“Internet Disease”: Lying for Reasons Unknown

Half the people on the internet are lying at any given moment. I am convinced of this, based on observations and correlations over many years. Now, I don’t know which half, and it’s probably safe to say that the lying half fluctuates from topic to topic, in other words it’s not always the same people, but the ratio still remains at roughly half being liars.

And what they lie about is stuff that is so inconsequential that it doesn’t matter. Nothing in the world will change based on their lie. It’s all to boost their ego, or save face so others won’t think lowly of them (which might suggest low-self-esteem, but that’s another topic for another post… and blog).

I have named this phenomena “Internet Disease”. Let’s take a look at some examples, shall we? If one were to believe everyone on the internet at face value…

-…McDonald’s would be out of business, because no one ever eats there. The food sucks, they say. Many question if it’s food at all. The old, long debunked, rumors… what’s in the meat, etc… keep getting spread around as if they’re true. I think many people want to believe they are.

-…Walmart would be out of business, too, because no one would ever be caught dead in that place. They don’t come right out and say it, but the class of people who do shop at Walmart… which apparently don’t have internet because we never hear from ‘those people’… are literally beneath them. The funny part is that many of these people readily admit that they shop at Target… which is just Walmart with a different color scheme and slightly higher prices.  Status costs extra, ya know.

-…the BBC would be the only news source for the entire world. The rest would be out of business due to lack of viewers, readers, and listeners. Ask people on the internet and the standard answer is the BBC. Maybe a few stragglers will admit to NPR, if American guilt hasn’t completely consumed them, but it’s clear that all the informed people use the BBC, and they want you to know it.

-…chain restaurants, in general, are always empty, bereft of customers. Chain food is unworthy. Really, restaurant food, in general, is questionable, and is to be consumed only in dire emergency, but if one must eat out then the obvious choice is the “mom-and-pop” restaurant. <cue harps from heaven> Mom-and-Pops are full of people. Which I guess explains why mom-and-pops are thriving and chains are closing and going the way of the Automat. Oh, wait…

-…relating to the last point, no, we all eat at home almost exclusively. Why? Because we all have all the time in the world and use only the finest ingredients. A regular Galloping Gourmet we all are.  Margarine? Pshaw! Surely you jest, only real butter. Preferably hand-churned by silk-haired virgins who were sacrificed to a volcano immediately after to preserve the uniqueness of this butter. And only the best olive oil is used, pressed between the bosoms of lusty Italian widows. And we all have a special butcher who saves all the best cuts just for us, and will even deliver on Christmas morning if we get a hankerin’ for some extra-lean goat brains. We also have Juan Valdez climbing the peaks of Colombia on his hands and knees to pick coffee beans with his teeth so they can be shipped fresh to our door every morning. That’s right, we will tolerate only the best!

Now, granted, some people do do some of these things, but I call BS that all that claim to do so actually do do so.  (Was that awkward wording, or what?  lol)  And in the interest of full disclosure, I even have my things. For example, we recently stopped buying margarine entirely and now use only real butter, but we buy it from Walmart… and the Walmart house brand, no less. I often seek out mom-and-pop restaurants when I’m traveling, as sometimes you discover some truly great food and you experience the local culture, but there are times that I crave a Denny’s or a Wendy’s hamburger, as well. There’s nothing wrong with any of that.

To paraphrase Dave Ramsey, “We go to great lengths to claim an air of sophistication we don’t have to impress people we don’t like.” The whole thing is absurd.

The Secret to Living to a Ripe Old Age


That goes without saying.  Oh, and being a jerk.  Yes, that’s right, be a jerk.  In a curmudgeonly way, of course.  That’s the secret.

