Thursday, March 3, 2016

TIFPA II

(Source)
I know what this looks like. "Didn't we just have one of these, like a week ago?"

Well yes, yes we did. The inaugural Things I Find Particularly Annoying post was exactly one week ago today. No, I don't think this is going to be an "every Thursday" thing. The fact that the second TIFPA post is today is because something occurred Wednesday morning (on my way to work) which I found...

Yup, particularly annoying.

As I was motoring down the road, while still within the city limits of my town of residence, there was something behind me which was getting increasingly annoying. Something which kept showing up intermittently in my passenger side mirror, occasionally in my main rear view mirror, and not at all in the driver's side mirror.

After a couple of glances rearwards and a few S-turns (yes, staying within my own travel lane) to try and get this unidentified annoyance identified, I discovered what it was that was there, then not there.

A tailgater. The fire trucking idiot was perhaps a foot behind my rear bumper and positioned way to the right, well onto the shoulder where he was hard, nay, difficult, to see. Which is why he wasn't always visible in the driver's side mirror.

At first I thought he was just getting ready to make a right turn, which was perhaps why he was way to the right. Then as we drove onto a bridge, where no right turns are possible, unless one could smash through the guard rail and didn't mind plummeting a hundred feet into Narragansett Bay, I realized that it was almost as if this other driver was trying to stay in my blind spot to the right rear.

This was particularly annoying as this a-hole was distracting me from the task at hand, namely, trying to get to work while: 1) staying on the road, 2) not hitting any of the other drivers, 3) not running down any random pedestrians (which in these parts include species other than humans), and 4) not going absolutely batshit crazy before I get to work. (It's normal for that to happen after I've been at work for a few hours. It's okay, they're used to me now. Or they should be after nearly 17 years there.)

Eventually the colossal maroon came out of the right rear blind spot when I signaled for a right turn. He continued straight down the road, no doubt looking for someone else to tailgate.

Tailgaters. Nasty stinking tailgaters, we hates them precioussssss, oh yes we do...

...to paraphrase Gollum. (What?!?! You don't know who Gollum is? Are there no Lord of the Rings fans here? Oh, there are? Sorry, moving right along then...)

Yes, there are many types of idiot on the highways and byways of the world. Folks blithely traveling along in motor vehicles, at high rates of speed, in traffic, who perhaps in many cases have absolutely no bloody idea what they're doing.

Their driving lessons seem to consist of telling them what the steering wheel does, the locations of the accelerator and brake pedals, and maybe, just maybe, how to turn the headlights on and off. (Learning to use the turn signals is not covered, at least if driving in Rhode Island is any indicator.)

There are days when I arrive at my destination wondering just how I survived the trip!

And while we're on the subject of people and their inability to operate a motor vehicle...

(Source)
Okay, that picture above is not what I found when I got to work. But yes, it's another Thing I Find Particularly Annoying. In fact, there are times when a lot is crowded, there are people and cars everywhere and over there, just a couple of rows away is a spot.

Carefully I navigate in that direction, maintaining situational awareness to make sure I don't run anyone over and that no one else is headed for that space...

Only to discover that some flaming berk has decided that his wee little vehicle needs a space and a half.

Do I contemplate tracking the fellow down and ending his line? Do I lie in ambush until he returns to perhaps pummel him with my rapier-like wit. Do I mock him at that time, farting in his general direction?

No, I do the slow steam, I mutter imprecations under my breath regarding the quality and breeding of his ancestors, I cast fiery glances at what should have been "my" parking space and then I drive on, ever on the hunt for a parking space.

There are many things concerning the perils and pitfalls of modern transportation which I find particularly annoying. But on the bright side, my car has never tried to bite me.

You see there was this horse once, out in Colorado, and the silly bugger decided that...

Hhmm, a story for another time perhaps. Horses don't annoy me, not at all. I'm not sure how they feel about hauling my substantial self around but like I said, I'll tell that tale later.

POCIR...



40 comments:

  1. I am not exactly sure how you would do a automobile Crazy Ivan to get the tailgater off of your six, but when you do it I would like to see the video.

    And yes I am patting myself on the back because I used a submarine reference and an aviation reference in the same sentence.

    One the occasions when I am tailgated, I gradually slow down a little, then I pull over/off as needed. The technique keeps my blood pressure down and makes the tailgater someone else's problem. Driving I-95 in Philly twice a day for twenty nine years taught me some coping strategies.

    And yes, the conversion of the rear window sprayer into a flamethrower was considered, and then rejected.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. A submarine AND an aviation reference in the same sentence? You're my hero.

      I will look for a place to let the ee-jits pass, sometimes though they're like remora, determined to stay in that annoying spot.

      (The rear window sprayer as flamethrower, I'll stop the research team now as you've already considered that...)

      Delete
    2. I want a turret mounted vulcan cannon on the top of my pickup. Several stages of warning are available with it. Just having it is stage 1. Slewing it around and pointing it at the offender-Stage 2. Spinning up the barrels-Stage 3. A short burst of a few rounds off his bow-Stage 4. A hundred rounds through the drivers side of the windshield-Stage 5 Gene Pool sanitized.

      Delete
    3. I like the way you think.

      Of course, I like turret mounted weapon systems too.

      A lot.

      Delete
    4. If I could only figure out how to do what gravel trucks do

      Delete
  2. I believe that it is basically a mechanical problem. There are far too many vehicles on the road that have a loose nut on the steering wheel. The good part is that they are subject to unexpected recall by their maker.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Good point but sometimes system failure in one vehicle can cause systems failures in other, nearby, systems.

