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Exhausting a metaphor

I have to confess I am a bit of a leadfoot. I drive a bit faster than I probably should. On the other hand, I consider myself a fairly safe and considerate driver. I've never received a single moving violation in over 20 years of driving. I am a militant about things like directionals and seat belts and the like.

Today, I was reminded of one of my pet peeves about other drivers. I got stuck behind this twit who decided that she was going as fast as anyone should, and decided to camp out in the left lane. She didn't care how many people lined up behind her; she was going to stay right where she was.

I have decided that the day I hit the lottery is the day I install a rocket launcher on the hood of hte Shaggin' Wagon. If they are very lucky and I am feeling particularly magnanimous, I'll give idiots like her a warning shot.

As I trundled along fuming, it occurred to me that the highway I was on was a perfect metaphor for American politics. It's OK to occasionally veer left, but you can't stay there. The only people who stay one the left are the selfish, the arrogant, the stupid, and the insane.

It was at about that point that I started wondering if they really had fixed that exhaust leak last week...


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Comments (26)

That is an excellent metaph... (Below threshold)
Charles Bannerman:

That is an excellent metaphor for the left wingers. I'll remember it the next time I'm on I-95 behind some Ontario motorhome going 45 miles per hour.

Hehe, I can quite share tha... (Below threshold)

Hehe, I can quite share that feeling :) That is really a problem in the US sometimes. I'm just happy here in Germany we still don't have any speed limits on most highways. Which sort of educates people not to drive in the left lane at anything below 100 mph...because you're prone to have a xenon-light-wielding BMW, Audi, or Porsche hunt you down at 150 mph sooner or later :)

Where I grew up in Jersey w... (Below threshold)

Where I grew up in Jersey we used to call them New York Drivers.

Still seems appropriate.

But not all left lane hogs are there because they want to make you go slow. Some are so scared of highway driving and people passing and merging from both sides that they camp out in the left lane and think that means they don't have to look left or right, or in their rear view mirror. Not that it makes any sense, but my first girlfriend's mother drove that way with that explanation. And yes, they were left-wing Quakers...

Sergey: Been there and don... (Below threshold)

Sergey: Been there and done that. I still miss my hooptey '89 700 series BMW. The real problem was when I returned to US it was to California. It took a while for me to readjust to the right lane being the passing lane.

I have decided that the ... (Below threshold)

I have decided that the day I hit the lottery is the day I install a rocket launcher on the hood of hte Shaggin' Wagon. If they are very lucky and I am feeling particularly magnanimous, I'll give idiots like her a warning shot.

Anyone remember the RoadBlasters arcade game?

It's OK to occasionally ... (Below threshold)

It's OK to occasionally veer left, but you can't stay there

Change "can't" to "shouldn't" and we haev a winner!

Jay Tea, Directionals? Is t... (Below threshold)

Jay Tea, Directionals? Is that Yankee for blinkers? And do you mean the Estates-General left/right? By his lineage that would make W a (closet) monarchist and you may have something there! The Marxian dichotomy, though, would be more objectively true and would place W on the left-radical area of the continuum. (Democratic socialism and internationalism) Sorry! So, adhering to DC naming conventions your hero's a LIBERAL Republican. They used to be known as Rockefeller Republicans. ADD the Trotskyite elements that drive the neo-conservative agenda operative in the GWOT and you've got...another Trotsky. A WELL-TAILORED Trotsky, though!

I believe the proper term f... (Below threshold)

I believe the proper term for the driver that you described is "Left Lane Vigilante"

Actaully, doesn't your stor... (Below threshold)

Actaully, doesn't your story show that when you move to the left, you need to move fast? And aren't "slow" drivers consdiered "conservative" drivers?

I think your story just illustrates that conservatives get over in the left lane to slow things down. You know, impose their will on others. Or shoot them.

I think that you (Jay) are ... (Below threshold)

I think that you (Jay) are being arrogant. The posted speed limit is as fast as anyone is legally allowed to go. If you want to go faster than the person in front of you, you should use you turn signal and change lanes. Then, pass the slower vehicle and change lanes once again. Continue to do this until you reach your destination. Just because you feel you're running late, doesn't mean that everyone else should get out of your way. Try getting up earlier! There is no such thing as a "fast lane". If you are walking on a sidewalk, do you yell to the person walking slower in front of you to move out of your way? Of course not! If the person was driving at the posted speed limit or below, they are obeying the law. If you wish to break that law, do it! Just don't ask anyone else to make it easier for you!

