Many of you are well aware of all the crazies that currently inhabit our state’s fine freeways. You drive with them every day, contending with their foibles and follies as you speed down the highway (or in the case of the 405, crawl).
Often, we refer to these fine examples of vehicular malfeasance with a string of curses or obscene gestures. A new method of referring to these dread drivers is needed, a scientific method of naming them so that we can better know these malignant motorists. Let us begin by categorizing just a few of them.
Some of you may well be familiar with the trucker’s term of “throwing the hammer down.” This nice phrase means to let it all out, throw open the throttle, and put the petal to the metal.
The Hammer Holder does the exact opposite. This slovenly sloth can often be found puttering along at 10 miles slower than the rest of traffic. Often, he will be occupying a key choke point in the traffic flow, causing angry motorists to back up behind him in a line, looking like nothing more than a carbon-belching centipede.
Motorists will flash their lights and occasionally their gangs sign at him in an effort to impel him to higher speeds. This is in vain. The Hammer Holder cannot be dissuaded from his leisurely pace, and will view with puzzlement the strange people who are hugging his bumper.
This is a special genus of the Hammer Holder species. Swimmers are coordinated motorists who drive abreast of one another, going exactly the same speed. Like regular Hammer Holders, they travel at speeds well below what any sensible driver would consider “reasonable.” The Swimmers are especially irritating because they take up multiple lanes, preventing the speedy motorist from treating them in the usual manner reserved for Hammer Holders: namely, making them devour a large quantity of dust.
7 o’clock Squatters
These particular motorists offer special difficulties for the driver on the go. So named because he takes up residence at your 7 o’clock position (or 5 o’clock position) preventing you from changing lanes. Oblivious to turn signals and waving hands, this lumbering dinosaur will continue to maintain his position and will neither speed up or slow down to allow you to change lanes.
They will often magically appear in the right hand lane when you suddenly realize that you are about to miss your off-ramp. Desperate to change lanes, you will be thwarted in your efforts.
This can be especially irritating when you are stuck behind another Hammer Holder and need desperately to pass. Often, the Squatter and Hammer Holder will be Swimmers who have parted ways just enough to give you hope. But it is false hope.
Your only chance is to either cut quickly in front and pray that the fool won’t choose that moment to step on his brakes, or sidle slowly into his lane.
Either way will result in a indignant cacophony of car horns. The Squatter will be shocked, and shocked that you would cut him off. After all, he thinks that those blinking yellow lights on your car are for festive purposes only.
This is only a partial list and is not meant to comprehend the full idiocy that exists on the roadway. If any of you recognize yourselves on this list please: collect your Social Security checks and stay off the road. For all of you other drivers who are, naturally, perfect motorists like this author, I hope that this list will give you some helpful descriptions for your fellow drivers other than the usual four-letter ones.
Sean Paroski can be reached at Sean.Paroski.email@example.com.