Tuesday, January 20

There is Always a Catch

When I started pleading with Mother Nature to drop some snow in my yard, I neglected to factor in one major issue: Pittsburghers do not know how to drive in snow. Despite the fact that it snows EVERY year, it seems that there are a fairly large group of drivers that just. don't. get. it.

I get it, though. Living in North Dakota will do that to you. I took my driving test in the midst of a whiteout so severe that I got to skip the parallel parking portion of the festivities since it was impossible to see if there was a vehicle behind me. It's not really that difficult to drive in heavy snow--just slow down a little, increase the distance between you and everything else, and assume that it's going to take twice or even three times longer than normal to come to a complete stop.

Rather than following those basic guidelines, it seems that many Pittsburghers fall into one of two categories. First, there are the OHMYGAWDTHEREISSNOWs. They are the ones that sit hunched over their steering wheels, fists clutched tightly as they crrrraaaaawwwwwl down the road. They will drive 5 mph when the road is totally dry, I guess because they are convinced that the snowflake they saw a few miles back might grow legs, get up, and run under their tire, causing them to wreck. They refuse to switch lanes because OHMYGAWDTHEREISSNOW. They refuse to pull over because OHMYGAWDTHEREISSNOW. If you get stuck behind one, I hope you have a day or two, because you ain't getting anywhere fast.

The other disease that courses through many Pittsburghers' veins can often be spotted from miles away. Does the person drive an SUV? Do they think that 4-wheel drive is a solution for ice? Are they convinced that having an SUV makes them invincible? Then they have Jackassitis. Those with Jackassitis are the people who don't slow down, don't increase following distance, and don't really care if you are on the road with them. In fact, they are stoked that they finally have an excuse to drive their big honkin' vehicle like a jackass, so they speed up, intentionally try to slide, and get annoyed at anyone that gets in their way. They do serve a useful purpose when they try to push everybody else out of their way; they are so close to the vehicle in front of them that snow never has a chance to hit the road.

The only thing worse than encountering one of these people is encountering two of them. That is EXACTLY what happened to me last Friday night as I drove over to a local bowling alley for a little fun. In front of me was the OMYGAWDTHEREISSNOW and behind me was someone with Jackassitis.

It was ugly.

And infuriating.

As the OHMYGAWDTHEREISSNOW slowly craaaaaaawled down the road, the Jackassitis tailgated me from behind. It was a little two lane road with no opportunities to safely pass, but that didn't stop Jackassitis from continuously weaving left of center to scope things out. Every time he or she did, OHMYGAWDTHEREISSNOW would slam on the brakes. Genius! Let's all crash!

Of course, my reaction to being tailgated is to increase my distance with the vehicle in front of me. It turns out that when you are only driving 5 mph? It's really hard to do that. When I finally came to a nearly complete stop, Jackassitis found his or her horn. So helpful!

It took over 15 minutes to drive one lonely mile. 15 minutes that I was the sticky white creme in an Oreo, desperately trying to make sure that the chocolate cookies stayed away. 15 minutes that I was thisclose to jumping out of my car and walking up to OHMYGAWDTHEREISSNOW's window to yell at him or her to just move over. 15 minutes that I was thisclose to slamming on my breaks and letting Jackassitis buy me a new car. 15 minutes that I was REALLY glad I didn't have Alexis with me because girlfriend would have learned a LOT of new words that night.

OK, Mother Nature, I'm good. We don't need any more snow. My heart can't take the stress.

35 comments:

  1. 'Round here, all the ALLMYGODTHEREISSNOWs have SUVs. I spend a LOT of time saying (yes, out loud, with several f-bombs in there) if you are afraid to drive your vehicle for fear of hurting it--stay the * home!

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  2. I've been in that sandwich so many times. And I swear, it's worse when you live in a small town like I do. even when it doens't snow, I hear "You drive all the way to Pittsburgh every day? Oh my goodness, I could never do that!" at least 3 times a week. And they all seem to be driving in front of me when it does snow.

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  4. LOL!!! This is so freakin' funny! The only time I get REALLY pissed is when I'm driving. And there doesn't have to be snow. Honest. Thanks for the laugh. :)

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  5. Dang, you make me wish for snow so I could meet these people...

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  6. Kinda makes me glad we don't get snow here. And that I don't drive.

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  7. OMG, I feel your pain. I could have written something similar.

    I, too, grew up where snow was very prevalent in the winter and I learned to drive in conditions that people around where would sh*t their drawers over.

    Around my house I get the OMGTHEREISSNOWs far more often and I wish they would just stay home. The road is DRY. Please drive. To them, the bitter cold is a reason to drive incredibly slowly, too. Um, no snow on the road, completely dry, no ice, just cold. DRIVE!

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  8. I'm beginning to hate snow.

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  9. Oh I know! I got caught behind am OMGTHEREISSNOW last week on 79. She was driving a minivan, talking on her cellphone, and doing 25 mph on 79. She slammed on her brakes whenever someone merged on and whenever someone merged off. She had all of 79 at a complete stop, brake lights as far as the eye could see. And then! She got off at the Wexford exit in front of me!! I followed her on 910 for 45 minutes going 15 mph. She nearly brought me to tears! I started taking back roads home to avoid the OMGTHEREISSNOW people. They fear back roads...

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  10. Also, don't forget the ever-famous OMGATUNNEL!! and OMGABRIDGE!! Pittsburgh drivers. Seriously, what is wrong with people?!?

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  11. Very accurate description! What is really driving me crazy is the COLD!

