1.09.2008

Florida stories: Driving

I know that there are terrible drivers all over the country, but we live in Florida -- no, worse than that, we live in Clearwater -- so my stories about bad drivers are about Florida. Just like there are ugly houses in every state, but my ugly houses are in Florida. Kim and I decided the best way to convey the idiocy of the drivers here, is to write the driving manual to match the way people drive. Ready?

Florida Driver's Manual
  1. Obeying traffic lights is optional. If you want to stop on red, that's okay. If you want to stay put when it turns green, that's okay too. And when you decide to go, you don't want to rush it. Take a moment to remember where you're going and why you're in your car.
  2. Likewise, stop signs are negotiable. Don't worry that there is traffic coming, just ease out very slowly and carefully -- you'll be fine, they'll slow down to let you in.
  3. Whenever you're on a two-lane road, be sure to match the speed of the car beside you. This is a traffic flow control method popular in the South. We call it the "rolling roadblock" and it's excellent for keeping speeders in check.
  4. Multi-tasking is an important skill for all Floridians to have. Feel free, while you're driving, to apply your make-up, make and answer any calls, fix your coffee, yell at your kids, whatever.
  5. Come to a complete stop before making a right turn.
  6. When approaching a red light (that you're going to stop for) begin your stop at least a block before the light. That will give you ample room for creeping. You will be able to move a little at a time up to the place you actually want to stop. (See #8)
  7. (These are the ones Kim reminded me about) If any little thing upsets you, or you get confused for any reason, or you think you might nod off, just slam on the brakes. Pay no attention to the traffic, the lights, the other drivers.
  8. Drive very slowly -- slower than the speed limit would be good. Things can happen that are unexpected. So, be safe, go slowly.
  9. Parking information: allow at least 4 ft. between your vehicle and the curb. Also, the yard is an excellent place to park, frees up the driveway for the plumber or UPS.

4 comments:

Kim said...

Don't forget:
Random braking. If the driver forgets where they are, what they are doing or just feels like it, be sure to brake anytime you want to.
Drive slowly and very, very carefully. Who knows what might happen while you are napping/driving? Make sure, whatever happens, that it happens very slowly and very deliberately.
Parking. Be sure to park on your lawn or in the middle of the street, whatever feels good.
Rolling roadblocks are also good for getting to know the driver next to you. Lots of good conversations have been witnessed.
Kim

melissa lion said...

You two are such Californians! Makes my heart proud. Here's what you'll find in Oregon: SLOW. Slow, slow, slow. Slow. Did I mention slow? It's a little maddening. And the only thing that bothers me about this place. Not too bad, huh? Well, you'll make your own Oregon driving manual very soon!

Jeff said...

Having lived in Florida, this made me laugh. I think you have all the rules laid out, I couldn't think of any others. I remember the little heads poking up and peering through the steering wheel. Melissa is right about Oregon - unlike California, people actually drive the speed limit. Took some getting used to (and a couple of speeding tickets).

Gemini Char said...

I live in Florida, have lived in Oregon, and California and I couldn't stop laughing!!! I like Oregon drivers only because they are predictable, slow yes, but it's easy to know what they are doing. My biggest Florida miff is that using turn signals is considered a warning for other drivers to do as much as possible to keep you from getting there.