Sunday, January 11, 2009

You Do Realize People Die Doing This, Right?

According to the reactions I've been getting, I get the feeling that the vast majority of you see me getting my learner's permit as something to celebrate. This, my friends, is where our opinions part ways.

I mean, don't get me wrong, I'm glad I've got it…but only because I need it. I'm happy about getting my permit in the same way I would be happy if someone gave me a spear to defend myself with in a lion-infested jungle. I'm glad I have it. I'd rather have it than not have it. However, I'd much prefer to be in a situation where I didn't need it.

You see, I absolutely despise driving and I think I know why:

Driving is so commonplace and such a necessity in our society that we approach it in a very matter-of-fact, blasé way. It's normal, we do it every day. Hell, it's comfortable. In fact, it's so comfortable that plenty of people feel perfectly relaxed doing 80mph down the freeway while talking on a cellphone with one hand and doing their makeup with the other.

It's understandable. It's for this same reason that you see those construction guys working up on the high steel, striding across a beam thirty stories up while showing all the fear of a guy strolling around his own garden.

I'm convinced that most human beings are born with a device in our heads that lets us shut out the reality of certain situations when that situation is adequately familiar. The average person would just freak the fuck out if they had to walk across a foot-wide beam a few hundred feet up, but the construction guys have got used to it and aren't scared. It's the same with driving.

I'm also convinced I was born without this device.

You see, whenever I get behind the wheel of a car, I'll be driving along quite happily when suddenly something in the back of my head goes:

OMFG! WE'RE HURTLING ALONG AT 50MPH IN A BIG METAL BOX!!!! HIT ANYTHING AND WE'RE PEOPLE PATE!!! YOU DO REALISE THE HUMAN BODY WAS DESIGNED FOR A TOP SPEED OF ABOUT 15MPH. RIGHT????

Yup, no matter how hard I try, I can't 'forget' that one ass-hat pulling out of a side street without looking is the difference between arriving on time and arriving at the hospital with a complete set of shattered limbs.

However, the main reason I hate driving is the other drivers. I think I'd be perfectly happy to drive around all day on empty roads. The problem comes in with the aforementioned dickweeds who you see driving along with a cell-phone cradled against their ear while they're munching on a Big Mac and fiddling with their radio.

You see? That Big Mac muncher isn't thinking about how looking at his radio for an instant too long will leave him wrapped around a lamp-post.

Last but not least, I'm going to admit something that no male has ever admitted before: I'm just not a very good driver. I never feel like I'm 100% in control of my vehicle. 90% in control maybe…but still not 100%. Basically, I'll take my test because I have to, drive because I have to…but I don't think I'll ever be 100% completely in control.

Oddly enough…I actually feel more in control and far safer on a motorcycle.

Anyway, as far as I can see, there are only two definite upsides to getting my permit.

  1. I finally have a piece of commonplace state-issued ID…meaning I don't have to show my greencard and get looked at like I've just grown an extra head.
  2. With living out in the country where all the roads look exactly the same to me and almost zero geographical knowledge once you get more than five miles from my front door…getting a GPS isn't a luxury but a necessity…and gadgets are always cool.

 

6 comments:

Evan 08 said...

-We do disagree about driving. I agree that driving can be hazardous... especially driving on snow like RayRay and I are doing this time of year. All you can do is pay attention.

You can't control things that are beyond your control, and worrying makes you more tense, which can increase the likelihood of a fender-bender. Besides, most accidents are NOT fatal.

-Are you going to get a motorcycle???

-GPS = fun new toy.

rayray said...

the fun part of driving is looking forward to all of the jack-nuts in their big ass 4x4's that think "i've got big ass tires, i can drive on ice no problem!", only to see their 'white-elephants' nicely wedged halfway down the median.

today's word verification: session.
how's THAT for normalcy?

Sunny said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Sunny said...

Evan- I can answer the question about a motorcycle....He absolutely will NOT be getting one(unless he agrees to let me get one too)......He won't let me get one (altho I've been trying to persuade him to let me get one for the past five years) because of the nutters on the road.(....plus he says He's seen me ride a bicycle-which I still say has nothing to DO with it because the bike had a warped RIM on the FRONT wheel and NO one could have rode the thing 30 MPH with it warped that badly)........I should have bought a motorcycle before we got married- then it wouldn't have been such an issue.
Maybe there's still hope tho.
;-P

marie said...

Paul, i just want you to know I sympathize completly.Everyone thinks Im a bit strange because Im 25 and don't have mine yet. I get behind the wheel and my poor brain does the same thing though.Which I see as a danger to my health ,not to mention all the other drivers I may injure. I know Im a terrible driver, cars feel totally alien to me. So good luck to you.

Sunny said...

Well, just look on the bright side sweetheart...you'll be getting a cool gadget(GPS) for the car when you get your full DL.....

Owwwwwwww- shiny!!!!