I consider myself to be a gentle, easy-going, control-freak type of person with compulsive-obsessive tendencies. In general, as long as you do as I say, agree with all of my opinions, and have the same interests as I do, we’ll get along just fine.
“It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it.”
Just so you know where I’m coming from, here’s a list of things not to do around me.
1. Blocking the Left Lane on the Freeway
Other than firing armed veterans in post offices and listening to AM talk radio, this has to be one of the most anger-inducing behaviors known to man. Over 20 states in the U.S. have even passed legislation about this, with telling titles like “Road Rage Reduction Act.”
The drivers that commit this offense will enter a freeway, swerve to the left lane regardless of traffic, stay in the left lane come hell or high water. They will dive for their exit just before they pass it up. These drivers are ostensibly driving to the dealership to repair their broken rear-view mirror, but are in fact merely trying to annoy other drivers.
You may wonder, don’t drivers generally have the right to drive in any lane they want within the posted speed limits? In principle, this is true. However, the next time you go shopping for groceries, I will stand in front of your favorite cereal, denying you access to it, because I can. And if you really want this cereal, you can go over to the next aisle and reach through the back of the shelves to get your cereal.
If this is your driving style, please, please, please, get a clue.
I have no problems with brats, burgers, and beer in a parking lot before football games, but tailgating on the freeway at 80+ mph is too much. Please, do your grilling responsibly.
(So there I was, driving home late one evening on I-696. A black Ford Focus moves into my lane ahead of me. It seems to have a personalized license plate, so I decide to get closer to read it. The plate read: RU2CLOS. Naturally I proceeded to tailgate it to its exit.)
3. Weaving through Traffic
One of my favorite video games growing up was Pole Position, a driving game. I played a different version of this game on 8 Mile Road (yes, the same road with a movie named after it. Apparently that guy went to my high school). The idea was to stay in front of the traffic pack to catch the green light. It was often necessary to weave through traffic to stay in front and hopefully get an open slot (lane) for the green light.
Man, was I stupid.
Driving like that borders on dangerous, and it gets worse at higher speeds like the freeway (see: Laws of Physics). I think it’s possible to “gently” weave through traffic, but most people who weave tend to be more aggressive about it. This YouTube video shows an extreme example of dangerous weaving.
While I admit to driving fast, I try to do it safely. That may sound paradoxical to some, but what truly is safe? If really you want to drive safely, stay at home.
I have to admit that I sometimes commit #2 and #3 of this list because of people doing a #1 get me all cranky.
[update: 2010-05-05] I realized that I keep updating my pet peeves list and rearranging positions. I’ll post a full list one day.]