I love you. You're great. But I need you to know. YOU SUCK AT DRIVING...
It's true. I am the unanimously voted on Greatest Driver in the World. This is something I truly do better than you. I am smooth, uniform, confident, and considerate on the road. I have zero percent road rage. I make the minimal amount of mistakes (which we all know is once a month. Thats the minimal. Thats my max...imal.) I conserve gasoline consumption. I am constantly aware of my surroundings. Chances are, with the way I drive, I've saved countless lives from what would surely be their instant death. However there are a couple things, secrets of the trade if you will, that really distinguish me and my superhuman driving from that of the rest of this world.
1) I've never been in an accident. Nobody my age can say that because when they were in high school they got straight A's for a semester and their parents bought them a brand new '02 Camaro and they took it out at night after the football game and effed it up. I was getting straight D's in high school so my parents let me buy their old minivan. This was a blessing in disguise. First, it taught me to quickly get rid of my pride as a man and a human on the road. Second, that van served as my naptime safe haven from school. I would take the back seats out and put some blankets back there and when school was just too much for me, I would sneak out and doze off in the back of the caravan. Third, that van was large compared to all the Camaros and Civics everyone else had. I had to learn how to drive like a man, ironically.
2) When I lost my pride by inheriting a minivan for my first car I gained a few precious things. I gained an appreciation for the road, as a metaphor and in actuality. We are all on the road, trying to get to where we need to be. We are all the same. Yes we may have cars with different exteriors. Some more beautiful than others, some shiny, some dented and scarred, some held together by a miracle...or duct tape. But we've all paid our dues and deserve to be there and we are doing the best we can. Its curious to see that some people, including me, take after their car, meaning they tend to take on the same characteristics. For instance, I am a minivan. I am not too concerned with looking better than others. I dont need to be waxed, washed and shined constantly. I am all about utility. It is all about whats on the inside with me. I want to be able to take my friends with me wherever I go and, when the time comes, Im going to be ready to take on a family, to provide for them and give them safety and comfort. Some people, like Camaro owners, barely have room for two. You get in their car (or their life) and you feel uncomfortable, like your cramping their style or crowding them. They are focused on the road and not the company. They dont have much storage space for sentiments or memories, just torque, speed, and gas guzzling power. Its strange how alike we are to our cars and how life is like the open road.
3) When Im driving I want what is best for everyone. But you have to follow the rules if you're going to get my consideration. I will gladly let you in....if you have your blinker on. I will certainly stay to the right if I'm slower than you...so long as you are not speeding excessively. I will drive quickly enough....if you don't risk both our safety by riding my tail. Im out there to help. But you have to help yourself before I can do anything for you.
4) This is important to quell your silly road rage. You dont know anyone! Those are people in those cars. Thats a man with a family you just flicked off and stared down. That could very well be a pregnant woman next to you that you're honking at. I had a vision once, presumably from the heavens, in which I got angry at a fellow driver and ran them down, riding their bumper, and honking all the way. The veins in my neck were swelling to the size of a garden hose. And why? Because they cut me off, and sped on down the road like they were in some kind of hurry. When I finally caught up to them in my vison at a stop light, I bolted out of my car and rushed to theirs to begin the all out curse job to end all curse jobs. The man didnt even notice me banging on his window. He was sweating and kept looking over at his wife in the passenger seat. So I looked too. She was in labor, screaming. I sulked back to my car completely ashamed and embarrassed. When I woke up I realized that no one can know whats going through anyones head out there, you dont know what that car is speeding for. All you can be sure of is that there is a person in there with a life just like yours. And we all have too much going on to get honked at while we're doing it. So lay off.
5) This is the most important rule. I have escaped getting ticketed, getting into an accident, even getting in someones way simply by telling myself this before every time I drive:
EVERYONE IS TRYING TO KILL YOU.
If you trust the driver next to you, he will kill you. If you believe the blinker of that car in front of you, it will smash your face in. If you trust in your ability to weave through traffic because the other cars are out of your way, one will swerve into you and throw you through your driver's side window. Whether it be true or not (I tend to think its true) I convince myself that everyone out there on the road today is driving for the first time in their life. So that means I have to step up and show everyone how its done. If I believe I am the best driver out there, then I am in charge and must take charge. This doesnt mean honking my horn, cutting people off, and doing as I please. This means I am the director, the composer, the orchestrator, and everyone else is my symphony. And with the smoothness of a Jazz melody I can confidently assert my will on that of the whole and conduct a masterpiece every time I get into my minivan.
Its all about confidence Folks. Every move I make out there is the best possible move for not only me, but for the entire human race. That type of confidence can only be found in a very rare place. Somewhere deep down. Somewhere quiet and serene. Somewhere like in between the bench seats of a 1990 Dodge Caravan Sportswagon.