Squatter Story

by Matt Cords at burnout@execpc.com
May 13, 1996

A couple weeks ago I was driving from Cudahy to S. Milwaukee, and was turning left onto 15th Ave. An older gentleman (for want of a better but unprintable word) was crossing the intersection and I was next, so I started my turn when he was 2/3 of the way across.
After only moderate acceleration, I had to nail the brakes because he was only doing about 5 mph and hadn't cleared the intersection. He then proceeded to ever so slowly accelerate up to about 23 mph. This is a 25 zone, but 2 wide lanes each way, houses set way back, etc. so it could easily be 35 if Cudahy didn't need the ticket money so badly. I don't think he even hit the gas; just let that Grand Marquis' idle torque coast him up.

After a few blocks I got tired of lugging my engine and the road was clear, so I signalled and passed on the left side. Einstein on the right just held his horn down and must have floored it, because I was doing 50+ by the time I could pull back over. I made the next light and he didn't, so he must have been driving a whole lot faster to stay a block behind. Finally he caught me at a stoplight, pulled into the right lane, and yelled, "I hope you don't drive like that all the time!"

I ignored him; if he was unstable and P.O'd enough to follow me like that, it would be pointless to start an argument; I had better things to do. I did keep my right foot at the ready in case he had the urge to drag-race me at the light, cut in front of me and nail the brakes.

Instead, he just yelled, "GO GET EM! GO GET EM!" as the light turned green. (Hey, buddy, I didn't want to race, I was just sick of being stuck behind you and made a legal pass!) He finally turned off a few blocks later.

Wouldn't it be nice if people would just decide how fast they want to drive, rationalize it, and allow those who want to and/or are able to handle driving faster past? It seems like the most complete putzes are the ones that turn into speed racer when anyone tries to pass them. After all, isn't the object of driving to get from point A to point B, not to make sure that no one gets there any faster than you do? If I wanted to race, I'd go to the autocross (or road race if I could afford it!) and do some real racing against worthy opponents. Anyone who can't handle driving our already low speed limits should just stay off the road!

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