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That’s The Way Things Are

They’ve Got Driver’s Licenses?


Driving turns people into morons.

OK, maybe that’s a little harsh.

I mean, being behind the wheel turns a lot of people into morons, I suppose I should say.

Maybe not you, perhaps, but certainly a good number of our fellow drivers.

This topic is consistently on my mind and shown to be true, unfortunately, because of the consistency with which I encounter ridiculousness on the road. But it really jumped a bit more to the forefront of my consciousness again after something that occurred at the end of last week.

I was at my library here in Hewlett doing some work, in a study room with a window that looks out onto the parking lot. I heard some honking out there so I turned to my left to see out the window a silver Toyota cut off — of all people — my mother, to slide into a handicapped parking space.

Irate, I jumped out of my seat and walked out the front door. The driver of the car in question, a man in his 60’s or so, was still outside, in front of his car, and I told him I had just watched him cut off my mother’s car to take the handicapped spot in which his car now sat. He insisted that he hadn’t cut anyone off and that he zipped over to the spot from the other side of the lot — despite seeing my mother’s car sitting right there with her signal on — because he’d been “waiting 20 minutes” for a space.

I explained to him that a person couldn’t “steal” his space just because he had been waiting far away at the other side of the parking lot, and to my surprise, he actually grudgingly moved his car. I couldn’t believe what I’d seen, nor his ridiculous response and rationale. And perhaps what was most shocking to me… he actually seemed to genuinely believe what he was saying to me.

This is just the proverbial tip of the iceberg. Like me, I’m sure you all have seen a plethora of different ridiculous things in your time on the road: people cutting one another off, blatantly blowing through red lights and stop signs, honking at a car to go faster when they simply aren’t driving as if they’re in a NASCAR race, yelling and cursing at one another through their lowered windows… even a few times making a left turn on a red light, and, in once instance, a guy pulling out from behind me and driving right next to me for a few blocks in the oncoming traffic lane.

Yeah, I’m not kidding.

People who are usually normal (I’d assume, anyway), turn into Jason Bourne or Jack Bauer when they get into that driver’s seat, unfortunately for people in our area, in a suburban setting. And somehow, they find nothing wrong with it.

So, I pose the question: What about driving a car turns people into such brazen lunatics?

I really don’t have an answer to that question. If anyone out there does have an inkling as to why this occurs, I’m certainly open to hearing ideas…

In the meantime, I’ll keep driving up Hempstead Turnpike and Sunrise Highway, with both eyes open…

And perhaps even add some metal plating to my car, just to be sure…

“Disciplining yourself to do what you know is right and important, although difficult, is the highroad to pride, self-esteem, and personal satisfaction.” – Hasidic Saying

Follow me on Twitter: @mhcoops18