Tobe Frank: Patience is a virtue

To be frank, I’m glad I’ve learnt some patience over the years. No, not just because the missus has no sense of time (was late to her own birth) or direction (couldn’t find her way out of a sandwich wrapper) or for that matter, couldn’t drive a stick up a dog’s…but because I think we need more and more patience to put up with some of the godforsaken lunatics in this world…and most of the buggers can be found on the road…or should that be up the dog’s…as well?

Holy hell! Maybe I notice it more now that I am retired and have no place to be in a hurry. Maybe it is just because I’ve crested the hill on the road Toleranceville? Is it just me or is it getting more prolific? When did it become O.K. not to indicate? Were coupons for mental telepathy seminars being given out in cereal boxes recently? I must have missed it. It’s becoming apparent to me that we’re all supposed to know where the person in front of us is going.

What’s more, we’re not allowed to slow down to turn off on to a side road either. The amount of people who have been honking me and gesticulating all sorts of inappropriate sign language recently had me believe that my indicators or brake lights weren’t working. I pulled over and had the missus check them but they were all in good working order. So apparently I’m supposed to just keep driving until all cars behind me have gone around or cleared…either that or learn how to drift around corners at full speed like they do in the movies! I was beginning to feel like a clot in the vehicular veins of our society.

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And don’t get me started on those that refuse to allow a solitary car to merge, particularly in heavy traffic where no one’s really getting anywhere in a hurry. Some people even speed up to the point of risking crashing into the car in front, JUST SO YOU CAN’T GET IN! Do these guys think there’s a checkered flag and a podium for them to stand on at the end of the road? A magnum of bubbles and a pretty girl waiting for them to celebrate a terrific drive to the office? In my world a podium finish is getting to point B in one piece.

Now I’m not saying that I’ve always been a saint on the roads. I’m guilty in my younger years of being far too cool for school, flippin’ the bird, tailgating other cars so close that I could change their music, and weaving in and out of traffic like a schizophrenic trying to decide what foot to put in the left sock. I’ve mellowed over the years though and decided it wasn’t worth it. Ultimately, the guy who drives like a selfish knob or flips the bird is the one with an overwhelming deficiency of intelligence. I’m not really inclined to lower myself to their standards anymore. On the contrary, I get far more personal pleasure from letting people in…sometime I let everyone in just to stick it up the impatient wally getting all hot and bothered behind me. That’s about as far as I go these days.

It does remind of a Frank family tradition though that the kids use to think was hilarious and that was ‘The Frank Family Stare’. On cue, given the opportunity to ridicule some amazingly idiotic piece of driving, the entire Frank Family, yes all five including the missus, would simultaneously rotate our heads violently towards the relevant window, getting as close to the window (and on some note worthy occasions we’d even wind the window down to get even closer) and execute a synchronised stare of Olympic proportions. Most of the time the other driver and their passengers were completely unaware of what we were doing and why, which is not surprising given they were oblivious to their complete lack of driving skills in the first place.

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Clearly the cereal box had come into play again…sometime in the past handing out driver’s licenses.

Come on Miss Daisy…let’s go.

 

What are your gripes on the road? Do you think drivers are getting worse? Tell us about it today!