I remember driver’s ed like it was yesterday. For some reason I loved that class and I can still recall most of what I learned about the rules of the road; the little things like, who has the right of way at a 4-way stop sign or how to merge into a rotary. I’m guessing that many of you have forgotten a lot of these details and need a little recap, because when I drive on the highway I’m pretty sure I’m one of the last remaining drivers who knows how to use the left lane.
The left lane is for passing. Are you with me so far? This means that unless you are passing someone, you should not be there. I have noticed that many of you are getting into the left lane and just casually riding along with nobody in any of the lanes around you… why? Worse than that are those of you who pass the car in the middle lane that is going 40mph but then the car in front of it doing 60 is the one you want to ride alongside. Is your buddy in that car? Are you signing through the windows about where to meet for some gelato? PASS HIM.
This often feels like an eternity and the car in the left lane will pull ahead just a little and you think you’ll be able to just pass the car in the middle lane and scoot ahead of him, but no. The idiot in the left lane panics when they realize that they are passing a car, so now they might be speeding and they could die. Better slow back down and keep pace with the car next to you, let’s not go all daredevil here. It always feels like some sort of idiot phenomenon when you are on a three to five lane highway and cars in every lane line up alongside each other and travel as though they are in a pack together. It is truly an amazing sight to see, like a flock of rams in a field just running into each other and banging their heads over and over.
I can understand when sometimes you get into the left lane to pass a few cars and then your favorite Toni Braxton song comes on and you have to belt it out. You are a pop star and I love you for that and it’s alright to lose track of what you’re doing when your big solo starts. I will give you a courtesy flash of my lights as a friendly reminder to please speed up or change lanes. What’s that? I’ve interrupted your high note and now I’m the asshole? Well surely if you are that mad at me you should teach me a lesson by slowing down and not getting out of my way. It’s the only way I will ever learn.
Is it complicated? Am I expecting too much here? Riding in the right hand lanes doesn’t make you less hip and nobody thinks less of you. In my opinion, if you are speeding in the slow lane when the roads are empty you’re just smart; statistically you are less likely to get pulled over in any lane other than the passing, even at the same speeds. But really, you can’t recognize that maybe you lost track of what you were doing and just pull aside for three seconds while I politely pass you? It feels like a teenager who gets upset with their parent because they found marijuana and the teen then claims that they are now furious that their privacy was invaded, so they are off the hook. Don’t play that game with me. I might be handling the situation wrong by riding up your back end and screaming sweet nothings about your mother, but let us not forget why this started… you wanted to teach me a lesson by pissing me off, what did you expect, a thank you note? I’m sorry I didn’t think of a better way to communicate my wants and needs, I thought flashing my lights was the friendliest option. Next time I’ll invest in an engraved invitation sent to you personally, courtesy of the middle lane.