Saturday, December 09, 2006

Riding in cars. With or without boys.

You know, it never ceases to blow me away: What people will do in their cars, while sitting in traffic. Now admittedly, there is not much 'real' traffic in my neck of the woods, but you do occasionally have to wait five to ten minutes to make it through an intersection or two, so there is some time for people watching. I like to watch the car behind me through my rear-view mirror. Somewhat voyeuristic, I know, but it's still a public place... I observed three cars yesterday.

The first is the one that prompted this post. When I glanced in the rear view mirror, the lone occupant was digging around in her nose. And I mean digging. Once she had finished with both nostrils (it was like a train wreck or one of those mosquito lights: I couldn't look away... I just had to know how deep she was gonna go. Was she going to nick a vessel? Would the paramedics be needed??), she commenced with her nails (I figure they would have needed a good cleaning after where they'd just been), and then she proceeded to use the rear view mirror to examine her eyebrows and how they reacted to every ridiculous expression she could think of. Alas, my entertainment was cut short by the change of the light, at which point she gunned the gas and nearly clipped my rear end as she made a sudden lane change and swerved around the corner.

The next car kind of freaked me out a bit. It was one of those ugly new Cadillacs, and the occupants, a man and woman who appeared to be in their early twenties, were obviously having words. They looked furious with one another, and as the woman kept talking, I really thought the man (who was driving) just might smack her. He didn't though. At least not that I saw. The light changed, and as I proceeded through the intersection, he made an illegal and high-speed turn, cutting off traffic in the turning lane.

The third and final car was a van with two occupants, ostensibly father and son. This pair was fun to watch. They quite obviously were having a blast, laughing and joking. The son looked to be about 10 years old, and at one point was demonstrating something that looked very little boy-ish. I imagine battleships and fighter jets were involved, complete with sound effects. The light changed, and I was forced to concentrate on what was in front of me.

So why do people act as though they're alone in their cars when, in reality, they are, more often than not, in the middle of a crowd? I suppose all this must have something to do with the fact that when in our cars, we feel relatively secure and isolated, never mind the fact that we're surrounded by clear glass... I must admit that I myself have been caught by this: More than once I have been rocking out to the stereo, singing to the masses at Woodstock, only to return to my senses and find that I have been serenading (potentially off-key) three lanes of traffic with my windows down. I got applause once, but I think that due more to my comedic value than singing abilities...

Hmmmm... just another day in the fascinating realm of people watching.



At 9:10 AM, Blogger Grumball said...

cars are well soundproofed, which helps the feeling of isolation I suppose. Also Fton traffic is terrible for a city of such a size, from what I've seen!

At 4:27 PM, Anonymous j said...

seriously, what would you have us do? Build little brick fortresses where we'll all go to do all our nose picking, singing, fighting, and plane noises?

I think we should go the other way, and make these things mandatory in cars.

In fact, all cars should come with built-in microphones, and speakers plastered all over the outside, so every off key note, and every angry word, every fear-inducing bodily noise, is amplified a thousand times over and broadcast to the world.

They should put giant red boxing gloves in the side door pockets, and some foam bats and lightsabers in the back, to make all fights incredibly ammusing to watch, and install automatic nose-picking robots in the sun visor.

The entire windsheild should be reflective so that drivers can check their appearance at all times, instead of constantly risking neck strain to look at their badly positioned rear-view mirrors.

Of course, this will likely piss everyone off so much that they'll move away, thereby reducing the traffic congestion until there are so few cars that we never have to sit in traffic long enough to be annoyed by anything.

Hey, I can dream.

At 5:54 AM, Blogger jenn said...

Grum- true and true.

J- Whoa! Down boy (or girl)! No need to get testy. I'm guessing I have affronted a closet car-nose-picker. No offense was meant- on the contrary, thanks for providing the entertainment!

At 5:57 AM, Blogger Grumball said...

I make F1 or rally noises when I drive. Complete with squealing, downshift blips, and exhaust crackle/backfire.

If I had I Saab or Mitsubishi it'd be plane noises. If I had a diesel it'd be tank noises. If I had an electric car I'd give up.

At 9:21 PM, Blogger León said...

Merry X-mas...!!

Late, i know! :(

I came to give ya lots of kisses and hugs.

Saludos Jenn.


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