      Which is what makes me sweat when I get a tailgater.

      Delete
    2. GE has a wrench that'll fit any nut (see above).

      Delete
    3. Heh, comes in a universal caliber right?

      Delete
    4. The first one to try is the 9mm. It generally works fairly well.

      Delete
    5. And we are talking tailgaters, so range isn't really a factor.

      Delete
  3. I became a man of infinite patience when driving. It happened a couple of years ago driving back to metroparkcentralis from San Diego. I had a car sort of bite me one dark night in the desert lands. Ever look for a black screw plastic fitting to vent your radiator after it has fallen from your fingers somewhere into the engine compartment at 0200 while you're way off the beaten track and the wolves are howling in the not so distant hills? Infinite patience. It's what I am.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I have not had that happen to me.

      I suppose having battery failure in my old VW on a "balmy" sub-zero day at HQ SAC could count as my car "biting" me. Nothing like your experience though.

      Then again, I don't care for deserts, not at all. Having wolves howling nearby I care for even less.

      Delete
  4. I installed those stick on wide view mini-mirrors on both passenger and driver sides. They have saved me more than once from swerving into exactly the sort of morons you describe.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I had not thought of that.

      Once again, I learn from my readers.

      [Heigh-ho, heigh-ho, it's off to the auto parts store I go...]

      Delete
  5. It's why I live in an extremely rural area, and rarely venture out.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. As do I, but I require myself to drive in San Antonio or Austin once every 30 days, to remind myself why I live in a rural area.

      Delete
    2. @DL - not a bad way to do things.

      Delete
    3. @Juvat - gotta maintain currency right?

      Delete
  6. I used to do the heavy brake tap, occasionally the brake stomp. Never came to bending metal but boy was I dumb. These days I do whatever I can as soon as I can to let them by. Of course most of my driving is in rural areas, so the problem seldom comes up for me anymore.

    When I think of parking challenges, I always remember the first time I accidentally went to the commissary on payday. My palms get sweaty just thinking about that. Some of those dependent wives were ba!!s-out fighter pilots at heart.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You went to the commissary on payday?

      You were either extremely brave or...

      Well, you get my drift.

      Delete
  7. State Highway reader board North of Fort Collins.

    45 Deaths This Year
    It Is Not a Race
    Give Some Space

    ReplyDelete
  8. Tailgaters are just another brand of Em Effers (me firster, before anyone gets their thongs in a twist)
    Sadly, they can't get past soon enough.
    At least we cansee them coming and try to evade.
    The really insidious ones are thse who approach from the flank and turn in front, causing extreme braking actions.
    Those are some of the Em Effers Id like to...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. True enough.

      (Now if you'll excuse me, I need to go untwist my thong. Don't ask...)

      Delete
  9. Once heard a comedian say that everyone should have a cell phone, and everyone's license plate should be their phone number. So you can call them up and tell them to get the F#@* out of the way!

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    Replies
    1. I always liked the idea of a sound system aboard the vehicle which has a massive amplifier and large speakers directed away from the vehicle. With the microphone hanging from the dash you can say things like:

      "You in the red Mazda, get off my bumper."

      "Hey lady in the blue Chevy, use your effing turn signal next time."

      And so forth...

      (Buddy had a setup like that back in the day, he was a cop, lots of fun driving around town, that was a lot of fun.)

      Delete
  10. I tended to stop them, and write them. Badgers show no mercy to tailgaters.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Like George Carlin says:

    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=XWPCE2tTLZQ

    ReplyDelete
  12. I had a friend who was stationed in northern Italy many years ago. It was customary to beep your horn in the mountains as you approached a blind curve to warn oncoming traffic. His little car (I’m not sure what) had an equally little horn and his pathetic “beeps” did not impress the Italians. After a number of near misses he wrote his folks and had them ship him am electronic diesel horn. Once installed it gave a prodigious HONK HONK and he said that from that day forward people gave him lots of room on the turns.
    My other favorite was a guy at work who came in one day complaining that someone was parked in his assigned spot and he had to park far, far away. The next day the same thing happened and he came in steaming. He wrote a strong note pointing out that spaces were assigned and the driver would have to park elsewhere. When it happened a third time I expected him to go ballistic. Instead he just asked me to stop by an auto supply store while we were out to lunch. That evening when I went out I saw the strange car still sitting in his parking space with a very agitated young lady tapping her fingers on the wheel. As I walked by I saw that both of her tires on the passenger side were flat. That was the end of the problem and the following morning my friend was walking around with a tire core removal tool and said to me, “Have you ever noticed that everybody has a spare tire, but hardly anyone has two?”

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  13. There are times that I really miss my old pick-up a put together one built out of two (72/73 chevy / gmc 3/4 ton) with a 8" wide channel iron rear bumper.
    The fenders flapped, the mufflers almost worked and it smoked a little. But it ran well and drove and stopped fine.
    I hit that rear bumper (hard) with a 12 pound sledge and all that happened was a little paint came off.
    A modern car would crumple up if it hit that bumper.
    No one wanted to get too close to me in that truck.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hhmm, another great idea.

      But could I mount a gun turret in the bed? Inquiring minds want to know.

      Delete
    2. I had a '47 IH 1/2 ton KB-1. I believe that if a modern pickup were to ram it, the KB would have smudged paint, and the modern pickup would shatter.

      Delete
  14. When this happens to me, I very casually run off the side of the pavement. Rocks begin to fly and bounce off the offenders windshield. Works every time.

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    Replies
    1. Brilliant! That's going in the bag of tricks.

      Delete

Just be polite... that's all I ask. (For Buck)