I am the first to admit it: I’m a lousy driver. I’m nervous on highways, don’t see well at night or in the rain and have a horrible sense of direction. Despite having lived in the Upstate for nearly a decade now — has it been that long? — I still get lost all the time and I drive very slowly when cruising windy, hilly roads — which in this area is pretty much everywhere.
You know that person you fly by and glare at angrily for going five below the speed limit and holding up traffic? Yeah, that’s me. Sorry about that …
On the flip side of that coin, because I know I’m not a speeder — I have zero patience for anyone who is going slower than I am. If you’re operating a motor vehicle so slowly that I have to pass you, I hope you’re wearing your running shoes because I’m fairly sure you’re Fred Flinstoning that Kia.
Wherever in the country you happen to live, there seem to be prejudices concerning the driving habits from people with license plates from neighboring areas.
When I lived in Ohio, we hated anyone with a Michigan tag. Do you know what a turn signal is? When I moved to Michigan, it was those “damn Canadians” whom to this day my mother insists “love to drive real fast, get in front of you, and slow down.”
In South Carolina, Georgia is the main target for vehicular ire. But I will tell you this: I have never seen a car with a Georgia tag use the bike lane to turn right at a four-way-stop.
In Easley? I see it everyday.
Let me paint you a picture: I pull up to a four-way stop with the intention of going straight. I am in the middle of my lane. To my immediate right is the bike lane — to which some moron will inevitably pull up into while signaling to turn right.
YOU CAN’T DO THAT! It’s not a five-way stop. You have to wait your turn just like everyone else.
Suppose I changed my mind and decided to turn right? That’s not against the rules (and we’ve already established that I get lost a lot.) But now I can’t turn because Ricky Bobby over here has illegally taken the inside.
Shake and bake, baby.
My point is while I am certainly not the only terrible driver out there, I do seem to be one of the few willing to own it.
During one of his old stand-up routines, George Carlin once talked about drivers and how he boiled everyone down into two groups of people: Basically, anybody who is driving faster than you is a “maniac” and anyone driving slower than you is an (insert expletive here.)
Without a doubt, I am that expletive. But the next time you pull up to a four-way stop, check yourself. You might be one too …
Kasie Strickland is a staff writer for The Easley Progress and The Pickens Sentinel and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Views expressed in this column are those of the writer only and do not represent the newspaper’s opinion.