First snow

Got off the roads this morning before the snow hit. I decided to leave the driving to the amateurs today. Let them get the kinks worked out in this wet, slushy crap while I'm tucked safely inside my home. I hope I'm as lucky next time it snows.

When I'm not so lucky, though, I have a principle that comes in handy. People lose one-third of their IQ when it rains and two-thirds when it snows. I used to say they lost those portions of their "driving" IQ, but I stopped making that distinction because most of the poor judgment exercised in inclement weather is done by people I assume are otherwise competent drivers.

I will never forget one time in particular, and this cemented my loathing for people who stop to let out side street traffic when it isn't safe to do so.

I was driving home from high school on a road that was normally 40 mph in one of the first cumulative snows of the season. I was a junior, and I had my license less than six months. Even with such little driving experience, I knew one thing: snow makes cars slide. That is why it is unwise to stop short, lest hit something or be hit. The lady in front of me didn't understand that principle and almost got creamed by me when she stopped to let someone make a left turn across our lane from a side street. I pumped the brakes in my rusted out 1982 Corolla hatchback and cut the wheel. This allowed me to turn completely sideways in the street, but I didn't hit her, nor leave my lane of travel. Nope, I was just sideways in my lane, hoping the car behind me could stop in time before it sandwiched me.

I quickly righted myself and continued on behind this lady who stopped at local coffee shop a little further down the road. Full of piss and vinegar (who isn't at 16?), I addressed the lady angrily and told her she was damn lucky she wasn't riding in ambulance right now. After explaining the result of her side street courtesy, it was clear she didn't understand when she offered a weak apology. She said she didn't even hear my horn. Amazing.

I'd say that was the first time I wished I had the power to write traffic tickets. I've wished for it so many times since, that I've turned to this blog as therapy, and because I know there are so many people out there who share my pain.


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