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.