YES. I AM THAT PERSON.
August 18, 2007
Here’s a factoid about me:
I obey the speed limit.
I don’t drive fourteen miles an hour or anything. And I will go with the flow of traffic unless I feel like the flow of traffic is full of idiots. But basically, I think speed limits are a good plan, and I obey them. The man problem with this is when people behind me on the freeway are like “UGH, I CAN’T BELIEVE SHE’S ONLY GOING 67 MILES AN HOUR. VRRRRROOOOOOOOOM!”
(That’s the sound effect of them doing the aggressive-passing maneuver: the kind of passing where it’s obvious that if they had a megaphone, they would now be shouting “YOU ARE TOO DAMN SLOW, WOMAN!” at me.)
Because I’m a naturally tense person, this always makes me a little uptight. But then I think about it, and I remember that I’m the one obeying the law. And. Wait. WHY DO I FEEL BAD ABOUT THIS?
So now I’m going to tell you something that will, if you a are a bit of a scofflaw w/r/t speed limits, make you hate me for ever and ever:
This afternoon, I was driving home from Santa Monica on the 10. And I’m going along at 68 miles an hour, in the slow lane, but still, my extra three miles an hour are meant as a kind of a goodwill gesture to everyone who thinks that speeding is the only reasonable way to get anywhere. And this person gets on the freeway behind me. It’s a dude. He’s on the phone. He’s driving a ginormous black BMW.
He is so mad that I’m TOTALLY BLOCKING HIS LANE. I can tell, because he starts tailgating me and then swerving angrily back and forth, and I had to turn up the radio and tell myself things like:
You’re obeying the law. It’s totally okay to be a law-abiding citizen. You know who else probably was into the speed limit? Mr. Rogers. So basically Mr. Angry Beemer can suck it. so as not to succumb to his mean-person peer pressure.
Finally, he’s able to pass me. I barely catch his face as he goes: absolutely livid and contorted with rage. I kind of recoiled in my seat. (Men, a small tip: Traffic Rage is the LEAST ATTRACTIVE kind of rage.)
You’re obeying the law, I told myself, trying (and failing) not to feel totally pathetic. I eased off the gas. 65 miles per hour. SWEET.
I HEAR A SIREN.
And a cop cruiser appears out of nowhere! Cuts across all four lanes.
And pulls over Mr. Enraged BMW Driver.
Obviously, a decent person shouldn’t rejoice in the misfortune of others, but OH WELL. Also, I got to enjoy the OMG A COP!!!! effect, which caused EVERYONE on the freeway to drive like me for a little while and made the rest of my trip home very pleasant.