Would you hold the door for someone who was stealing item's from your home?

Sorry! I grew up in southern California. It doesn't matter which lane your in there. Someone will always be flashing their lights at you trying to get you to go faster or get out of their way. It's wrong!

"I am feeling particularly ... (Below threshold)

"I am feeling particularly magnanimous, I'll give idiots like her a warning shot. "

You probably assume in your fantasy that because of your actions you will then be greeted with flowers and candy.

I have always thought in th... (Below threshold)

I have always thought in this situation drivers should be given one time in their life to smash into idiots like that with no penalty. Call it a mulligan.

LMAO! Jay, this is so spot ... (Below threshold)
Peter F.:

LMAO! Jay, this is so spot on.

I, too, have the same dream of mounting an RPG or a .50-cal (just in case I miss with the RPG) mounted just above the sunroof of my truck and firing off rounds when some a-hole is doing 65 in the fast lane while yapping on their damn phone, oblvious to everyone behind them.

But to keep with your metaphor...

In Seattle, everyone knows that if you want to get somewhere, then you get in the right lanes and pass all the idiots in the left lane who arrogantly refuse to move over and are getting in the way of progress. ;-)

Rick13:Fact is, the ... (Below threshold)

Fact is, the left lane is considered in most states (when not in a metropolitan area) to be the "fast lane" or "passing lane"...hence the signs encouraging "slower traffic keep right." Some states (unsure how many) have laws that in some way prohibit extended travel in that lane.

Tell ya what....given your concern for the legality of the situation (and yes, you do come across as the 70 mph left lane squatter who's there because "I'm driving the legal speed limit and I'll drive in this lane if I want to"), why not ask a friendly neighborhood state policeman what the left lane is for? Get their input on the squatters. See how they feel about passing someone on the right hand side because they're camped out at the legal limit in the left lane while the officer is trying to get somewhere.

Sorry! I grew up in sout... (Below threshold)
Mike G in Corvallis:

Sorry! I grew up in southern California. It doesn't matter which lane your in there. Someone will always be flashing their lights at you trying to get you to go faster or get out of their way. It's wrong!

No, you're wrong. In California, it's illegal to impede the flow of traffic, even if you're driving at the speed limit or faster. You can get a ticket for this -- I've seen it happen.

Rick13What Jamie s... (Below threshold)


What Jamie said and more.

Obviously you didn't read your DMV Manual very well when you lived here, or bother to read up on motor vehicle law and I for one am glad you no longer live here with your holier then thou attitude.

In this state, California, it is the law that slower traffic stay to the right. You will notice when you refer to the law that is does not say, "with the exception of those traveling the speed limit." It is actually illegal to pass on the right in this state, so the moron in the fast/passing lane that is holding up traffic is violating the law and forcing others to violate the law to get around their rolling road block. On top of which, who in the hell appointed them to an enforcement position?

People traveling in the fast lane, slower then the flow of traffic in that lane, are more likely to be the cause of accidents because they force others to move around them rather then get over and let traffic pass.

While I was growing up in California, my driving teacher and my parents both enforced the idea of using the appropriate lane for traveling in. Maybe you should have had a better teacher.

Speed laws are sort of for safety but mostly for revenue generation, and if you think otherwise, do a little research on how much money your state derives from violations to the basic speed law.

I grew up in California, to... (Below threshold)
Peter F.:

I grew up in California, too, and I second the sentiments of DavidB and Mike G--it's the law in California that the slower traffic must stay to the right, even if you are doing the speed limit. Same law is in the DMV books here in Washington.

I think this is the big problem: Driving tests, both the written and actual driving tests, are too easy to pass in this country. Easy tests=lousy, poor drivers=higher insurance rates for us all.

Speed limit is the speed li... (Below threshold)

Speed limit is the speed limit. Slower traffic stay to the right is correct. However, it does not give anyone the right to speed. You do that at your own peril, i.e. taking the chance of getting a speeding ticket.

