Black Pickup Trucks

Watch Your Rear

At the risk of alienating some of my readers, I’m just going to say it. What the hell is up with drivers of black pickup trucks? Is there something inherently evil about that paint color? Last summer, I wrote an article about tailgaters. However, it seems like owners of black pickup trucks tend to take it to a whole new level. If you drive one of these vehicles, I apologize. I don’t know if I’m just getting older, but honestly, what’s the frickin’ hurry? Unless you have a hot date with a supermodel, slow the heck down and get off my butt! However, maybe that was Justin Verlander on my rear end a few years ago, just trying to get home to Kate Upton. In that case, not only should I have moved over, I should’ve also called ahead for a police escort! Bro Code.  

As I mentioned in Gotta Go Joes, I know some drivers will be unhappy with whatever speed I’m doing in the fast lane. As long as I’m in front of them, I’m an obstacle to be overcome. One day I decided to keep a mental tally of the number of times a black pickup truck rode my bumper. I’m pretty sure the final score was around 95%. If you were in the other 5%, thank you for not giving in to the Dark Side. Don’t get me wrong, there are a huge number of idiots on the road these days, and I’ll admit that sometimes I’m one of them. However, it seems like virtually all pickup truck drivers feel the need for speed. There must be some secret Pickup Drivers Training School, where your final exam is to successfully tailgate six inches behind the slowpoke in front of you, for at least five miles.

As I said, there is more than enough bad driving to go around. Just this past weekend, the Woodward Dream Cruise was in town, and I saw more reckless freeway driving than I’ve seen in years. Plus, there is a disturbing new trend on the expressway, where two muscle cars will deliberately hang back in traffic, then have a short drag race. Needless to say, this puts all of us at risk. If you think your car is so bad, take it up to a local race track and see what you’ve got. Otherwise, please leave us innocent bystanders alone. Back to pickup trucks. Although these can be some of the most aggressive drivers on the road, pickup owners are generally more likely to stop and help if you get stuck in a jam. It seems like they live for an opportunity to haul somebody’s car out of a ditch or a snow bank. Black pickup truck drivers, like Darth Vader, we know there is good in you. So, please give the rest of us pilots in the Galaxy a break. I will now get off my soapbox. Thank you.

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Gotta Go Joes

Let’s Be Careful Out There

In the writing of this blog, I don’t normally get on my soapbox. That said, there is an urgent issue I feel the need to discuss. Tailgating. Not the fun kind. With good food, good friends & good football. I’m talking about the kind where a tap of your brakes can get your rear end smashed in, and possibly send you to the hospital. If you read my article Green Highway Signs, you’ll remember my commute is over 30 miles. As a result, I have been exposed to a large number of these individuals who feel their main goal in life is to ride my bumper until I get out of their way. There doesn’t appear to be a speed that will placate these jerks. Whatever my speedometer reads, I’m not going fast enough.

I call these people Gotta Go Joes. What really irks me is after I change lanes, they’ll often pull up next to me, driving the same speed I was going! They just want me out of the way, I guess. I get it. I don’t like being stuck in the middle lane behind a bunch of cars who seem like they’re actually driving BELOW the speed limit! I do have a personal code when it comes to highway driving. If I am in the left lane, and you come up behind me at a safe distance, I’ll get over at the first opportunity. However, if you have plenty of chances to pass me, but choose to ride my bumper and flash your lights like some demented snowplow, I won’t budge. It’s just a matter of principal. I can hear my wife’s eyes rolling again.

My highway code has led to some humorous results. The ride into work does a natural slowdown in two spots. The Telegraph Curve and the I-275 Interchange. One day, a very irate person didn’t appreciate the fact that I wasn’t breaking the land speed record. Even though there was plenty of room to pass, he rode my bumper, laying on the horn and flashing his lights for a couple of miles. He finally gave up and went around, giving me the middle-finger salute, and changing lanes way to close for comfort. However, I had home field advantage. He didn’t know about the two bottlenecks up ahead. I kept tabs on him as we crawled our way through the first slowdown. When he came to a screeching halt at the second stop, I couldn’t resist laying on my horn and returning his salute as I sped by. Was I proud of myself? No. But you know what they say about karma buddy!

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