A TRAVELER WRITES: When I travel by train or plane, the TSA protects me (that’s my story) by profiling my fellow passengers. But how about when I am driving? Do I really know my fellow drivers?
As a matter of fact, I think I do. You may recognize some of them:
His head is at least 2 inches below the whiplash headrest. You may actually be convinced that his Buick, which has never gone more than 45 miles an hour, is being operated via remote control by the schoolkids standing at the bus stop. He won’t drive on highway, at rush hour, or after dark. His even-shorter wife is usually beside him. One summer, he drove from Connecticut to Miami using only side roads without ever paying a toll. But he could only stay in Florida three days, since he had to drive back before the snow.
(Curses at everybody.)
Windows are always rolled all the way up as the car veers left, then right, then left again in a steady rhythm. At first glance, it seems she’s having a Bluetooth fight with her boyfriend. But then comes the “Wayne’s World” hair shake and an air guitar solo. When she realizes you’re watching, she sheepishly switches the station and whisper-sings along to Air Supply.
(Texts her BFF to see if they’re singing the same song.)
Sits very low. Always looking forward, serious expression. Windows heavily tinted. Bass speakers bought from AC/DC’s former manager. Determined to share hip-hop taste with everyone in a 3-mile radius. Too cool for directionals. Swerves randomly.
(Never has a woman in the car.)
The Soccer Mom
Key in the ignition? Check. Seatbelt fastened? Check. Cellphone to left ear to call every single person she knows? Check. Oblivious to the fact that she’s cruising in the fast lane at 45? Um … yep. That’s cause she’s busy relaying sports schedules to other parents, organizing a Tricky Tray, lamenting Barbara Walters leaving “The View,” applying mascara….
(…and sneaking a cigarette.)
This modern-day Felix Unger cannot tolerate the mess that is his glove compartment. Crisis strikes when he realizes that his CDs and AAA maps aren’t in alphabetical order. Unfortunately for us, he’s barreling down the highway. The result: His head pops up, then disappears for 30 seconds, then up again, then down. Repeat as necessary.
(Speeds range from 25 to 80mph.)
The Righteous Smoker
The only place she can enjoy her Marlboro Light 100s without criticism is behind the wheel. So she extends her ride by an extra 15 minutes — by driving 10 miles an hour or more under the limit in YOUR lane. Maintains that hostile expression toward any and all non-smokers who have the nerve to criticize her habit.
(Still bitching about it as she flicks the butts out the window.)
The Michelin Man, of course.
Bob Michelin, an account executive from Old Bridge, always has his eyes and ears open, as well as his mind. He writes an occasional column for CLIFFVIEW PILOT.
Click here to sign up for Daily Voice's free daily emails and news alerts.