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  12. Gah! Those people drive me iNsAnE. All of them. If you're too weenie to be out in it, stay the heck home! And if you want to act like a moron, do it in a private parking lot where you can spin donuts to your hearts content. Or you tip your SUV. In which case, I'd want to watch.

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  13. Anonymous8:24 AM

    I was just in a car accident with a man that had jackassitis! I work at the hospital so I know the symptoms! He came flying off a ramp..I'm thinking to see if he could gain air and fly over all the cars that were doing 25 on a major highway. I live in Michigan and apparently our road commission people have taken the winter off. After this Jackass hit me and sent me doing 360's on the highway..when I came to a complete stop a damn semi truck scraped the back end of me just trying to go around me...it's like "Oh no I'm okay...thanks for checkin" Both took off...neither stopped. Apparently a side effect of jackassitis!

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  14. People here have PERMANENT Jackassitis. No matter what the weather. And then if there is even any inkling of ANYTHING frozen (sleet, freezing rain, snow) all HELL breaks loose.

    I hear ya girl. Glad you are safe.

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  15. Oh holy heck, I complain about this same issue every time it snows here. Which has been a lot seeing that we have almost a foot of snow on the ground.

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  16. This is hysterical - mostly because it is so very true ALL OVER the place! Thanks for the morning chuckle!

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  17. When we were trying to decide if we wanted to move here, I said to the husband that we must so I would no longer have to drive in snow again, to which he responded, you drive in snow very well, to which I said, but no one else does. I love snow, but I hate to get out in it because it makes drivers crazy.

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  18. Oh, I have been there. And I couldn't agree more with you. Enough!

    When does Spring start? Who am I kidding. Cleveland gets snow in Spring too. ;(

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  19. That is probably the only thing I dont miss about snow, is the idiots who can't drive in it.

    Love this post :)

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  20. My car sucks in snow. Truly sucks. Well, when that snowstorm hit the other day, people were crawling on the highway that I take home. Literally, 35mph. Luckily, it was at night and I had another lane to drive in (and therefore passed them going 45), but man, still infuriating.

    The really funny thing is when I lived down south, these same drivers would do the same thing when it would rain mediocrely hard.

    I think we should be able to ban them from not only staying off the roads in inclement weather, but driving in the left lane as well. I hate when I have to pass on the right.

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  21. What is it with drivers and snow?!? It took us 2 1/2 hours to get to the airport in Chicago!!! We missed our flight:P Drive people!

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  22. Hubby & I always say that we want to live some place with snow...
    I think HE means it.
    For me---I think the novelty would wear off quickly, and I'd just go nuts!

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  23. I am an OMGTHEREISSNOW person now, although I do not drive 5 mph. I slow down, put distance, etc., but I do drive all hunched over and white knuckled on the wheel. And I'm doubly ashamed because I grew up in Erie PA, so I do know how to drive in snow. I just get so freaked about it because of having an accident in November.

    I'm trying to work through it. Please don't hate me! :)

    My husband, I am afraid, has jackassitis on occasion. usually because he's running late. We're quite a pair!

    ciao
    rpm

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  24. Trust me, we have both of those drivers here in Maine, and a whole butt-load of snow to boot. Good times

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  25. EXACTLY!!!!

    This was me, in November. Pleading... Wanting that blanket of glittery white and wonderful photographed moments of snowmen and angels.

    But the people... ugh.

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  26. You would think that more snow would mean more competent drivers. Not so. It is just as bad here.


    I am so looking forward to spring.

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  27. I grew up driving in multi-feet of snow as well, in Ohio. And in Pittsburgh too.

    Now I live in the south where people flee to their homes at the early reports that there might be a brief flurry somewhere, for a few minutes.

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  28. I'm just glad you're all okay.

    We had a little bit of snow here in Frederick 2 days ago and there was a 40 CAR PILEUP on I-70. Two people died, and the freeway was shut down for like 6 hours. The first offender, from what I've heard, was a semi. Everything just domino'd after that.

    At least you're okay :-)

    Peace - D

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  29. Yup, down here too!

    Monday, I drove 3 miles and saw at least 9 cars in the ditch smashed against a tree! And we had a dusting. A dusting!!!

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  30. I don't understand what the hell is wrong with people when it snows. I used to think it was just places where it didn't snow, but I really think it's everywhere. Sadly, stoooopidity is endemic to our society.

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  31. This usually only happens after the first snow, or even the first rain, of the season here. So those are days I get lots of OT, because I'd rather be at work than getting my blood pressure worked up.

    I'm impressed with your restraint, once the A-hole hits the horn, I hit the break to see if his foot to break reaction time is as quick as his(or her) hand to horn time.

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  32. I think these people exist every where. The morons in SUVs make me nuts and so do those who freak out in the snow (and often in the rain - WTF?). I want to hurl them both off of a bridge. I probably would have stopped my car if SUV guy didn't look like he would shoot me and I didn't have my kids with me. I have little patience for stupidity.

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  33. This is an awesome post because this has happened to me. What is with the guys with Jackassitis (Because you know it is a guy) weave all over the place like that. Hello!? Moron. Why not kill us all because you are impatient. The best thing was watching a guy fly past me during an ice storm, fish tail in front of me and then put on his brakes, because guess what genius...it is slippery!

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  34. I think we should ship all those non-driving-in-the-snow Pittsburghers out to a remote, desolate, snowy location...such as Cleveland, and make them learn how to drive in it before they're allowed to come back to the Burgh.

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  35. We totally can't drive/deal with snow here either!

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