Now I know that sounds badly initially, so allow me to clarify: I don't like large groups of people in pretty much any setting unless I know them - and even then it's not my favorite (did that clarification perhaps make it sound any less bad?). Maybe this qualifies me as a loner; personally I prefer to say I lean ever so slightly towards the more introverted personality than the extroverted one.

I was raised with the city of Orlando for the first 23 years of my life, after which I moved out to Lake County (still probably considered more of the greater Orlando area); finally I moved out here to the very outskirts of Ocala. Can I just say that I've enjoyed each location more than the one before? In other words, the farther we get away from the city and the crowds, the happier I am. I know living in the country comes with it's fair share of rednecks and fruitcakes alike, but the more urban areas certainly aren't in any short supply of these 'special' ones either. I just like my space - my breathing room if you will.

'What brought this self-discovery into such vivid focus?' you may wonder. In short, it was our trip back from North Carolina. It was the bumper-to-bumper, 30 miles per hour or less journey beginning in North Carolina and following I-95 all the way down to Florida. I have never in all my life seen such horrendous and ongoing traffic. It was a nightmare.

But if the sheer volume of cars alone on the road traversing at such mild speeds wasn't enough to drive a person batty, then the maniac, frenzied and road rage ridden drivers were. They weren't necessarily everywhere, but there were enough of them scattered neatly throughout our journey to distinctly raise my level of exasperation. We've all seen them before, the ones who gun it for the 10 feet between your bumper and theirs, and somehow in that time period manage to throw in a few crazy miniature swerving motions (just to demonstrate to all how mad they really are) and then slam on the brakes a scant half second before causing a fender-bender (and there were plenty of angry drivers who actually weren't able to stop in time and thus caused fender-benders, further delaying all the traffic). Or what about the ones who weave obnoxiously between the two ultimately non-moving lanes. . . Do they really think one lane is going to get them to their destination more than two minutes faster than the other one?

Really wishing to exact my own justice upon these lunatic drivers but feeling it not necessarily wise (what with other innocent drivers on the road and my own family in the car with me and all), I considered calling the police and offering vehicle makes and models and tag numbers so they could come out and scoot along through traffic to give these annoying drivers warnings or citations. Sensing though that law enforcement officers might not be overly excited about getting onto the jam packed highway and attempting to track down a single car out of thousands in a stretch, I decided to take matters into my own hands. My objective: public humiliation of poor drivers. While driving I photographed to the best of my ability the looney ones (I know - a bit dangerous. . but I felt a sort of higher calling on this one). I know the chances of these people ever stopping in for a visit on my blog is a slim to none possibility, but I figure I'd do it anyway simply for the sake of all of us looking at their vehicles and shaking our heads while mentally reprimanding them.

At this point, I'd like to ask for some reader participation. If you could just stop whatever else you may be doing and focus with me now on the two previous photographs in this blog. While you're looking at these pictures, if you could just think of some sort of demeaning or derogatory remark that would be great. Some examples of possible remarks might include such classics as: "He's driving like a bat out of hell!", or "Speed kills", or "Life is not race." You get the picture. As for me, I've decided to never again travel long distances on the weekend following Christmas. There are just too many merry folks on the road for my taste. I'll save my road trips for less 'festive' times.

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