Tony Woodlief | Author

Driving Instruction

Did you know I used to drive professionally? There are all kinds of interesting secrets I keep from you. It’s all part of the mystique, the allure that keeps you coming back to Sand in the Gears.

What kind of driving, you ask? Not racing, though my Bug once beat a raggedy ’76 Mustang off the line on Stratford Road in Winston-Salem. No, I drove the big rigs.

That’s right, school buses. Diesel automatics, four-in-the-floors, those sweet activity buses with the governor set at 45 instead of 35 — I drove ’em all. I had to pass grueling tests and demonstrate my prowess in situations that would make a lesser man wet himself.

Which I almost did once while stuck at 35 mph on a long stretch of bumpy road after a large Dr. Pepper, but that’s another story.

The point is, I know from driving. So consider this a public service announcement, directed at that portion of the driving public in serious risk of a severe beat-down from yours truly.

Specifically, the passing lane. Which is for passing. Funny how the name follows the function, huh? You see, some of us need to get somewhere. I’m not one of those nuts doing 15 miles over the speed limit. Well, sometimes I am. But if you’re in the passing lane and doing a respectable five or six over the limit, I can bide my time a respectful distance behind you. My issue is with those who only do the speed limit in the passing lane, or worse, drive below the speed limit.

You are in the bloody way. Move.

I have half a mind to get one of those big tubular metal thingies for the front of my truck, just for ramming the next Sunday-driving-on-Monday-morning-my-aren’t-the-flowers-growing-in-the-median-lovely slow-poke turtle-blooded turf crawler who gets in my way. Give me a jury of my peers — my real peers, not the people who sit on really important trials and always seem to screw them up — and I think I’d have a good shot at being vindicated.

And it’s not that I’m in such an all-fired hurry to get anywhere; a wife and three children have accustomed me to being late. It’s just the inconsideration involved in camping out in the left lane without regard to the long line of cars piling up behind you. It’s just rude. Move. Move. We don’t tolerate this sort of nonsense from our toddlers when we need to pass by in the hallway, and we darn sure don’t need to tolerate it from adults who ought to have been taught better by now.

I have no problem with going back to prison, people. So consider yourself warned.

On Key

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