Saturday, May 30, 2009


(now you've been warned)

now that i am driving for a living, approximately 470 miles per day, i've become quite opinionated about driving and other drivers, especially the stupid ones. and yes, i know i'm not supposed to call them stupid, but they are stupid idiots. and i had my fill of them tonight.

maybe it has something to do with friday nights, i'm really not sure. last friday night as i was traveling northbound in one of my 3 northbound lanes, with a very large median separating me from the southbound lanes, i encountered two vehicles coming right at me in the far left lane. of course i moved over to the right, but there they were, cruising down the wrong side of the highway. how do you even get on a highway backwards? you'd actually have to get on at an exit ramp. like i said, stupid. but even worse, dangerous.

so tonight i encountered some very cautious drivers as i started my return trip from charlotte, n.c. back to lynchburg. the cautious drivers had their hazard lights flashing. i saw seven vehicles with hazards on in a period of about 30 minutes. to me, that seemed like a lot. but at least they were being cautious.

onward north we approached greensboro and there were bright orange lighted highway signs that are used to communcate vital information to drivers. the first two signs said:
140BU NB

and as i was approaching my exit quickly, trying to make out what the letters stood for, i realized that my exit, from a major interstate highway to another major interstate highway, was completely closed. blocked off. orange cones and blue flashing lights abounded. nope, there was no accident. just major highways closed on a friday night. i never was able to figure out exactly what that sign meant other than "major roads closed ahead" which would have been much easier to understand.

so with a bit of frustration i exited where i was forced to with detour signs posted all the way up the exit only to disappear as soon as we were on the next road. okay, now i've been detoured and i have NO IDEA how to get where i want to go. i stopped at the first gas station, with, no lie, 8 other cars, to get directions. the guy with the mop was very patient helping us one by one.

as i followed his recommended route i found myself behind two tractor-trailers and thought this was likely a very good sign, as they were likely trying to get back on the highway as well. i was happy to follow them. until they slowed down. way down. and in the middle of a two-lane road. and then i saw it. an overpass. a Low overpass. and as the first truck inched under the overpass, the sign which posted the maximum height requirements scraped against the top of his trailer. at this point, all i could think was "stop the insanity!"

luckily, there was enough room for my car and a few behind me to squeeze by the stuck truck and get on our merry ways. if i was the truck driver, i would have been cussing way more than i already was. i wonder if they are still stuck?

back on 29 north, i knew i was going to be later than usual arriving home, but at least i was once again, homeward bound.

but is my driving adventure over? Nooooooo.

crossing the state line into Virginia requires a relatively sharp turn in the road requiring a safe driver to slow down from 60mph to 45mph. i slowed down and as i rounded the corner i noticed a stopped vehicle in the left lane. i slowed down even more. then i noticed a spun-out vehicle in the ditch of the shoulder facing the wrong direction. and then, i glanced to make sure i didn't hit any one of the 6-8 men standing out in the left lane. we don't need another accident, right? so what does the pickup in front of me do? he Slams on His Brakes so he can get a better look at the situation! there is no one in front of him and he is already past the "incident" but had to crane his neck back to get a better look. i bet his neck stopped craning at stopped traffic when he heard my tires squeal behind him as i had to hit my brakes and swerve into the opposite median to avoid hitting him. i laid on my horn. he s-l-o-w-l-y starts creeping forward again. at this point, i'd just had it altogether with stupid idiots who are allowed out to drive on major interstate highways on friday nights.


and an hour and a half later, i pulled into my peaceful driveway and opened my car door. i was greeted by the most pungently sweet smell of honeysuckles that i have ever experienced. all i could do was breathe in the night air, intoxicatingly sweet. after all, this IS mirembe hollow, and at the end of a long day, i have returned to my peaceful home.


"it is good to remember that we need each other greatly, you and i, more than much of the time we dare to imagine, more than most of the time we dare to admit." - fredrick buechner

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