Wednesday, January 11, 2006


In WA, people pass on the right or the left, as the mood strikes them. I believe this is because
a) passing on the right makes you stand out less, so you're less likely to get a ticket
b) drivers in WA don't understand the concept of a fast lane and a slow lane. They drive at random speeds in any lane that seems convenient to them.

Talking to an elderly woman I know, I express my mild exasperation with this. I say that if everyone would just obey the "If you're not passing someone, move right" guideline, the traffic flow would be much smoother and the roads less congested.
She looks at me and says admiringly, "My, sounds like you've got it all figured out." The sad part is she wasn't being sarcastic. She sincerely meant that my idea sounded interesting and possibly had potential. Kind of a "Well, it's radical, but I guess we should be willing to try anything..." It made me want to cry to realize she's not alone either -- there are probably thousands of drivers who don't get this concept -- so many that having them all killed would be prohibitively expensive...

Another thing:
One time a few months later I saw what looked like her little red pickup truck poking along in the fast lane, a long line of cars stacked behind it unable to pass. Eventually the guy in the slow lane pulled ahead far enough that we could all go around her on the right. I glanced over and saw that it was indeed her in the car, but someone else was driving. I guess all her friends belong to the club where they teach you that all lanes are created equal and patterned driving is Of The Devil.

Unrelated thing:
On my way to a meeting with Hannah and the lawyers. They each charge $250/hr, so a 4-way mtg costs just over eight bucks a minute. I'm late, and speeding, and get caught by the state patrol. Ticket costs me $109. In the time it takes me to get pulled over and receive the ticket the lawyers charge me $125.

Other thing: It has rained for 24 days straight here. The record is apparently 33. I'm willing to stop trying for the record if you are.


At Wed Jan 11, 10:20:00 PM PST, Blogger jay are said...

why can't people figure out the driving thing??? makes me crazy. mostly here in this area people have got it down. A side note to mention is that the average speed here on some freeways seems to be about 75 to 80, so I think the "slower traffic to the right" is non-negotiable. Anyway, good luck there.

bad news about your ticket. can't imagine what it's like to watch all those dollar bills heading south, over the horizon. Erk.

and 24 days of consecutive rain?? thanks for reminding me just why it is I love me some California. :) (to steal some heatherfeather speak)

At Wed Jan 11, 10:39:00 PM PST, Blogger Kylee said...

Too bad about the ticket that really stinks huh...

Your post is kinda funny to me in that I was recently thinking the same thing. I found myself thinking about how in places like Phoenix and Mesa Arizona the typical rules don't apply during what they call the "snow bird season" because all of the retired folks are there for the winter trying to fool us all into thinking they are not old and constantly drive in the "fast lane" only at least 15 miles under the speed limit.

I am guilty of passing on the when the left lane is stoped and the right lane is not..well why not huh?

At Thu Jan 12, 05:33:00 PM PST, Blogger heatherfeather said...

random things about miscellany:

i noticed that i drive, on average, 25 mph faster on southern california freeways than on denver freeways.

in denver, semis can drive in any damn lane they feel like driving in. so, it's fun when you're on a 4-lane interstate and there are semis in all four lanes and then the entirety of traffic is stuck driving 47 mph.

i get very nervous passing semis on the right. so i do it really fast.

i feel like i have to knock wood every time i think about the fact that i've not been pulled over.

sorry 'bout your speeding ticket and lawyer bills, bryan.

and the incessant rain. when i was in 8th grade it rained for 39 consecutive days. we wanted it to rain for one more just to see what would happen.


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