On a Lighter — or Perhaps Ridiculously Heavier — Note

Don’t let today’s title fool you — I’m still one angry S.O.B. — but I’ve got a slightly less inflammatory subject for today’s ire.

As someone who commutes anywhere from forty-five minutes to an hour and a half — each way — on a daily basis, I see more than my fair share of offensive drivers. Whether it be those who bypass traffic in a right-turn only lane only to veer back into the main lines at the last second — on my trip, it’s most common at the Edsall Road exit from 395 North, or before the Memorial Bridge on Washington Boulevard — to those who drive up the shorter left-hand turn lane and make a right turn — say at the Franconia-Springfield Parkway exit from the 395 South HOV lanes. A pox upon them all (maybe that new “monkeypox”).

It’s usually hard to tell just by looking at someone whether they’ll be one of “them.” I used to watch out for Jaguars, BMWs, Mercedes, and the like — the rich being notorious for better-than-the-rest-of-us behavior — but while they are more likely to exhibit arrogant driving habits, it’s not a given. I’ll keep a wary eye on them, but I won’t automatically assume I’m gonna have to keep ’em from cutting into my lane (I’m pretty ruthless about not abetting their activities — I can’t stop ’em from doing it altogether, but I can make sure it ain’t on my watch).

But after a careful and thorough evaluation (i.e., I thought about it on my way in this morning), I’ve managed to come up with one sure-fire giveaway: If you drive a Hummer on the streets, you’re an asshole. One, you’re rich enough to afford a vehicle with a base sticker price of nearly $50,000 (or more than $100,000, in the case of the older H1). Two, you’re not concerned with getting a whopping 10–13 miles per gallon (a figure which isn’t reported on either Hummer’s website or the vehicle’s sticker, thanks to a handy-dandy exemption from reporting requirements). And three, you clearly don’t give a damn about anybody else on the road, since even a minor fender-bender would pulverize any other vehicle out there.

Now am I telling these drivers anything they don’t already know? No, of course not. These folks are assholes, they know they’re assholes, and they’re happy to flaunt their card-carrying asshole status. I’m just giving them a general heads-up: The rest of us know you’re assholes too, and be assured that we’ll treat you accordingly.


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