You hear about people who live to be 104 and they credit a whiskey a day, biscuits and gravy, smoking, nitrate-laden meats, and on and on.  All that is just coincidence.  The part that no one talks about is that all these people were jerks.  Mean, nasty, stubborn, difficult, obstinate… jerks.  Allow me to present my case…

I watch a lot of true crime documentaries.  Shows like Forensic Files,etc.  I find them fascinating.  Quite often a murder victim is a young person.  Usually a girl, but not always.  And the one thing they ALL seem to have in common is that they were such sweet great wonderful people.  I’ve lost count at how many of these people would “light up a room” as soon as they walked in, how they all were “full of life”, and “had the world by the tail”.

Really?  Maybe this is why the world is so screwed up.  All the good people die young.  Perkiness attracts bad people, apparently.  Bad people leave other bad people alone.  There must be no satisfaction in harming another person like yourself.

So that’s it.  Be a jerk and you’ll live to over a hundred years.  I rest my case.

p.s.:  I wonder if having crass and insensitive taste adds a few years?

Soap Box: 10 Things Servers Shouldn’t Do

The internet is replete with articles about rude customers and how people should be considerate to servers. And let’s be fair, serving is a hard job. I won’t dispute that.  There is absolutely no excuse whatsoever to treat a server poorly.  If you think you’re better than them, the hard truth is probably the opposite.  But these articles make it sound like the customer is the only one ever unreasonable. Not so. Servers themselves do things that are unnecessary, if not outright rude, and equal time is called for. Here are some of the primary things, in no particular order, that servers need to stop doing…

1. Don’t scowl when I order ice water for my drink. Yes, it probably cuts into your tip, but either the customer wants to be healthy, or they don’t want to pay over-inflated drink prices. $3 for a soft drink is unreasonable, outrageous really. That’s $6 for two people. If that’s the issue you need to take it up with your employer, not the customer.

2. Don’t make it an issue if the customer doesn’t want to sit at the table you want them to sit. As long as the customer is not requesting a room or large section that is obviously closed and segregated from all other activity, the customer should be accommodated and made comfortable. It is not the customer’s concern whether they are upsetting the carefully planned rotation.

3. Don’t beg. If I pay in cash, do NOT ask me if I want my change. Ok, you’re busy, I get it, but it’s still my money. Asking this is equal to begging, to panhandling. It’s undignified. There are times that I will, of my own choice, say “Keep the change.”, but that’s my choice and I do so freely. If you are quick on the draw and ask if I want my change I will automatically say “Yes” just as a matter of principle and just to make you make that extra trip… even if I intend to leave it all as a tip anyway.

4. Don’t try to force me into leaving a larger tip than reasonable. The bill is $9.62 and all I have on me is a $20 bill. You bring me change of a $10 bill and 38 cents. (Some will bring two $5 bills.) What am I supposed to do with that? Too many people are too timid to say anything and will leave the larger tip. Unless your service was absolutely fanatbulous… which would be pretty impressive, and rare… I am not leaving a 50% tip. And no way in hell am I leaving a 100% tip. Ever. I now have two choices, basically stiff you, which you will misinterpret as me just being cheap, or make you go back… again… and bring me some ones. Bring me a five, five ones, and 38 cents, the first time and we’ll all be happy.

Side note: I once had a server ask me if I wanted my change when I paid with two $20 bills for a $22 tab. I’m not leaving an $18 tip for a $22 meal. I’m sure they weren’t even paying attention, but it was still insulting. And yes, I made her bring me my change, and I tipped accordingly.

5. Don’t tell me how tired you are, or how you can’t wait to get off work in an hour, or how much you hate your job. Let me be clear on this: I… don’t… care. Not only do I not care, I am now annoyed and put off that you have expressed to me that my presence has inconvenienced you. You are not earning my sympathy, I have a job, too. Oh, and I don’t want to overhear you saying these things to your co-workers, either. Be professional.

6. Don’t stop serving prematurely. In other words, when you believe that my visit is winding down, or you want to hasten my exit for whatever reason, don’t ignore my empty glass. (Doing so will affect your tip.) At least ask if I want a refill. Often I do, but if I don’t I’ll be honest and politely decline. At least then I will know that you were still paying attention and doing your job.

