Over the last few days, I’ve been having major issues with bad drivers in DC. On Saturday I drove around for an hour looking for a parking space, with zero luck. (It was ok because I was listening to the Hokies, until it wasn’t ok because the radio went out on when Wake Forest had 4th-and-3 from the 5 yard line with less than 10 seconds to go in the game. Tech won, but still.) Not only could I not find a parking space, but I encountered every idiot driver and walking tourist possible. No, it’s not acceptable to drive around me because I’m stopped at a red light. No, it’s not acceptable to walk into traffic when I have a green light.
On Sunday, as Danielle and I returned from Ikea and Whole Foods, I had the joy of merging on to the Beltway, which isn’t as hard as most DC drivers think, as evidenced by my simple demonstration. (Exhibit A: The friendly man on Sunday morning who gave me the finger because I didn’t slam on my brakes as he sped up while trying to merge into my car. I forgot the old lesson that he who is not already in traffic has the right-of-way. Ass.) After getting on the Beltway, I immediately began dodging random junk falling from the pickup truck two cars in front of me. The driver felt it sufficient to throw over-flowing open boxes into his truck and shun any sort of tarp. At 65 miles per hour, what could go wrong, right? Objects I ran over included swimming goggles, cardboard boxes, a lunchbox, and a happy meal. I switched lanes before the inevitable dead fish smashed my windshield.
And then, Monday happened. As annoying as working on government holidays is, I get a reprieve from the Worst Mass Transit System in the Universe™ because the highway HOV restrictions are lifted. Driving into the city on a holiday is 25 minutes of Howard Stern-induced bliss instead of 60 minutes of commuter hell. Yesterday, as I drove through the one way street next to my office building looking for a parking spot, I noticed the only other car in front of me stop. Beyond comprehension, the the tail lights lit up and the car started driving in reverse, coming straight at me. As the car got nearer, I stopped my car and honked my horn to remind the driver that I was trying to share the road. When the car didn’t stop hurtling towards me, I shoved my hand into my steering wheel to blare the horn into one continuous note. The car drove in reverse, parallel to my car, with 4 inches of space separating my car from acquiring a blue paint job on the driver’s side to counter the original metallic green paint. What inspires someone to do this just to get a parking space half-a-block behind? But the day wasn’t over.
Leaving the parking garage after work yesterday, I pulled out of the garage and turned right onto the one way street. As a reminder, a one way street means I can only go one way, so I turn right because it’s the only way I can turn, even though going left would get me home faster. After driving about 3 car lengths, an 18-wheeler pulls out of its loading dock as the driver looks directly at me and the empty road behind me. Rather than wait for an extra 3 seconds to let me drive by, he pulled out and proceeded to execute a 27 point turn, including a two minute delay in which the security guard gave me the stop sign (even though I wasn’t moving) and the truck driver left the truck and went inside the building. With the truck blocking the street. Blocking that one way street that I was driving on, in which the only way out was under the truck of over the wall. People are stupid.
To every driver I encountered over the weekend: a little common sense would be nice. Until then, I will now request IQ tests be required of all applicants at the DMV.