I live in Baltimore City and work in Washington, D.C., which unfortunately means that I am a commuter. Luckily for me, I get to spend more than 2 hours a day sitting in traffic of varying intensities. During this time I like to observe other people’s driving ‘personas,’ because – well, let’s suffice it to say that you can tell a lot about a person by the way he/she drives.
Through my research I have discovered many new species of drivers who commute along the D.C. beltway, and today I shall unveil two of them.
- The Overly-Caffeinated Bull-Ball Grabbing Business Man, and
- The Self-Righteous Hard Core Rebel Rousing Government Employee.
And yes, they are always male, and you can easily pick them out with a single glance in your rearview mirror. Because no matter how fast traffic is moving, be it 5 or 85, they will be millimeters away from your rear bumper.
Let’s start with the Overly-Caffeinated Bull-Ball Grabbing Business Man, or as I like to call him, the OCBBGBM. First and foremost, the OCBBGBM pioneer will be around fifty and will always be driving a mid-life crisis mobile (a BMW M6 convertible, a Porsche Carrera convertible, an Audi TT convertible…you get the picture).
He is a go-getter who hasn’t slept in 78 hours and has consumed 5 red bulls today (And maybe snorted a little bit of coke, but he has a busy schedule so it’s completely not an addiction). He also firmly believes he should be the Commander-In-Chief and that his white blood cells could spawn a species of super-humans, if only he ever bled.
Upon his stallion of fury (AKA his midlife crisis mobile) he wills the traffic forward via swift horizontal lane changes and pin point brake engaging. If only the person in front of him, and the person in front of that person, and the old geezer in front of that chick, and the next guy that’s in front of that guy up there (and so on) would hurry their inferior vehicles along – if only the car immediately in front of him would move to the next lane over, then – by the sheer power of his glance, the forty mile traffic backup would disintegrate before his very eyes.
Enter the Self-Righteous, Hard Core Rebel Rousing Government Employee, or the SRHCRRGE if you will. Again, it’s pretty easy to pick this species of beltway traveler out by his vehicle, which will undoubtedly be some type of full-sized American truck, usually a Chevy Avalanche with a huge lift, even bigger tires and a pair of balls hanging off the back end. According to his vanity plate he loves Texas (but has probably never been there), and also enjoys skeet shootin’, Nascar and McDonalds.
This American hero usually joins with fellow SRHCRRGE travel companions who man handle backups in a testosterone-fueled wolf pack frenzy, ignited by an unseen yet unrelenting urge to fulfill their mission to …umm… be a lot bigger than the vehicles around them! Because, after all, what’s the point of having a massive truck when you don’t ever haul anything or put anything in the bed? Being flippin’ awesome, that’s the point!
SRHCRRGEs are further identified by the fact that they will undoubtedly enter and exit the highway at Fort Meade, and you’d better be prepared because they mean business. After all – they have those balls hanging off the back of their truck for a reason. And just like the OCBBGBM, these guys want traffic to move, but unlike the OCBBGBM, they’ll use the ginormousness of their ozone-destroying mega machines to demolish the unending line of cars that has parked itself on the highway ahead.
After all – it’s terrifying to ‘regular cars’ to have an overgrown pickup truck following closely behind you…right? Right! And if SRHCRRHEs work hard enough as a pack, they’ll scare the traffic right off the highway, and then they’ll have a ball-dangling death match. The prize? Leader of the pack of course.
But both the OCBBGBM and the SRHCRRGE will not rest until they’ve cut everyone off at least ten times in ten minutes, and it doesn’t count if you try to let them over instead. Thus they’ll wait until you are about to pass them and then they’ll cut you off. Then, like clockwork they’ll switch back to the lane they were in, and within moments will cut you off again. This exercise will continue for the next hour until you reach your destination.
It’s true, and because of their tireless efforts every day, I believe I owe both species a big thank you. So thank you OCBBGBM, and thank you SRHCRRGE for always being there in the mornings to keep me on my toes, thank you for testing the durability of my breaks and helping me perfect my downshifting, thanks for illustrating to me that my car is not very large, and most importantly, thank you for improving my reaction time.
I hope you both have a great weekend full of polishing your speedster and cleaning your massive tires. I’ll see ya Monday morning, 5:30 sharp.