The other day, I was driving along and my car alerted to me that it was time for some air in my tires. Great, I’ll head on over to Sheetz and fill it up. I pulled in, looked around and saw that another guy was waiting so I pulled to the side so he could go next. What happened after was something that made me question my life, values and personal sanity.
As the person filling up backed out, some asshole pulled in, nearly hitting the car of the rightful heir to the air. The man who was wronged (a middle aged Asian dude with two kids in the back) gets out and tells the line cutter, a hipster in his mid-to-late-30s, that he was waiting in line. The hipster then ignores the man and starts filling his tires. With an iron resolve, the Asian dude then puts the PSI at 60 every time the hipster goes to fill while peppering him with insults. At this point, I get out of the car and give some expletive-laced shouting, insulting him for his Waldo like appearance and general lack of self-awareness or common decency.
Shortly after, Hipster’s friend, Hipster 2 comes out looking like he is fresh from Starbucks writing his novel. After informing him that his friend is an asshole, he tells me, “it’s just air, chill out and fuck off.” After dropping the golden rule (with some other choice words) and asking how he’d like it if we did it to him, they got in their car (Hipster 2 had to let OG Hipster in from the passenger because he was missing a door handle, probably from being an asshole) and they gave us all a smiling two bird salute.
After this exchange, on a cold Sunday morning in November, I realized something I’ve known for a long time but never put a name to it: I fucking hate driving. From the act of driving, to the bullshit that comes with owning a car all the way to the fact that we trust other idiots on the road to not swerve into us, everything about driving is pure unadulterated garbage.
With cars, it’s always something. They need fluids, gas, insurance, tires, new parts, parking passes, inspections, the list goes on. I was irate when I found out I had to pay to park at my job. Buy a new car? The second you put the key in the ignition of a new car, it depreciates like 20%. You could be a mechanic and take the best care of your car, yet a deer can pop out looking for some doe strange and run directly into your car and you’re fucked. If it’s not the deer, it’s the Baghdad-level potholes in the road that you can’t swerve around because they everywhere, oncoming traffic prohibits it or both. Ask me how I know because I recently shelled out $1600 on new shocks.
When I tell people my unpopular opinion of hating driving, I often get “how can you hate driving, it’s relaxing and you can just, I don’t know, be alone in your thoughts.” I attended college six hours from my home, so I’ve done a lot of back and forth driving, along with an hour and a half, 55-mile drive, complete with stop and go traffic, in a state notorious for aggressive driving for my summer job used for a “living and beer fund” through college. Anyone that has driven on Route 80 or I-81 for any significant time can tell you it is the worst thing, mostly due to the tractor trailers and the most popular pastime of Pennsylvania (and Ohio): driving 2-5 MPH under the speed limit in the left lane.
If you aren’t playing pothole Frogger, replacing parts or rubbernecking over every stopped car on the shoulder, you encounter shitheads everywhere on the road. I’ve seen people doing their makeup, disciplining their children and even reading a newspaper, all while behind the wheel of a large automobile. I’m a pretty good driver, at least by the metrics that I’ve been driving for over ten years with zero accidents that were my fault and two tickets: one for a law in Kentucky that I didn’t know existed and a $3 fine for pulling through a parking space.
Every day, I miss not being able to walk to work. Between how much it costs to acquire and upkeep a car to having to deal with shitheads on the road, the only positive thing I can think about cars is that they are better than a horse and carriage. Sure, having a car lets you get places quickly but the headaches associated with car ownership are not worth the hassles. “But Bernie, having a car lets you go see stuff you wouldn’t get to otherwise.” Even if you take that cross-country road trip you and your idiot friends always planned, you can’t even look at it because you’re too busy concentrating on not driving into a telephone pole..
Image via Shutterstock