Friday, February 4, 2011

Travels: Part IV - Your Turn Signal, Your Friend

I let Danny take the car to work this morning.  We may or may not get more snow/ice/questionable precipitation, and I didn't feel like dealing with Memphis drivers in weather again.

There are days when I think God moved us to Memphis so that when we moved to Washington, the Washington drivers wouldn't seem so bad.  Because as erratic as Washington Drivers are, Memphis drivers are a whole other brand of nuts.

Why? Well...

1.) Memphis drivers don't like to signal.  I believe the thingy to the left of the steering wheel is colloquially referred to around here as a "sissy stick."

2.) Memphis drivers don't like to stay in their own lanes. Lanes, oftentimes, are merely suggestions. (Mind you, this can apply for both white and yellow lines from time to time).

3.) Memphis drivers don't like to check their mirrors or look over their shoulder before changing lanes.  Often this is lanes, multiple, because hopping over two-three lanes gives them great joy.

4.) Especially at 70-90+ miles per hour.

5.) Also disconcerting, Memphis drivers get lonely.  This is why they like to drive in blind spots.  Now, it's a driving phenomenon that when one driver passes another, he'll unconsciously match the speed to mimic the car he's passing before accelerating past.  Memphis drivers just happen to be more prone to this.  Which is why it's reeeeally important around here to check before shifting lanes, because more often than not, there's someone right there, just hanging,

6.) Even if it's snowing.

7.) Or icy.

8.) Which is why you can get pretty twitchy on the roads.


9.) Memphis drivers tend to view using headlights as optional in the rain or snow.  Or, not infrequently, at night.

10.) The slow lanes are actually in the middle of the freeway, rather than the right. This makes merging a blast.


11.) We watched as a police officer spent five minute trying to parallel park his Dodge Charger downtown.  

12.) Danny stopped laughing eventually.


  1. hahhahaa. THis is hilarious, Hilary. Listen, I'm from Illinois where the Chicago influence runs rampant, but we moved to Colorado & I've encountered a whole different brand of annoying driver.

    In a word: SLOW. They are in NO hurry to get anywhere!! It's really annoying!!

  2. LOL, #11 is awesome. I think drivers are quirky everywhere. Or is it just that I'm such a stellar driver? :)

  3. If Memphis drivers are anything like Augusta drivers (and from your list, I'd say they are), you can't forget these classics:

    -That turn lane in the middle of the road? It's really just another lane for anyone who wants to use it.

    -You don't *really* have to turn into the closest lane (almost got hit when turning right on a green light, and then *they* honked at *me*!!)

    -You MUST drive either 10 miles over or 10 miles under the speed limit. If there's a sherrif in sight, you must drive *exactly* the speed limit.

    -Everybody knows you're supposed to speed up when you go down hill, and slow down when you go up.

    -Your turn coming up? Don't forget to slow down *before* you get into the center lane, and take your time getting over.

    -Your foot must be on either the gas pedal or the brake, at all times.

    Grrr! I'll tell you what, though: My defensive driving skills are amazing now!

  4. Too funny! Maybe you need a helmet to wear in the car like in Benny and Joon ;)

  5. Oh, that is absolutely hysterical. You know what, I'm wondering if that car I saw on the road today...was a TN driver in disguise :) :) I am not kidding, I could identify with all of those crazy driving techniques today..not from me...but other peole driving on the streets.!!! I'm glad you're okay ...and can laugh about it ;) :) Have a great weekend. Thanks for bringing a smile/laugh to my face today :) Love and hugs from Oregon, Heather :)

  6. Rachel:

    Refuge Lane? No joke. Less a place of reflection, more an extra lane that happens to go both ways. Grr.

    Very seldom see the 10 mph under. In fact, you very seldom see speed limit signs.

    Difficult to say about hills, since there really aren't any in Memphis, only gentle rises and slight dips.

    Also, I'm not sure how acquainted Memphians are with their brakes. Difficult to say.

    But yes! Amazing defensive drivers we certainly are!

    Heather - very likely!

    Joanne - Good thought...

    Sarah - I'm sure it's that you're a stellar driver ;-)

    Courtney - I'm so sorry! Is it a higher incidence of old age in Colorado?


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