Driving a long stretch of I-40 and suddenly traffic comes to a stop.  My lovely wife Stanna is in the car, and after many years of taking the role of “navigator” a little too far into the realm of “driving coach” we’ve finally got the balance about right.  I know we still have deep philosophical disagreements on certain issues, and this event brought up one of them.  You see, I’m a “line-upper” and she’s a “zoom-byer.”  It seems to me that if everyone would just settledown and file up when they first see the sign that says “Right lane closed 2 miles” then we’d never be forced to come to a complete stop.  Stanna on the other hand, might acknowledge that in theory, but since it’s going to get screwed up anyway you might as well minimize your own screwing, get on down towards the front and then zip in front of a big truck that’s too slow to cut you off.

There’s a third option called “enforcer” which consists of staying in the expiring lane, but instead of zooming by, you pace the lime-upper next to you and keep all those other would-be zoom-byers in check.

We both agree that once you’ve lined up it’s better to get hit than to let in that impatient bastard… or at least we used to be united in this.  I haven’t found myself in that position since I’ve been driving with kids in the car.


“Long line of cars” by Cake

“Wake up! You’re alseep at the wheel” by The Bloodhound gang


Hat tip to the freakonimics blog for the enforcer concept.

Sometimes traffic gets all bogged down and you come to a complete stop and then it picks back up again and you never figure out why.  These NAR (No Apparent Reason) events used to drive me crazy until Ton Cruise explained it to me.  “One person taps his brakes and you can track the disturbance back over 200 miles.  Traffic has a memory.  It’s like a living thing.”

And when we’re cruising along at 55 in dense traffic and Stanna says “slam on the brakes” it makes me smile my most evil smile.


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