This last weekend the family and I went down to see the in-laws. The drive down is roughly 6 hours each way and once you get there it’s about an hour drive to get to anywhere due to it being very….um….rural. I decided that it was my manly duty to do all the driving because I just wanted something to write about and it always helps to have that under your belt in case the wife and I decide to stop treating marriage as a partnership and start tallying points on who does what in a never-ending competition of regret. That’s definitely not the case but my prior relationships have me occasionally falling back into bad routines. Anyway, I counted roughly 18 hours of driving this weekend. This would be tough for normal people but halfway through my drive home I realized that driving for me is particularly difficult for a couple different reasons.
First of all, my vision sucks. I’ve had the same pair of glasses since 1997 (not joking) which means that not only am I probably wearing the wrong prescription glasses now but they’ve accumulated 14 years of potato chip grease and chubby man sweat which has created a hazy film on them. In everyday situations this doesn’t cause much of a problem but when driving at night oncoming headlights look like the smiles of angels leading me home.
I usually forget this problem occurs and when I first notice it I believe that it’s the windshield fogging up so I kick on the defrost to maximum velocity which warms things up making things extremely comfortable. Maybe a little too comfortable which leads me to my second driving disability.
I constantly get drowsy when I drive. I don’t know if this is just a matter of being over-tired but I can’t seem to keep a constant state of focus when driving. I think this comes from a habit of falling asleep in the car as a child. I’ve always been able to fall asleep in the car mostly because if I did anything else as a child (reading, looking out the window, eating, sitting) I’d get sick. I once had a job where I had to drive to different locations and deliver uniform goods and whatnot. This job included driving a huge truck from about 5 AM to 7 PM each day. I remember a couple of times making the 1 hour drive to different locations in the morning and just closing my eyes for a moment in traffic only to open my eyes again and see that traffic had moved up about a 1/4 mile. Oops. Anyway, the way I combatted this was downing a Rockstar energy drink and becoming a jittery mess for the last 3 hours of our drive home. I treated the highway as my own racetrack and took all that I know about Nascar and started using drafting techniques with the cars in front of me.
It got us home earlier than should have taken but the wifey and I constantly had the “you realize how fast you’re going, right?” conversation. So, at this point I’ve gone from sleepy to wide awake and I’m pretty sure that my heart pumped out of my chest at one point. This leads into my last driving impairment.
The last couple hours of our trip I was no longer Josh but transformed into my stage persona, Joshy G, expert singer and car dancer. I can’t dance when I have to use my legs but my torso is a dancing machine. I move and groove to whatever sweet beats come out from my stereo. It’s like a rave party from the front seat and everyone is welcome to join in. Granted, people rarely do but it’s a party in my head all the same. This was frowned upon during my drive test but I always felt like that guy was a “stick in the mud” and didn’t know how to have fun.
Before you decide to take my driver’s license away let me explain a couple of things. I have a pretty good driving record. I do have 2 speeding tickets but haven’t had one since I was 20 years old which really makes me think that police are on the lookout to give tickets to kids with backwards hats. I also just got into my first accident but it wasn’t my fault at all. I was sitting at a red light for about 10 seconds when I got rear ended. I don’t think there was anything I could have done to prevent that short of installing Vegas style flashing marquees on the back of my car. Honestly, I should be a menace to the road but I think I’m the beneficiary of the “Mr. Burns’ Three Stooges Syndrome” when it comes to driving. In an episode of The Simpsons a doctor does a diagnosis of all of Mr Burns’ diseases and says that he has every disease known to man and should be dead but the problem is that there are so many diseases that they get in each others way and thus he is still alive.
I have so many problems driving but they seem to progress in a way that keeps me on the road and everyone safe somehow. I’m sure that after I post this though the wife may insist on driving more often but seeing as though she knows every word to every song created and will sing every one of them, we might be driving equals. Until they find a way to make my car drive itself though I guess I’ll just keep following angel smiles.