Nobody is "forcing others to break the law" by doing the speed limit! You make your own choice on that. Impeding traffic laws were designed and enforced to keep traffic flowing at a safe and reasonable speed. Speed limits are for safety first. Revenue generation only came about when politicians realized they could make money off of people's inability to obey traffic laws.

"Holier than thou attitude", give me a break! You're the one with that holier than thou attitude when you tell anyone else to get out of your way because you're in a hurry!

I'm glad I don't live there anymore either! It's people like you that killed a great state and turned it into a Democratic stronghold with your elitist attitude!

Breaking the law is breaking the law! Whether it is speeding, or illegal immigration, drug use, etc. You either try to obey the law (without interpreting it to suit your situation) or you don't! That's the point I was trying to make.

Left wing? I don't know. Sh... (Below threshold)

Left wing? I don't know. She sounds like she was pretty sure she was Right.

Do not feed the trolls... (Below threshold)
Brett Fife:

Do not feed the trolls

Jay, your post lacks some v... (Below threshold)

Jay, your post lacks some vital information.

While you were in the left lane, were you trying to exceed the speed limit? Was the person that you were stuck behind driving at the maximum speed limit, or was the person driving slower than the maximum speed limit?

I admit that the left lane is for passing only, but on the other hand, the left lane has the same speed limit as the right lane.

Granted, it was wrong for the other driver to remain in the left lane, but if you were upset because the other driver was preventing you from violating the speed limit, then you were in the wrong, too.

It has been my observation that most people who complain about left-lane vigilantes are people who habitually break the law by violating speed limits.

Jay, in your case, I will assume that you were not trying to exceed the speed limit, that the motorist in front of you was driving below the maximum speed limit.

By the way, any motorist who believes that the left lane of a road is a "fast" lane probably won't like my comments in Drivers With Bad Attitudes.

epador, that ny driver thin... (Below threshold)
sean nyc/aa:

epador, that ny driver thing is funny cuz us ny drivers called them jersey drivers. by the way, jersey sucks!

more generally, is the opposite true in england, that you shouldn't veer and stay to the right?

finally, it is important how fast she was going. for ex., if the speed limit was 65, the right lane is going ~68, she was doing 72, but JT wanted to go 75+, I can't really say she was wrong. she was using the left lane to pass. of course, this could be a totally incorrect description of the situation, but it is a reasonable alternative. a better explanation of the situation is in order before we go praising JT and demonizing this unknown women.

If I am going 8 to 10 miles... (Below threshold)

If I am going 8 to 10 miles OVER the speed limit, and in the process continually passing cars that are traveling the speed limit or less in the right lane, I feel no obligation to move over and go slower so that someone speeding up behind me can exceed the speed limit even more than I already am. If a police car or an emergency vehicle or someone comes up behind me with emergency lights flashing, I will move over. But I do not feel I am obliged to drive slower than I want to just so others can go MUCH faster than the speed limit

I feel no obligation to... (Below threshold)
Peter F.:

I feel no obligation to move over and go slower so that someone speeding up behind me can exceed the speed limit even more than I already am....

You get the finger a lot, don't you? lol

Actually, if no one is on y... (Below threshold)

Actually, if no one is on your right and there's no one close up ahead you're supposed to move to the right until once again you're ready to pass someone, no matter your speed. Theoretically you could be doing 110 and still you are supposed to move to the right when there's no traffic. It's not the fast lane, you're right. But neither is it the sit in lane, just because I'm going faster than the occasional slug in the right lane.

I agree with those who have... (Below threshold)

I agree with those who have stated that the left-most lane in a multi-lane road is intended for passing. If a driver is unable to pass without exceeding the posted maximum speed, that driver is required to reduce their speed and return to a lane to the right.

Matching the speed of a vehicle to the right is called "blocking" or "obstructing traffic" (as noted above) and is illegal.

A bit ago some college kids (I think near Atlanta) posted a video of them blocking the traffic by all going 55 to protest the low speed limit. From personal experience (we did that crap too), I can assure everyone that it is illegal. Being cute with a state cop, prosecuting attorney, and magistrate will get you fines and community service.






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