7. Don’t mislead me. If I ask for a Diet Coke, don’t say “Ok” then serve me a Diet Pepsi.  By just saying “Ok” you are allowing me to believe I will be getting a Coke product.  The two are not the same, not to mention that businesses actually do get into legal trouble if caught doing that. Normally I will notice, but even in the times that I don’t, you’re still being dishonest by doing this. It’s called lying-by-omission.

8. Don’t use absurd adjectives. Nothing… and I mean that quite literally… is ever “perfect”. When you ask, “Is everything perfect?”, you are insulting me by asking me to knowingly lie. Granted, it’s usually at the insistence of management, but you don’t have to be so enthusiastic about it. I would even suggest you don’t even have to do it at all. Rather, just ask how my meal is and let me answer for myself.

9. Don’t stand silent if I request a substitution that adds an extra charge. If I want to substitute soup instead of french fries, and there’s an “upcharge”, tell me right then. Allow me the the courtesy to consider my option. Don’t surprise me with a bill later where I’ve been nickle-and-dimed.

10. Don’t be difficult. Don’t tell me a certain substitution is not allowed when other servers have done it for me many times. Worse yet, don’t argue with me when I point it out that it has been done before. The customer isn’t always right, but neither are you. If in doubt, excuse yourself and go check… then be adult enough to admit if you were wrong.

No, I am not a Luddite!

Part of me wants technological advance to… not stop, per se… but slow down a bit.  Maybe it’s me, but I would like to, you know, spend some time just doing things and getting things done without having to spend time keeping up with and learning something new every time I turn around.  Is that too much to ask?

Yes.  Yes, it is.

Anyway, let’s track the “progress” of human communication, shall we?  It all started with grunts.  (See my first post for where grunts fit into current society.)  Pre-cave men without a clear and defined language deficiency.  Then humans moved to painting pictures on cave walls, ala the cave men.  Eventually coherent spoken language evolved, and we held with that for awhile.  Then came the written word.  People could record ideas and convey them to others in places far away, either in distance or in time.  There were some sporadic changes in terms of technology, i.e. movable type, etc., but for the most part this stayed pretty constant for a long time.

Then, the game changer:  the telephone.  Communication over long distances was instantaneous.  People could talk and share important information immediately and pretty much at any time day or night.  And really, who doesn’t need to know about Aunt Erma’s gout right now?  Yes, important information was easily shared, and the world rejoiced.

Technology started advancing more quickly.  The next big technological advancement on our communication ride was email.  Sort of an updated merging of letters and telephone, only now we could send written correspondence instantaneously.  This was wonderful.  This is what I latched onto and what I personally prefer.  I will always prefer email.  It’s quick.  It’s easy.  It’s archival… and for that reason I will defend the “bcc”, aka “the CYA” of office communication.

Next up was Twitter.  Ugh, Twitter.  I will never, ever, understand the attraction of Twitter.  And now, as I understand it, the maximum length of characters has increased from 140 to 280.  In other words, it’s now twice as bad and twice as annoying as it used to be.  I once heard a baseball broadcast where Vin Scully referred to “tweets” on Twitter as “twits”.  Heehee.  I think Vin was onto something.

Now we have texts.  Ostensibly short messages for quick unimportant communication.  I proudly had never sent a text in my life until about four yeas ago, but they have a place.  Not as lengthy communication, though, and some people treat it as such.  No, just for short stuff that only needs to be said, like “Pick you up in 20 minutes.”  And don’t even get me started on “textspeak”.  Are you educated?  Good, act like it.  “r u 2 l8” is NOT an acceptable abbreviation of “Are you too late?”  I will pretty much shut you off in my mind if you do that… immediately… especially if you do it outside of texts and in public and other forms of writing and social media.  We as a species already suffer from too much dumbing down, don’t accelerate it.

