Friday, December 3, 2021

The Readers Reply: Motorists ARE Bonkers!

A few weeks ago this column discussed motorists on I-84 whose behavior is (to use the technical medical term) totally bonkers. That essay generated a ton of passionate emails — almost as many as my infamous column a few years ago that made a couple of light-hearted observations about bagpipes. (I am using, of course, the definition of the phrase “a couple of light-hearted observations” that means: “dozens of sarcastic insults.”)

Unlike the email feedback I received about the bagpipes article, the notes about bonkers drivers all agreed with me, and not a single one expressed a desire to use a loud, shrill musical instrument to perform a colonoscopy on me.
One such email note came from Nancy Naugatuck. (Note: the names have been changed to protect the guilty.) She said, “I am not sure whether Connecticut drivers have become pure maniacs, but I am sure we do need more MARKED state police vehicles cruising along beside us as a deterrent.” 
I understand Nancy’s frustration, but the roads are already so crowded, if we add hundreds of additional state police cruisers, the traffic jams will be even worse. Plus, the state’s pension system would collapse in three years (rather than the currently projected five years) if we added hundreds of extra troopers to the payroll.

Tommy Torrington sent a note with this advice: “Try not to drive more than 9 MPH over the limit. There is good reason legally to stay under Connecticut's maximum limit so you won’t get a reckless driving violation instead of a speeding charge.”
But, Tommy, that means I’d have to start driving 64 MPH in a 55 zone. Nowadays, that’s too slow for even the far right lane. (It might be too slow for the breakdown lane, too.) In the far left lane, of course, no one drives less than 85, unless the driver is a senior citizen visiting from Florida, in which case they usually drive in the far left lane at 37 MPH, with the blinker on the whole time. As other cars race by, the Jesus figurine glued to the dashboard covers His eyes in fear. I think that’s right out of Matthew’s gospel: “Come to me, all you who labor and are burdened, and I will give you rest — but not so darned fast, for Chr-, I mean, my sake!”
Wendy Waterbury wrote and asked a simple question, “Whatever happened to the rule NO PASSING ON THE RIGHT?” 

I think the current rule is that you can pass on whichever side you choose, the right or left, but you’re not allowed to drive directly over the car you want to pass — unless you’re passing a Mini Cooper; then it’s fine since it probably won’t even cause a scratch. 

Wendy also noted that she recently observed a vehicle drive right past a school bus that had its red lights flashing and children exiting the bus. And the vehicle that drove right by? Another school bus! Maybe school buses have diplomatic immunity when it comes to that school bus law.

Larry Litchfield sent me a note and lamented that car dealers offer many expensive options, but not the one he really wants: a rocket launcher. Well, I suppose that would be an interesting way to express displeasure at a reckless driver. However, I suspect there might be a downside to giving motorists the ability to fire rockets at each other. I can’t think of anything at the moment, but some problems probably would arise.

Maybe car dealers could supplement those wimpy car horns by installing loud bagpipes. That would startle a reckless driver into obeying the traffic laws. Uh oh, now I’m going to get a whole new batch of passionate emails. 

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