Saturday, February 4, 2012

people observation #24: buckle up

Grandpa drove a black Blazer before he gave it to my brother. From the time Sean got this black Blazer and until I graduated high school, every time we'd get in the car I'd say the same thing to him: "Whatever you do, don't kill me." It probably had something to do with my 54 memories of brushes with death in  the same car. What do I mean? Grandpa never got in any accidents, but he was one of the worst drivers I ever rode with.

My family used to joke about how my grandpa left accidents behind him as he ignorantly putted down the road. 

The more I think about it, the less funny it became, because he probably actually did in fact leave accidents in his wake.

You know the scene in Toy Story 2 where the toys are trying to cross the street to Al's Toy Barn and they travel via traffic cone? The toys cause mass confusion with all of the drivers left on the road. Mr. Potato Head's shoe gets stuck in a piece of gum as a giant cement cylinder, which has fallen off a truck in the scene, almost squishes him. The scene concludes with an establishing exit shot of mass commotion in the road, honking, Disney-style cursing, shaking fists. The cars are turned in all directions, not sure what to do or where to go.

My grandpa was the toys. My grandpa was Mr. Potato Head.

Even from a young age, I knew that he was a bad driver. I'd grab the 'We'reAllGonnaDieHandle' in panic, as if that would provide any safety as a wreck became imminent.

Once Sean and I were driving with him on the highway; I don't actually remember where we were going, but I do remember after a couple miles of his right blinker on, a failure to notice a speed bump at forty miles an hour, the six feet jump we took through the air, and the scariest merge onto 161 that I had ever experienced, he was doing something else against the law. We see a cruiser flash on his blue and reds, and grandpa pulls over, well kind of. He pulled over on an exit ramp.

Stay cool, Erin. I grew nervous as the Highway Patrol man walked over with his little pad and paper.

"How's your driving record?" He asked my grandpa.

With a mild shake of his head, "Beautiful," Grandpa replies.


People are awful at admitting what they aren't capable of behind the wheel. There's that trite joke that says 80% of people think they're above-average drivers, but really, it's actually true.

Have you ever been the passenger of a car where you had no control over the fact that your driver was completely ill equipped? If your life is not flashing before your eyes because said driver's wreckFULL driving, your eye is twitching because they didn't put on their turn indicator for the last three turns. Whenever in the latter situation, I usually mouth a "sorry" to cars that we pass. I suppose when in the former I'm too busy holding on for dear life.

If there's one thing to be learned from realizing you're in the passenger seat of a lunatic driver, it's exactly what not to do. Please use your turn signal. Please don't come to a complete stop before making a simple turn. For godsakes wear a freaking seatbelt. Remember, driving slow on the highway is probably more dangerous than driving fast.

And lastly, whatever you do, don't kill me.


  1. I really want to travel with "travel4moments",...they are too good,...Thanks for sharing about traveling agent,..

  2. Thanks for sharing this wonderful and helpful article,.
    new york day trips

  3. I have read many blogs in the net but have never come across such a well written blog. Good work keep it up
    Travel hacks

  4. This is something really an amazing and nice post,.