As mentioned before, the advancement of technology keep increasing at a faster and faster pace.  Major communication revolutions that once took decades or even centuries, now happens in just a couple years.  I once thought, “Could we all agree to get together and just ignore the ‘next big thing’?”  That would be lovely.  Won’t happen, but that’d be awesome.  Instead, just slow down.  Let me enjoy what I have for awhile.  Being the first and most innovative does not impress me, it annoys me.  I don’t admire you for making my life more hectic, I curse you.

What’s next?  Going back to grunts with some mental telepathy mixed in?

Disclaimer:  Don’t mistake this as a historically accurate portrayal.  It’s just entertainment.  In other words, I don’t give a rat’s arse if you find something inaccurate herein.  Concept, not history lesson.  Go away!

Christmas music: Bah! Humbug!

There are twelve days of Christmas… and none of them are in November.  *sigh*  But nevertheless, it’s that time of year, again. It’s… Christmas time!!! <He said in a chirpy and perky tone of voice.> Yes, that’s me, Mr Perky. Cute and cuddly til the end. So let Mr Perky say this about that…

Bah! Humbug! Humbug to all of you!

Today marks the official, and only marginally acceptable, start of the Christmas season, and with that comes the Christmas music. Now, don’t get me wrong, I like watching little kids get excited about it, and I like the photo gear presents I buy for myself, but the music… ugh! I don’t know what is worse, the peppy tunes, the inspirational new-age stuff, or the insipid traditional crap that no emotionally stable person has ever liked.  Just shoot me now.

Who writes this garbage? Better yet, who listens to it? Some people do, obviously, but I seriously wonder about them. Then there’s the people who listen to it all… day… long… for days… weeks… on end. No, just no, Bad little elf! That’s wrong. The Geneva Convention outlawed this decades ago. You can’t subject people around you to this… this  flat, uninteresting, lackluster, dull, drab, boring, dry, humdrum, ho-hum, monochrome, plodding tedious, pedestrian, trite, tired, hackneyed, stale, lame, wishy-washy, colorless, anemic, lifeless music.  Seriously, it’s inhumane. I’d rather take a calculus test than this. At least the calculus test will end soon. It’s so bad, that given the choice, prisoners in Guantanamo chose waterboarding over non-stop Christmas music.

December 26th never looked so good.

But even I have a soft side, so it’s confession time: In every steaming pile of dog dung in December, there’s a little shiny nugget. I do have a Christmas CD. I am the proud owner of Twisted Sister’s A Twisted Christmas. Not bad.  In fact, so good, they never felt the need to record and release another studio album.  Quit while you’re ahead, baby!

Rant: The “Dumb Run”

A few weeks ago I pontificated about running and jogging and the questionable mental capacity of the people who do this stuff BY CHOICE! That was a fun piece to write, and I enjoyed putting it together and especially choosing the photos, and there was some tongue-in-cheekiness to it. Some. Today, however, comes a rant involving not running per se but runners. Dumb runners.

Scenario: 6:15 am. It’s dark out, sunrise is still about a half hour away, though you can see some light juuuuuust starting to come over the horizon. Driving down a semi-rural road, no sidewalks, no street lights, lots of houses, but spaced apart and in a heavily wooded area. Aaaaaand, the runner.

Dressed in pretty much all black. Black shoes, black sweat pants, black hoodie pulled over his face because it’s also cold out. Running across the street. I could barely see the silhouette of the guy, literally. I dub thee “the dumb run”.

There’s another guy who runs this same route and time, but at least that guy wears a bright yellow safety vest with lots of reflective markings. Personally, I still think that’s kind of dumb as well, but not nearly as much as this other guy who seems to be impersonating a Sasquatch that doesn’t want to be seen.

