The greater the change, the greater the likelihood it will stab directly into your heart like a stiletto and abscond with your life.
–Tom B. Taker
As some of you may already know, my wife and I recently made a big move. Excepting a trip to Mars (where I’m currently on file as a one-way volunteer) it ranks as pretty substantial as far as moves go. We went from the quiet rural lifestyle of a tiny goat farm in the Himalayas and a village of 42 souls to one of the most urbane existences possible in the heart of a big city: Portland, Oregon.
What follows are a few of our observations and experiences.
I hate people who think they are above the law. How rude! Such bad form! Like people who park in the fire lane to use the ATM rather than walking the 20 feet from a legitimate parking space. Or people who say they made charitable donations on their tax returns when they really didn’t. I loathe and despise that sort of thing.
People who park on the wrong side of the street also make that list.
Yet here, in Portland, there’s so much of it that it’s hard to imagine that it’s actually illegal. In fact, it almost seems like parking on the wrong side of the street is the norm and parking legally is the aberration. It’s that prevalent.
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I’m only going to tell the truth. If there even is such a thing. And I’m going to tell it as I see it. Feel free to disagree and hate my guts.
Advisory: This post will only contain information of interest if you use fuel and/or eat food. Everyone else can safely ignore this information.
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This weekend my wife and I drove out into the country with our aunt and her friend for lunch. For some strange reason we ended up taking two cars. I think the reason for that was a plan to go separate ways at some point, but they stayed glued to us and that never happened. I’m actually thankful for that since my aunt’s driving scares the bejeezus out of me.
It was a nice day. I took some photographs, we went to a bakery that was rustic and smelled great, even if the actual product didn’t live up to what my nose was telling my brain. We pulled over a got some fresh produce from a self-serve roadside stand. And we had a nice lunch at a grill out in the country.
The roads to get there were rural and in some parts were pretty curvy.
So there we were in our little two-car caravan. My wife was driving so I was relaxing and enjoying the scenery. Out of the blue I heard my wife swear under her breath which immediately got my attention.
We were on a curve with a double-yellow line. That means “no passing.” Not because it’s illegal. It means no passing because attempting to do so on a blind curve will get yourself and probably others killed.
That didn’t stop this guy, though. He was driving like a maniac. I looked just in time to see him fly by on the double-yellow line. “What an asshole,” I said. My wife informed me he had just done the same to our aunt’s car that was directly behind us.
As often happens in cases like these, a little bit of mini-karma was dispensed. In other words the asshole car was now behind the truck that we were previously following. The roads were still curvy and Mr. Asshole was tailgating that truck like no tomorrow. Suddenly he saw a little opening, still on the double-yellow, and made his move. Yikes, a car was coming right at him! He managed to get out of the way and back behind the truck just in time.
That seemed to mellow him out some. He remained behind that truck all the way to his destination, which turned out to be the same parking lot as our restaurant. The asshole’s crazy move had saved him a grand total of fifteen seconds.
My wife, who is a skosh more assertive than me, wanted to go confront the guy. I settled for standing there and glaring at him. He backed into a parking spot in front of the country store and got out of his car. He looked pretty much like you’d expect – a total scuzball.
“What was so friggin’ important?” my wife and I both wondered.
We watched the dude pop his trunk and proceed to unload lots of bags full of cans and bottles. The big hurry was that the dude was about to get his $2.00 in friggin’ bottle money!
Now that I think about it there just might be a chapter about driving in the book I’m writing entitled Society of Assholes. (Deliberate understatement alert.) If I knew the dude’s name I’d dedicate the chapter to him.
What an asshole!
Please enjoy the musical pairing that has been selected by our chef for this post: