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Also cute and fluffy...

I just want to note: when you're driving a Mini, you may be many things. Cool. Cute. Whatever. What you are NOT, is "intimidating".

It's not like the old Saturn *was* intimidating, mind you. It was a sedan, after all. It had the virtue of surprise, I think. (As in, "yes, it's a Saturn sedan, you don't expect one of those to blow by you this fast, do you?" I never got a speeding ticket in that thing.)

But anyway. My point is... maybe it's entirely coincidence. Because this is the Boston area, after all. Not known for its courteous drivers. But in the short time I have driven the Mini, I have had *more* people take one look at me approaching and decide, what the hell, let's pull out in front of that and make *it* hit the brakes. Trucks, SUVs, sedans, doesn't matter. They all seem to be doing this equation in their heads, and I now seem to rank somewhere below "moose" (possibly even below "whitetail deer") on the scale of things they're willing to play chicken with and risk colliding with their car.

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( 20 comments — Leave a comment )
moonshayde
Apr. 13th, 2006 09:14 am (UTC)
It's also spring. It's the time of the year when all the lovelies reappear and take over the roads.

I am still afeared of 128 and 24.
eregyrn
Apr. 13th, 2006 10:36 am (UTC)
That's part of it, maybe. The highways don't really bother me much, though I agree they have their share of really egregious drivers. It's local traffic where people are always lunging out at you from side-streets and driveways that makes me really paranoid. (Not to mention that favorite Boston game, "let me stick my nose out and keep inching forward to the point where you'll *have* to stop and let me go".)
moonshayde
Apr. 13th, 2006 10:39 am (UTC)
Time to bring out the ol' target sign and slap it on your mini.
eregyrn
Apr. 13th, 2006 10:42 am (UTC)
You laugh, but I thought for about 2 seconds about putting one of those Mod bulls-eyes on it somewhere...

But that would probably be a poor idea.
ravenhbh
Apr. 13th, 2006 10:28 am (UTC)
I agree. Maybe it's the pollen?

I also think there might be a bit of "new car awareness" going on - stupid (other) driver moves that you took for granted with the Saturn are now direct threats to your hip new car "Hey, what the HELL are you thinking?!?!?"

Could be worse, could be GA, land of "we don' need no stinkin' driver's ed classes." Seriously. High schools don't teach driver's ed. Make up your own rules is the rule here. Eek. And if you're driving with Yankee tags, look out.

(Not to discourage you from road trippin...)
eregyrn
Apr. 13th, 2006 10:41 am (UTC)
No, I pretty much noticed it in the Saturn, too. I tend to carry on a dialogue with other cars, from within mine, and I lecture many of them on this in particular. I especially noticed it in the Saturn because [a] I've been in an accident once and totally don't want to be in another, for any reason but esp. for such a stupid reason, and [b] I'm aggressive, that way. But even in the old Saturn, the issue was fraught with economics. Direct threats to MY CAR, upon which I depend, period -- oh yes, I'm aware of that.

It probably is just coincidence that there's been this higher number than usual of people doing this to me in the past couple of days. I just feel a little as if *now* they're looking at me and thinking, "oh, cute cartoon car coming... yeah, I can beat that".
raqs
Apr. 13th, 2006 07:27 pm (UTC)
"do not use horn in a punitive manner."
eregyrn
Apr. 13th, 2006 07:45 pm (UTC)
Because nobody "wins" when we "play games" with traffic safety.

... OMG, I *so* use my horn in a punitive manner. ALL the time. I often wish that my horn were *more* punitive, instead of a cute little *HONK*!
surreallis
Apr. 13th, 2006 10:35 am (UTC)
I think people, in their utter FEAR of going under the speed-limit, pull out in front of very small cars because they think they'll be "stuck" behind them otherwise. It's the same logic that makes them pull out in front of HUGE vehicles like dump trucks and semi-trailers and risk horrible death because they might have to slow down at some point.

And there's definitely an 'intimidation' factor that goes with the size of one's vehicle. I always wait for the pick-up truck with the huge tires and eight thousand lights mounted on the cab to go by before I pull out, because my assumption is that that guy will be a total dick if I'm not going fast enough for him and he'll ride my bumper and risk both our lives just to show me how I've wronged him.

I hate people.
eregyrn
Apr. 13th, 2006 10:47 am (UTC)
Oh yeah, I hear you. Totally. Don't forget people who pull out in front of cars (making them have to brake suddenly even when they're just cruising along with the right of way) because GOD FORBID they should have to *wait* for another 10 seconds to make that lefthand turn.