See this image I included? That’s what this guy looks like to drivers. Clearly discernible… not! I think I’m pretty sure I speak for other drivers when I say that I don’t want to be part of his Darwin Award epitaph.

Price Dickering: Strategies and Games

I don’t sell vehicles very often, but when I do many people employ a tactic that just pisses me off and puts me in the wrong frame of mind (regarding that person) right from the start. I will state a price, and at the very beginning, sometimes before they’ve even seen the vehicle, they will ask some variation of, “What’s the lowest price you’ll take?”


Excuse me, but you want me to give up everything, all leverage, right off the bat? Seriously? No. Either play the game, or go away. The game is negotiation back and forth. And the game goes like is: I set a price –> if you think my price is too high, make an offer of a lower price –> if that lower price is acceptable to me (I usually do have a bottom dollar in mind, but that’s not the point here) I will take it, if it’s not I will either counter with another price, or I will simply reject it. And back on forth until we either agree on a price, or we agree to not deal at all.

This has happened several times in my life.  Maybe they’re hoping I’m selling because I’m desperate and they can get a proverbial ‘steal’ of a deal. Maybe they’re hoping I’m weak and so non-confrontational that I’ll cave without a fight. Maybe they’re just fishing for that ‘steal’ from their recliner and don’t want to go out if this isn’t it. Could be any reason. In most things I am not a very good negotiator, but this tactic in particular sets me off and my attitude hardens immediately. My eyes narrow to slits, and I get this “Don’t eff with me!” look and determination. Now, you are the enemy, and while I will still sell you my vehicle, I am also willing to sit on it for awhile and sell it to someone else if you’re not willing to show me some base level of respect and properly negotiate.

In my experience I find that it is older men that do this. I have never encountered a woman that does, and I do not recall ever encountering a younger man doing this. Always older men, my generation and above. Maybe it’s a generational thing. <shrug>

This morning I get a bite to a Craigslist ad for a vehicle I am selling. The guy has two questions, condition and what the lowest I’ll take. Ok, I described condition in the ad, but I repeated it. Then price. I told him I don’t do the lowest price thing. If he’s interested he needs to make a counter offer, and so on as described above. I may never hear back from him. I’m ok either way.

Part 2, the other annoyance (I always seem to have a part 2, don’t I?)…

Another game I will not tolerate: Don’t show up to purchase something, say a vehicle that I have a listed price of $3000, and say, “Will you take $2200? That’s all I have on me.”

That’s all you have on you. 😐 Right. Ahem. Ok. I very clearly listed a price, and you knowingly and purposely showed up with less. (Allegedly, but we’ll go with the words at face value, I’m not going to ask to search your pockets.) At this point, I despise you. You’re not simply an annoying cheap SOB like the guy above asking for a bottom dollar, you’re outright dishonest in your approach. If you do that to me, I will give you two options… I will give you directions to an appropriate bank/ATM so you can get more money, or I will give you directions off my property.

Part 3, But wait, there’s more!

And don’t get me started with the schmucks who want to pay via Paypal or cashier’s check (and sometimes overpay and want you to refund the difference in cash) and have their ‘agent’ or shipper pick it up. Scam alert! (Hmmm, sounds like another curmudgeonly blog post for later.)

The bite mentioned above did email back as I was writing this. He thinks I’m honest and will pay me what I ask… via PayPal and he will send a shipper to pick up the vehicle. *facepalm* Now I’m playing with him a bit. I responded that my ad clearly says cash only, and that I will not hold it, but if his shipper shows up with cash, I will sell it to him. If someone else flashes me the cash first, tough luck.

I won’t hold my breath.

Bandwagon Jumpers & Other Non-Thinkers

Grab your seat, you’re going to read about a curmudgeon complaining about… other curmudgeons. Or, maybe they’re just whiners. Yes, that’s it. What I am about to share is just whiners whining, in my humble and modest opinion, wannabe curmudgeons. Amateur curmudgeons.

