Sunday, February 26, 2006

On driving, maniacs, and the DMV

We had a little "winter weather" here in north Texas over the weekend, which consisted mostly of some sleet and freezing rain. We were also told to expect "freezing fog" overnight, which I've never seen, so I wondered if I would find our turkeys in a state of suspended animation in the morning, or if I would need a pickaxe to make my way from the house to the backyard. Turns out freezing fog isn't a giant atmospheric ice cube, but rather drops of moisture that freeze on anything they touch. But I think my concept of freezing fog would make a good special effect in a movie like Star Wars 7: The Prequel to Parts 4, 5, & 6, which were the prequels to Parts 1, 2, &3, unless you consider the first three movies to be parts 4, 5, & 6, in which case this film is the prequel to Parts 1, 2, & 3, which, of course, are now parts 2, 3 & 4 since this film is now Part 1.

Anyway. I elected not to go out yesterday because north Texas drivers are notoriously bad on good roads, let alone icy roads. I've given this a lot of thought, and I think we have bad drivers here for three reasons.

1) We have a lot of people here from other countries, like New Jersey. In New Jersey, the rules for driving are very different. For starters, the only thing you need to get a license is proof of insanity and a thousand dollars, because New Jersey's state motto is, "Hand Over Your Money." Folks have left the state in droves. The only person who actually can still afford to live there is Bruce Springsteen, and I heard that he's selling salt water taffy down at the shore just to pay the taxes on his bandanas.

2) Southerners don't have a clue how to drive in inclement weather. The only water & ice they're familiar with comes out of a refrigerator door. So when moisture actually falls on their Dodge Ram 9500 (800 horsepower, so you can get to the Dairy Queen and back in record time), they slow down to 8 mph and still manage to end up in the ditch.

3) The Department of Motor Vehicles is a family-owned business, I think. See what you think after this conversation:

Sixteen year old boy enters DMV: "Hey, Aunt Murvaleen! I come in to git my driver's license."

Clerk: "Well, howdy, Jimmy Joe Bill Bob!"

Boy: "So whatta I gotta do?"

Clerk: "Well, shucks. I know you bin driving that tractor since you was 8 months old, so you don't have to take no drivin' test. Jest stand thar and let me take your pitcher."

Boy: "Thanks, Aunt Murvaleen!"

Clerk: "Now you be careful. And remember, you really gotta floor it to get through them yeller lights down by the Beer Barn."

Clerk: "Next!"

Me: "Hi, I need to renew my license."

Clerk, eyes narrowed suspiciously: "You're one o' them crazy New Jersey folks, ain't ya? Cletus, put the cuffs on this one - we're gonna need a week, at least, to check out her entire history and then take a really bad pitcher of her."

Tomorrow I'm going to rant about some of the most common mistakes made by north Texas drivers. In the meantime, I'm going to pray that Aunt Murvaleen doesn't know how to google her own name, or else I'll never get a driver's license again.

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