Wednesday, May 13, 2009

An informational and unathorized study in summer traffic patterns. Yeah it's pretty much as riveting as it sounds

I'm going to just say right off the bat here, that if you are from Illinois or Minnesota, or you know someone there, or you just feel really friendly about either state and their respective drivers, then you might want to just stop reading now. Or, actually keep reading and maybe take some notes, because you might learn something. Or, you might send me hate mail. Either way. I just thought you should know.

That said.....I do a lot of driving, especially since all of my doctors are in a city 30-40 minutes away. I spend a lot of time on the interstate. I wish this wasn't the case. This is why: Wisconsin is too damn close to Illinois and Minnesota (see headlines over the winter declaring it Minniconsin - I don't think so).

Typcially, this doesn't bother me - especially when I decide I want to go to Chicago or the Mall of America (because what's better at M of A then no sales taxes on clothes!) Then summer and the traveling season rolls around again, and I get all stabby at the thought of having to drive with those people.

I personally feel like there should be a toll for entering Wisconsin, but only if you are from Illinois. And in the travelin' season - Minnesota. I'm not 100% sure what exactly happens once the border is crossed, but obviously it's no good. No good AT ALL.

It's much like the phenomenon that occurs in Door County where, apparently, all tourists must check their brains once they cross the bridge in Sturgeon Bay. You can pick 'em up on the way out, but, my understanding is, once you cross that bridge you basically lose your mind. Litterally.
Back on task here - **ahem** there are two ways that people from Illinois drive. One way I can deal with because it pretty much mirrors the way I drive. The other is just plain insane.

Method 1: Just drive really fast at all costs. Yeah you'll probably end up riding someone for a bit until you can finally manage to pass them, or, they get the hit and get out of the way. I pretty much drive like this most of the time so I can respect this method. I suspect that these drivers are from the Chicago area. Or former Milwaukee dwellers, because this is also how everyone on the expressway drives.

Method 2: Basically this methody entails driving like the biggest asshat KNOWN TO MANKIND. You pretty much just work really hard at making my blood pressure just completely skyrocket which is fairly hard because I have really really low blood pressure. So good job. This is what it looks like:

Step one: Get in the left lane and act like you are going to pass everyone in the right lane
like you should be doing

Step two: Come up along a semi. This is probably why you got in the left lane in the first

Step three: Once you are along side the semi - rather than speeding up, or at least staying
above 70, slow waaaay down. Like to 65 or slower. Do this completely inexplicibly. It works
best if you not even behind anyone because then you just deepen the mystery. I'm not sure
what you're doing during this time. Examining the possible "art" on the semi bed? Admiring
the mud flaps? Day dreaming about life on the open road??

Step four: Feel pretty smug knowing that you have now just completely enraged the 20 or
so cars that have built up behind you in the meantime. Hahaha - yes, you are king of the
assholes now!

Step five: Once you have finally passed the semi, put on your turn singal indicating that you
now intend to move to the right lane - finally. Do you hear the sound of cheers behind you?

Step six: Leisurely change lanes while the first car behind you practically runs you off the
road because they are so glad you are mercifully getting out of the way.

Step seven: Now that you are in the right lane, and are sure that the car trying to pass you
for the last eternity is going to now try and blow by you at the speed of light they are so mad,
you must speed up to that same speed. More points if you go so fast that you know they
won't make an attempt to keep up.

Bonus step!: If you do this correctly, you can keep passing the car now desperate to pass
YOU, in the right lane because, you know that unlike youself they probably aren't going to go
100 miles an hour(!!) just to play your game. So, the bonus is that pretty soon you are going to
come up on either a semi or much slower moving car in the right lane, so off you go to the left
once again and can now start the entire process over!

Such FUN!!

Minnesota pretty much employs the same driving style as method 2, but are typically less dedicated so they'll piss you off for awhile for sure, but probably not as long. Which is slightly better.

So - as the gas prices rise this tourist season, so may your blood pressure. Enjoy the ride!

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