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Autobahn Society

Stop me if you’ve heard this one: How many Americans does it take to drive poorly? You.

Still safer than how you drive.

I hate bad drivers, but don’t try to agree with me. Unless you’re my parents, or among my Eurasian following (which now includes the Russian Federation), that joke is statistically true of you… and guess what? I love you, as long as you’re calling shotgun. I’m simply a better driver than you. True fact. Never had a ticket, never been pulled over. I had my mandatory teenage fender-bender, but that was back when my driving looked more like yours. I’ve wised up since then, but not in the interest of keeping my children safe. Quite the opposite. Watching little beads of sweat amoeba into their tears, while momma overtakes that slow-ass funeral procession, is one of the unabridged joys of parenting.

If I seem to have contradicted myself, I haven’t. This nation operates under the misconception that speed and danger are synonymous. But, there really is a safer, more efficient way to drive fast, as anyone in Western Europe can tell you. When my sister and I drove from Dublin to Galway—essentially across Ireland—guess how many times traffic cropped up in those 207 kilometers (128.6 miles for you metrically-challenged folk)? Exactly. Because. They. Get. It. Stay in the inner lane. Want to go faster than the car in front of you? Use the passing lane to pass them. And here’s the best part: Nobody throws a hissy fit. Nobody speeds up to try and teach you something. America keeps widening its freeways, but it would be so much cheaper to just narrow vehicular ignorance.

Germany’s autobahns are a prime example of this. They have no speed limit, yet only incur 2.2 fatal accidents for every billion kilometers driven. America incurs 4.5. No regulated speed, but fewer than half the accidents. Why? Attitude. Germans love ihre Autos and their government spends more money on highway maintenance than any other country in the world. They care, and lives are saved for it. Weird, huh? Now, maybe I’m looking at it wrong. Maybe it goes beyond attitude. Maybe it’s a cultural thing. For all I know, Germans could just be an intrinsically sweeter people. I mean, after all, it’s not like they’ve ever held a grudge against anyone.

Yeah, I’m going to Hell (again), but at least I’ll make it there safely.

Super Speedy Fish

Serves one fed-up driver and one frightened passenger

  • 2 white fish filets (I used mahi mahi)
  • 1 bunch scallions, chopped
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • Salt/pepper
  • 1 tbsp pepper jelly (I used local smoky serrano chili jelly—it is SPICY!)
  • 2 tbsp white wine
  • 2 tbsp heavy whipping cream

Melt butter in frying pan over medium-high heat. Add scallions and saute for a minute or so. Sprinkle fish liberally with salt and pepper and place in pan. Saute for 2 minutes, flip and saute for 2 more minutes. Remove fish from pan and top with scallions. Return pan to heat, lowering flame. Add jelly and wine. Bring to a boil whisking constantly. Add cream and incorporate. Top fish with sauce. This entire process only takes about 8 minutes.

Since a worldly overhaul of American driving would be an excellent idea, filled with sense, we of course won’t adapt it. So, how about a compromise? Instead of trying to reeducate bad motorists, let’s just have a more linear way of identifying them. I propose color-coding license plates. Nothing elaborate, just a basic system of markings to represent your driving record and its blemishes. That way, when two unflatteringly-tagged vehicles bullied each other into an imaginary race, the rest of us could sit back and decide whether to root for Team Asshole or Team Shitforbrains.

TWTG says, “I should’ve doubled the recipe—I forgot we were big fat fatties!”


10 responses »

  1. oh my god that was so funny. if you drive fast however, you are obviously not near the 405 at 8am or between 3:30 and 7:30pm. at least not near me.

    i’m thinking you keep cookies in your car for when you do get pulled over. or maybe a nice veal.

    • That’s a great idea. (Although, knock on wood, I’ve never been pulled over.) I used to drive to LA twice a month on Friday afternoons. It sucked!!! After a while I found the train and let me say, thank god for Amtrack. 🙂

  2. The78 is littered with team shitferbrains!!!!!!!!!!! For years I’ve been wanting to lobby for CHP’s to go after slow/obstructionist drivers. TWTG, thank you for the long over-due PSA!

    And for the yummy fish recipe. 🙂

    • I think that bridge construction has caused more accidents in the last month than in the last ten years. It’s freaking awful and I’m with you on the slow drivers on that particular freeway. It has three lanes for a reason. PLEASE don’t go 60 in the fast lane, pretty please.

  3. “Watching little beads of sweat amoeba into their tears, while momma overtakes that slow-ass funeral procession, is one of the unabridged joys of parenting.”
    How many follows has that line gained you? Great post.

  4. Hilarious, thank you for making my day. We have similar ‘shit-for-brains’ drivers in Australia, one of my favourite moves is when the car you’re attempting to pass decides that the motorway entry 2 kilometres up ahead could cause them grief so they move into your lane and continue driving under the speed limit. Idiots!


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