Isn’t there a test to get your driver’s license?
Today I got honked at by a dump truck who was busily trying to run me out of my lane and into oncoming traffic. I’m not certain what he expected me to do since I was even with the middle of the truck when he started to veer into my lane (I could see him in his mirrors and he didn’t actually look to see if anyone was there until he started). I guess I could have sped up and hit the guy in front of me. Or I could have slowed down and gotten rear ended by the guy behind me. Of course, my best option would have been to match his veer and hit the car in the oncoming lane. I was leaving Nathan a message about how great the photographer lunch was today and suddenly, his voicebox filled with loud WTFs. Poor Nate.
After that brush with death, I stopped by McKay’s to drop off some used books and DVDs for trade. Everything was worth less than I had hoped (isn’t that always the case), but I left with a DVD I had been looking for and a book for Nathan (which it turns out he already has. Regift!) and money left over. On my way home, I stopped at a light with a red car next to me. When the light changed, I hit the gas and headed on my merry way when the red car suddenly started honking at me. Apparently he was upset that I was in the lane he wanted and had the audacity to go when the light turned rather than wait politely for him to get over (despite a complete lack of signal. I need to work on my psychic powers). He got over behind me while I shifted to the next lane (to get on the highway).
This has been a more regular occurrence lately. Just last week, I had to slow to nearly a stop while I waited for an oncoming car to pass before I could pull into our neighborhood. The guy behind me (and way up the hill when I slowed) flew past leaning on his horn as I made my turn. It seemed he was upset to have missed the opportunity to witness me getting t-boned. He was obviously going fast enough that if I had had to wait on a second car behind the first, he would have slammed into the back of my car (or barely missed and burned out his brakes. Did I mention he was WAY up the hill when I started to slow and could see all of the cars both in our lane and on coming at the time and had simply not chosen to slow down in preparation for a possible wait?)
One thing I have really enjoyed about Knoxville is the politeness of the drivers. When we left Atlanta, I had witnessed countless wrecks due to carelessness and a rude unwillingness to yield (btw, getting hit is a real pain, so it’s really not worth the hassle just to prove a point. But there are quite a few Atlanta drivers who don’t seem to understand that). In Atlanta you couldn’t use your signal to change lanes because people would pull out from behind you to stop you from getting over (I never understood why). Here people would slow to let you over or give the right of way (sometimes to the frustration of everyone around them, but at least they were being polite). I fear that worry about the economy and all of that has really put a damper on the friendliness level of Knoxville drivers. I have gotten honked at for being in my lane or following traffic laws at an Atlantean level. I miss my friendly drivers. If you know where they are, please tell them to come back.