I’ve driven in most of the 50 states over the past few decades, as well as quite a few foreign countries. American drivers are tragically bad compared to the Germans or Japanese, but our sense of self-preservation makes us more skilled than the French or Brazilians. One thing is clear when you travel around the United States, though: there are more cars on the road every single year, and the ability of people to drive cars seems to decline with each passing month.
This used to drive me crazy, but I think I’ve finally found a way to stay sane and make money at the same time. Instead of fighting something I’ll never be able to change, what if I offered training on how to be a bad driver? Most people have a natural talent, which can be honed to tragic proportions with just a little bit of effort. I’m working on my curriculum and pricing now (and don’t worry, I’ll offer a 10% discount for RideLust readers), but here’s a brief overview of some of the topics we’ll cover in class. After all, if you can’t beat them, charge them for a diploma.
Lesson One: Never Use Turn Signals
Ask any ninja, and they’ll tell you the same thing: never communicate your intentions. The same holds true for driving, so why telegraph your intentions with a directional signal. Instead, just stop short and turn whenever you feel like it. Changing lanes? Just force yourself in, since most other drivers won’t force you off the road and into a tree. As an advanced strategy, we’ll cover how to leave your turn signal on and frustrate other motorists for hours.
Lesson Two: Yielding Is For The Weak
See that guy passing you? He’s going to try and cut in front of you unless you slam the door on him. Denying him the space in front of you will fill you with immense personal satisfaction; after all, he wanted something and you took it away from him. As an added benefit, you’ll get to where you’re going 3/1000 of a second sooner, and we all know that time is money.
Lesson Three: Come To A Complete Stop When Turning
Do you really want to piss off that three mile line of traffic that’s built up behind you? Slow to no more than one mile per hour before making your turn. Don’t forget to block the lane first, otherwise traffic will accelerate around you. If it’s raining, slow down even more, because everyone knows that turning with any amount of speed in the rain just isn’t safe. Once you master the basics, we’ll cover advanced topics like turning right from the left lane and turning left from the right lane: even if you’re not driving a tractor trailer, it never hurts to practice those big rig skills.
Lesson Four: It’s Fun To Brake Check Other Drivers
Think someone is following too closely, or if you just want to have some fun, why not brake check them? You know, slow suddenly and for no reason other than annoying the car behind you? Sure, you could just yield the lane, but that wouldn’t show Mr.-Flashing-His-High-Beams who’s boss, now would it? Bonus points are awarded, posthumously, for brake checking tractor trailers, especially those carrying hazardous cargo.
Lesson Five: The Cell Phone Makes You A Better Driver
See those drivers doing 45 in a 70 mile per hour zone, clogging the fast lane while they talk to their BFF about who won last night’s “Dancing With America’s Next Top Apprentice”? Do you think they woke up one day with the ability to ignore everything around them? Hell no, it took years of training for them to get that oblivious. We’ll give you pointers on ignoring insults, single digit salutes, molotov cocktails and the occasional automatic weapons fire (Los Angeles and Miami classes, only).
Lesson Six: If My Car Runs, It’s Safe To Drive
You know all that safety propaganda you hear about changing tires when they’re bald or replacing brake pads when they wear out? You know that’s just a military industrial complex conspiracy to get you to spend money, right? We’ll teach you how to drive on bald tires (with protruding steel cords in winter classes) and how to brake when you’re down to the metal brake pad backing against your rotors. We’ll also teach you how to ignore brake light failure, headlight failure, low oil pressure and overheating. As long as your radio works, your car is just fine.
Lesson Seven: Using Other Drivers As Rolling Chicanes
Let’s face it, no one has enough time to pay attention to speed limits anymore, and how often do people really get pulled over, anyway? We’ll teach you how to use the highway as your own personal slalom course, which will make commuting fun again. Topics include passing on the shoulder, passing in the median, passing on the right and how not to launch you 80s muscle car into a bridge abutment.
Lesson Eight: You’ve Got High Beams, So Use Them
Do you really care what other drivers think? So what if you blind them with your always-on high beams; it’s not your problem if they can’t drive with their eyes closed. Besides, you paid good money for HID lighting, and it’s your God-given right as an American to use every feature that came on your car. In advanced classes, we’ll teach you how to aim high beams to fry the retinas of oncoming drivers.
I’m probably missing a few lessons, so feel free to hit me up with ideas. Classes will be filling up quick, so be sure to make your reservation in advance. You’ll need to bring your own car, plus your own assault rifle and ammunition in Los Angeles or Miami.
I’d also like to give a shout out to my buddy Corey, whose “Make Someone’s Day Easier: Use Your Turn Signal” piece gave me the idea for this story. Which, incidentally, is tongue in cheek and not to be taken literally. It’s called sarcasm, so spare me the hate mail.