This is about people in my town and the city government. Now, don’t get me wrong, the city is going too far into debt, in my still humble and modest opinion, and there are some things that need addressing, and the city manager does seem to have a grandiose Napoleon complex, but really they do do good things, too, and overall it is a nice place to live.

That being said, here’s the scenario: I belong to a Facebook group called “The <town name> Activist”. Ok, sounds good, right. Well, it was created by a couple people who basically complain about every single thing the city does. Rarely will most of them give the city any credit for anything, and a few are so bad that they never do. One is endorsing a particular city council candidate right now and I am seriously considering voting for the opponent just because of that guy’s endorsement, but I digress. Anyway, that’s bad enough, but tolerable. Then you have the bandwagon jumpers, the people who have come along and must feel some insecure deep-seated need to be part of the ‘cool kids’ group and bash everything, as well. These are really the annoying ones. I’ll give a couple examples…

Example #1:

Our city is looking at building a new library, with questionable and controversial funding, but that’s not what this post is about. The city released an architect’s rendering of the proposed library a few months ago. One person posted asking about the lack of handicapped accessible parking spaces and where those would be. They called it a poorly thought-out design that was lacking in sufficient detail and information. The project was doomed to failure if this is the best they can come up with, yada yada yada.

I responded and explained how architect renderings are solely for marketing purposes, to sell a product. The product here being the library and selling it to the public. Not only do they not show things like handicapped access, they also don’t show existing power poles that will remain, street signs, poorly patched streets that will still be poorly patched when this project is done, traffic signals, utilities and unsightly garbage locations, and so on and so on. It’s going to be as pretty as can be.

They responded back with, “Oh, I know all that.”


Really? Then why did you raise these “concerns” if you know they aren’t legit? Or, were you just wanting to stir the pot?

Example #2:

Just yesterday a person starts a thread showing the water department’s disconnect notice that was posted on their door for non-payment. They were mocking this as they are on a private well and septic, and they have auto-deduction for payment every month  (garbage, other taxes, etc.), ergo they weren’t late or behind. Essentially they were ridiculing the city for being stupid… and scores of people joined in. Bandwagoners, all.

Ken pipes up… shocking, I know… and I ask if they bothered to call the water department and ask what’s going on. Get some clarification. There had already been about two dozen posts and no one bothered to ask this seemingly obvious question. Everyone derided the city for being dumb and some suggested ways the person could embarrass the city. Maybe it’s just a simple mistake. <shrug>

The thread starter responds and says, “I called this morning and it was an error on their part.”

So, yes, it was a simple mistake and all was good. Yet, they felt the need to start stirring the pot with no confirmation to back up their claims of city incompetence. That’s bad enough, but what makes it worse is that many other people joined in, all without reasonable information, just taking some person’s word. And we wonder why misinformation is so rampant. People like… need?… to feel superior. People like their drama.

Bottom Line:

This is turning into something of a moral lecture, methinks, but I can’t help it. People need to slow down. Collect credible information. Strive to be fair. Don’t knee-jerk always for one side only. Use brain cells and rational thought before speaking. Is that too much to ask?


Retail: Feeling (Un)Wanted

Go Away!

That’s how it comes off. I’m not wanted. Example: There I am having breakfast with my wife and a friend. Local mom-and-pop place. The waitress, a somewhat elderly lady, comes up and introduces herself and asks how we’re doing. We all say fine, going with the customary pleasantries, then in the spirit of acting interested, I ask how she’s doing.

*sigh* Big mistake.

This was her big opening. For the rest of our visit she made use of the opportunity to tells us that… she was only working because she had bills to pay… listed three things she’d rather be doing at that moment, and how her job was getting in the way of that… complained about how busy it was that morning, she’d prefer less people… and generally made us (me, at least) feel that our presence was unwelcome and an imposition on her life. Now, she did all this in an attempted joking manor, but the humor came off as only a facade, a way to say what she thought and get away with it.

