Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Respect the Van

My car is midnight blue with a 240-hp, 3.5-liter V-6 engine, a marvel of modern Japanese technology...complete with eight cup holders and seating for seven.  Yes, I drive an eight year old Honda minivan that is usually full of goldfish cracker crumbs and smelly soccer socks.

After careful scientific studies (and a whole lot of my very biased opinion), I have come to the conclusion that other motorists have zero respect for minivan drivers.  This is something I always suspected--it seemed I was getting cut off a lot in traffic, cars pulling in front of me, shooting out of driveways instead of waiting the two seconds it would take for me to pass by.  I began to feel that I must have a sign on the front of my car that read "Go Ahead, I'll Wait."  Or maybe "Don't Worry About That Turn Signal, I Have ESP." 

I didn't really think about it while driving our spare car--a Toyota 4Runner--, but when I picked up the van from the shop and was driving it home people were speeding around me on the freeway like I was a grandma in an Oldsmobile doing 45 mph in the fast lane.  The following day I was cut off twice, both times I was lucky I was looking or I would have been walking home...on crutches...with a bruised hand after having punched the idiot who insisted on pulling in front of me when I was doing 40 mph in a 35 mph zone.

I am tired of being the responsible driver, but I also value my life so I watch out for the kamikaze drivers and continue to wonder if it's me or my vehichle.  Is there something I could do to make my van more menacing?  A skull detail and some flames?  How about a bumper sticker containing a few choice 4 letter words?  Maybe a few dents and a side mirror hanging off--I know I always give those kind of vehicles a wide berth.  Maybe I should swerve more.

The other day I took the van back in for one last service and was driving our 4Runner through the grocery store parking lot, when from the corner of my eye I saw a flash of yellow.  Thank goodness for reliable brakes, because I narrowly missed the older gentleman on a bicycle, riding hell bent through the parking lot trying to pass in front of me.  That's right, I was cut off by a senior citizen...On a bike.

Crud.  Maybe it's just me.

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