You know what I want? Rear-aimed high-beams. So that I could punitively flash those back in the face of the assholes in the pickup/SUV/whatever that insists on riding my bumper with their fancy-schmancy new halogen lights that, at that angle, might as well *be* high-beams, plus they're brighter than old high-beams ever were... grrr... Because when people do that to you, there is *NO* way to communicate to them exactly how annoying/unsafe that is. Somebody coming at you head-on with their high-beams on? You can flash 'em. But somebody riding right UP your butt, so that *their* lights blind you via your own mirrors? Not a thing you can do.
xandra_lj
Apr. 13th, 2006 10:56 am (UTC)
Oh MAN do I want a set of those rear-aimed high-beams. Sign me up, seriously. 'Cos that is some scary and annoying shit, that is.

And the whole "let me edge out until you HAVE to let me in" thing is unfortunately NOT limited to Boston, alas-- they have it here in Chicago, too. Feh.
ravenhbh
Apr. 13th, 2006 07:47 pm (UTC)
In my fantasy, I imagine having a snowplow of sorts attached to the front of my Saturn, that I can shovel the offending other driver off the road and out of my way.

Or else, a paintball gun.

Let's just say I'm very glad that firearms give me the heebee-jeebees, because I'm not the kind of person who has any business owning one (even if I could get within 50ft of them in the first place.

Interesting tangent - Did you know that Kennesaw, GA (about 45 min. NW of me) has a town ordinance that requires all homeowners to own a firearm and ammo and store it in one's house? Yessiree, Bob. I've said to Ben that if we ever found ourselves needing to own a home in Kennesaw, I would insist on either a) crossbow (if that would suffice), or b) a musket.

No, ah'm not from ahraund hyeah...
eregyrn
Apr. 13th, 2006 07:55 pm (UTC)
I have often thought that it is a very good thing that nobody has apparently had the idea to mount, in their rear window or something, one of those LED-bar thingies that you can buy in, like, Sharper Image and program messages to scroll across (you know the kind). Because as much as I am sure all of us have *wanted* to be able to communicate with our fellow drivers via captions... oh, you can just imagine the horror, can't you? (If anyone *has* done this, I haven't heard about it, and it sure hasn't caught on such that you see these things advertised for this purpose. Thank goodness.)

I knew this guy who wanted, not a paintball gun, but a gun that would fire a suction-cup tipped dart (with a sufficiently strong suction cup that it wouldn't fall off too easily, of course) at other cars, with a little flag on it that said "Idiot". So even if it wouldn't make the point right away, the driver would find it when he got to his destination, and then at least the point would be made.

I am *ALL* for the idea that the whole "right to bear arms" thing ought to pertain to the arms technology available at the time the amendments were written -- which would include muzzle-loading muskets *and* rifles. And if you stretched a point, it would probably also include cannon. Maybe howitzers. That's about it, though, for things that use gunpowder.
catspaw_sgjd
Apr. 13th, 2006 10:56 am (UTC)
Voila, the downside of drving a mini (ref. my comments on your last post about seeing nothing but 'ODG' in the rear mirror) too :-(

But fear not! The nippiness factor will come to your aid! And parking in impossibly small parking spaces! And squeeeezing through gaps that look ridiculously narrow with room to spare :-) All is not lost.
eregyrn
Apr. 13th, 2006 03:02 pm (UTC)
Yes! I am swift and dart-y! Like a fish!
troyswann
Apr. 13th, 2006 11:48 am (UTC)
I suspect these people haven't seen a moose lately.
eregyrn
Apr. 13th, 2006 03:06 pm (UTC)
I dunno. I think it's almost reasonable that they'd be warier of playing chicken with a moose, than with a Mini. Everybody knows that hitting a moose will fuck you up like nobody's business.

I knew a guy who told a story once that he got from an EMT about a guy who hit a whitetail deer and it went through his windshield and he came within inches of having his face impaled by the antlers. One doesn't usually think of moose antlers as impaling implements, but they have unexpectedly pointy bits, and the wide part could probably decapitate you.
jenlev
Apr. 13th, 2006 03:00 pm (UTC)
yikes. and sal's right about the moose. how about strapping scorpius to your hood. or maybe let teal'c ride shotgun with a staff weapon?
eregyrn
Apr. 13th, 2006 03:09 pm (UTC)
I think a roof-mounted Stinger missile-launcher would do the trick. What? I'm TOTALLY a responsible enough driver to use it wisely! Honest!

I don't think my hood is big enough to strap Scorpy to it. Literally -- it's teensy. Also, all of the owner's-manual stuff refers to it as the "bonnet" (and of course, the trunk is the "boot"). How adorable is that?
jenlev
Apr. 13th, 2006 03:25 pm (UTC)
i utterly believe that you should obtain an immediate license for the stinger missile-launcher. and i would be very happy to provide a personal reference if the registration of motor vehicles requires one.

bwhaha! now i have this image of scorpius grumbling about how he's fallling off the hood of the car, and his leather boots are dragging along the curb.

it's totally adorable that the bonnet and the boot are called that. god i love that they make minis again.
( 20 comments — Leave a comment )