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03/19/2004 Entry: "Go, Speed Racer, Go!"

Edamood: wahhh.

I got pulled over and ticketed for the first time in my life yesterday. *weep* It could have been much worse than it was, though. I was stuck behind a slow moving truck, so I was only clocked going thirteen miles per hour over the speed limit. Usually Iím doing at least twenty over, and thatís on the back roads. When Iím on ďheadon highway,Ē I do about twenty-five over even in medium traffic. And hereís the kicker: people are still passing me.

You see, I live in California, and I donít care what youíve heard about Italy or New York; you just canít beat bad driving in the Sunny Surfer State, man, especially on the outskirts of the Bay Area. The Bay Area has the best jobs at the greatest companies with absolutely STUPID salaries, but even with those astronomical paychecks, hardly anyone can afford to live here unless they also make naughty webcam movies to sell on weekends. Therefore, you have people (like yours truly last year) who commute hours upon hours from their affordable homes way the hell out in Cowís Back End to their decent-paying jobs in Nearest Civilization, with stops at little drive-through coffee stands on the way.

These poor commuting slobs do everything in their cars but pay attention. Women apply make-up, and Iím not just talking about a little bit of lipstick put on with one hand when trafficís at a dead stop. Iím talking mascara at 80mph. People drink coffee, and when youíre down to the last few gulps of your Starbucks venti half-caff half-fat soy extra hot with whip quad-shot wet hazelnut macchiatto with wheels, you have to tip that sucker back so far you can see the cars behind you without using your rear view mirror. Those A-type three-piece 80-hour crazies are maximizing their drive time by typing busily on their laptops, listening intently to the stock market report on the radio, and yelling frantically on their cell phones that they needed it three weeks ago dammit Jack youíre killing me buddy okay okay okay but I swear to God this is the last time man and then I swear some heads are gonna roll yeah see you Friday six am on the courts.

And then there are drivers like I who simply fall asleep behind the wheel. Sometimes itís not full-on sleep, though. Sometimes my brain just falls asleep, while my body keeps driving. Iíve gone from bed to desk without actually coming fully awake some days. But sometimes Iíd drive into oncoming traffic, and one memorable day I nearly put the car into the bay and ruined the poor Hondaís alignment while wrestling for possession of a bit of the road. You see why I wanted to find a new job before I caught pregnant?

Anyway, I got a speeding ticket (which I fully deserved, I know), so now Iím driving like a little old lady at only five miles per hour over the posted speed limit. This morning someone got so frustrated at having to drive behind me that they passed me on a blind curve over a double-yellow line. Whereís a cop when you want someone else to get pulled over? At five miles per hour over the speed limit, I wasnít even able to keep up with the morning packed-like-sardines traffic on Highway 4. People probably mistook me for a parked car. Iím very sad.

Replies: 6 comments

Oh no! Poor Meriko! ;_;

Do you have to go to traffic school to keep from getting points on your license? Do they HAVE points for bad driving in California? Down here, if you go to the traffic school you don't get points on your license... too many points and it's supposedly revoked. You can only go so many times though. Does that happen in Calif. too?
Posted by Grace @ 03/19/2004 08:37 AM PST

I've traveled around the country a good bit. I've lived in some major-metropolitan areas (Dallas, Denver, Tampa, Miami), and I've lived in some small cow-towns as well (Roswell, New Mexico; Sarasota, Florida; Castle Rock, Colorado). I've driven through Atlanta, been on the back roads from anywhere between Texas to Florida to Minnesota to Kansas to New Mexico and all the states in between, and I can HONESTLY SAY, that EVERYONE bitches about their traffic, no matter where you're from, but only Californians really truly have the RIGHT to. I saw people pull crap there where the only explaination is that the G-forces they pull at driving the speeds they do must somehow warp their brains.

I haven't driven around New York. I'm thinking they might also have a the same right. But the rest of ya'll can just shut up about your traffic until you've braved the Bay Area.
Posted by Teri @ 03/19/2004 10:26 AM PST

where'd u get a ticket at?
Posted by akira @ 03/19/2004 02:20 PM PST

Grace: Yep, the officer said I could go to traffic school to prevent this from going on my permanent record.

Akira: ...in the car, while driving. ^^; What, do you want GPS coordinates for where I live? Sorry, not giving those out.
Posted by Meriko @ 03/19/2004 03:40 PM PST

California's got nothing on South Korea. Can't think of anywhere else I'd get beeped at for walking on the sidewalk and blocking a taxi as a result.
Posted by Toly @ 03/19/2004 05:54 PM PST

No Meriko. I meant what city where you in. geez. somebody's paranoid.
Posted by akira @ 03/22/2004 01:30 AM PST

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