I get it. There are many other things I’d rather do than go to a job for most of every day five days a week. But I make the best of it. So, I’m sorry that our patronage of your employer’s business… that provides you with an income so you can pay bills and have things like food every day and heat in the winter… is such a burden. I’ll keep this in mind next time I decide what to do and where to go.

The whole “I’d rather be anywhere else (than here dealing with you)” image is not an image that businesses or society should put up with. Treat customers with decency. I don’t want to hear that you’re getting off in an hour. I especially don’t want to hear what drudgery your job is.  At least pretend you’re appreciative of my patronage.

The Side Conversation

There is another common practice that I see often that is no less off-putting: Employees having side conversation when they’re supposed to be dealing with you. I see this often, especially with younger people.

I’m standing at a checkout, and the cashier’s friend/co-worker is standing right beside the register and they’re having this deep conversation… and essentially ignoring me completely.

And what were they talking about, you ask? They were talking about getting off soon, what they’d rather be doing at that moment, and… get this… how much they each hated their job and most of their co-workers.


No filter, as if I wasn’t even there. Talk about unprofessional. How can a customer not feel unappreciated in that kind of scenario?

My sister told me that she once told a cashier off and that she didn’t give a crap about her personal grievances and wanted to be treated like a customer instead of an annoyance. (She got a shocked blank stare in return.)

I love my sister! I was so proud of her. lol


Iowa Drivers, Pt 2

This bumper sticker should be issued to all native Iowa drivers upon passing the test.

Iowans are, for the most part, unquestioningly nice. Exceedingly nice. The jerk percentage of the population is far less than in pretty much any other place I’ve been. And this is precisely why I love Iowans. They’re wonderful people, really. But… there’s always a ‘but’, isn’t there?… this might explain their driving habits. They’re trying too hard to be nice. Case in point…

You come to a four way stop, and there are researched and approved rules of driving etiquette and law regarding who goes first, but in Iowa nobody goes. Everybody just sits there looking at each other. When I’m one of the four, I go, whether it’s my turn, or not. Hey, somebody’s gotta break the ice, right?

Oh, and God forbid that one of the four cars is a cop. Phfft, might as well turn off the engine and take a nap.

On occasion I will come across someone who is just as aggressive as I am. This always takes me aback. I’ve become so accustomed to wimpy drivers that it literally shocks me when someone is as aggressive as I am. I immediately think, “Whoa. That’s person’s from out-of-state.”, just like I am. There are too few of us.

Part 2.1

Ok, this isn’t an Iowa driver rant, per se, but it is driving related, and is about an Iowa driver. I worked a 12 hour day today. On the way home I’m the second car behind another car that is driving incredibly slow, almost creeping along. Contrary to my usual self, I wasn’t annoyed, but I did want to move faster. As they make the left turn I see these big bright reflective letters on the back of the vehicle… STUDENT DRIVER.


Since I was going the same way, and I was in a part of town where there are no reasonable alternatives, I resigned myself to settling in for the ride. Make the best of a bad situation, right? Besides, I was blasting some B-52s, so it wasn’t all bad.

Anyway… did I mention they were slow?… we proceed down the road, and going uphill I had to actually downshift to second gear (I drive a stick) because we were barely breaking 20 mph. Then we come to a four way stop… with them virtually coming to a stop 100 yards before the intersection, they were so cautious.


At least the driving gods were smiling upon me and the student driver put on their blinker for a left turn. They then, in true aspiring Iowa driver fashion… as if we don’t have enough of them already… proceeded to just sit there while more cars than had the right-of-way made their turns.


When they finally did navigate their turn, they would have moved backward if they went any slower. Driving instructors must be saintly. Or on Valium.  That’s all I can figure. I had this vision of the instructor losing their patience and screaming, “JUST GO ALREADY!!!” I mean, that’s what I would do.


I would not make a good driving instructor.