Saturday, November 13, 2010

If you can't beat 'em...

Driving in Florida is taking your life in your hands. There seems to be only one rule: Get to where you want to go as fast as possible and ignore everyone else on the road.
For those of you who haven't had the pleasure of driving in the sunshine state, imagine that every time you get on the highway you are infact on a race track and it is every man for himself! Although there is technically a slow lane and an overtaking lane, the general consensus is, bugger that and lets pretend we're at Nascar! There is weaving in and out of traffic, overtaking on the inside and my particular favourite, speeding and then mad slamming on of brakes when a radar cop is spotted lurking behind a tree or a road sign, with one hand poised on their speed device and one on their donut, all the while chewing tobacco and leering over their outdated Aviators!
It is terrifying! 
The other week I came out of a really lovely yoga practice, all calm and zen, chi realigned and ready to spread the love. I floated into my car but in about 20 seconds the calm had turn to fear and then anger and by the time I got home I was a gibbering wreck with a bad case of road rage! I had to quickly do some breathing exercises and a couple of sun salutes before I took a life!

So let me explain. In England, we have a name for these kind of drivers,who drive erratically and cause danger on the road, they are called "boy racers". Usually teen or twenty something boys, showing off their driving prowess in some hope that it will gain them credibility amongst their mates and ultimately get them a girl! 

In Florida, these drivers cannot be categorized so easily. They are called: 
  • Soccer Mom, driving their precious overweight child to sporting practice. The child is munching on a bucket of popcorn whilst watching the 40" screen TV in the back whilst the Mom is yapping on her mobile phone with a tiny rat like dog on her lap and her foot flat down on the accelerator and the break alternately.
  • Redneck, weaving in and out of traffic with a cigarette flailing out the window and Rascal Flatts blaring on the very tinny stereo. Fishing rods and a large cooler of beer are clanging around in the back of the truck and brake lights are broken as are indicators apparently.
  • Teen, driving their brand new Mustang with windows covered in stickers that say "Honor Student" and "Go Dolphins!" cruising in the middle lane at 80, texting.
  • Large Mexican looking individual in a battered old Chevy pick up, full to the top with lawn cuttings which are flying out the top so fast that by the time he gets wherever he is going the truck will be empty.
  • Tiny senior citizen who can barely see over the steering wheel, driving a Cadillac at 25 in the outside lane
  • And finally, Cyclist who thinks he owns the road, clad all in yellow lycra with his stupid streamlined helmet that even Chris Hoy would have thought was a bit OTT.
I encountered all of these drivers on my way home the other night and the cyclist was probably the most scary. He just pulled out in front of me on a single lane road with a car right up on my tail lights and huge SUV coming towards me. He just brazenly skidded out of his driveway about a foot in front of me, and he looked at me like I was the very devil!
All this time I have been adhering to the actual road rules but do you know what, what's the point? So I have decided that if you cant beat them...
I am off to get myself a cooler of beer one of which I will crack open and sip whilst I speed down the road at 95 in the slow lane, overtaking as many people on the inside as possible whilst checking my email and getting the football scores all the while trying to cross as many lights at orange as I can. 

Namaste and Drive safe!

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