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GOG: A modest proposal for overage drivers

Image Credit: Compilation/Jennifer Stahn
July 31, 2014 - 7:21 AM

There is a sub-class among us, the members of which have been labelled so that the rest of us may identify and avoid them. They are, of course, the New Drivers, forced to display a prominent “N” and subject to rules and restrictions which don’t apply to anyone else. And which they happily ignore.

Well, I’m here to tell you: the authorities got the wrong people. New Drivers are no impediment at all for those of us who wish to make meaningful progress in our cars, either because they are travelling at twice the speed of sound or because they’re already in the ditch. The problem is Old Drivers.

Old Drivers have forgotten where they’re going and never had any idea how to get there anyway. They move incredibly slowly. They truly believe that if they exceed the posted speed limit by one mile an hour their Nissan Alzheimer will disappear from beneath them and they will be left sitting in the middle of the road in their underwear because they forgot to put on their pants before they went out.

They dither. A traffic light turning green is an invitation to an Old Driver to proceed at some point in the future. When they’re ready. Maybe. A light which is already green means slow down or stop – after all, it’s bound to turn red eventually isn’t it?

Roundabouts confound them. If they signal at all, you can safely assume they will proceed in the direction opposite to the one they have indicated, and will either stop in the middle or keep going round in circles until the wheels fall off.

At four way stops they have absolutely no clue when it’s their turn, so they just politely wave through everyone else. For ever.
Those lollipop-wielding construction people cause them absolute panic.

“What do we do now Edith?”

“I think we have to stop Harold.”

“For how long Edith?”

“Till Wednesday Harold.”

They will stop for bicyclists. They will stop for quail. They will stop to chat with neighbours. They will stop at every Tim Hortons for a pee.

A friend of mine (yes I have friends, dammit,) recently suggested that Old Drivers should be made to affix a large and brightly-coloured “O” to the rear of their cars so we can identify them, in the same way we are forewarned about freshly-licensed youths.

This is unnecessary. Old Drivers are easy to spot: They are the ones going twelve miles an hour. In Buicks. With the turn signal on.

No, the solution is much more straightforward. We simply make the exit to every “Retirement Village” and “Gated Community” a four-way stop. That way they can never leave.

And before my detractors point out that I technically fall into the dithering class, let me state unequivocally: I may be old, but I am not slow. In fact I drive everywhere at a hundred miles an hour. Always have.

And I’ve only been fatally injured twice.

— The Grumpy Old Git has modest proposals for just about everything and everyone.

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