Patterico's Pontifications



Filed under: Miscellaneous — Patterico @ 2:40 pm

Rosemary Esmay doesn’t like it when people drive too slowly in the passing lane. The way she expressed the sentiment, however, leads me to believe that she and I would not get along on the freeway (expletive deleted by Patterico):

If someone is tailgaiting you in the left – you’re going too slow. Don’t get huffy. Don’t get indignant.


That is the rule.

If I have to pass, your slow ass, on the right — I will cut you off. If my kid isn’t in the car, I’ll do my best to make you crap your pants in the process.

Rosemary calls this a “public service announcement.”

I agree with Rosemary that people should not cruise in the fast lane at a low rate of speed. I do not do that, and if I catch myself doing it, I will move out of the way once I realize it.

But not if you tailgate me.

So here is my public service announcement: there is no excuse for tailgating, and no excuse for people who deliberately cut other people off to make a point.

If you tailgate me, here is what I’ll do. I will not move out of your way. I will slow down. I will stay exactly abreast of the car next to me so you can’t pass either of us. If you continue to tailgate me, I will choose that moment to clean my windshield. Here’s hoping you just washed it, because now it’s dirty with the crap washing off my windshield.

I love doing this. It makes me feel like a dog raising his leg to express his feelings on your car.

What’s more, if I can think of other safe ways to make you miserable, I will do those too.

If you are the kind of person who deliberately cuts me off because you don’t think I was going fast enough, you are a menace, and you are going to cause a wreck some day. You probably didn’t give me enough time to realize that I was holding you up before you started tailgating me. You were probably whipping in and out of traffic, and whipped from the number two lane to the number one lane, inches behind me, and got upset that I didn’t crash into the car next to me to get out of your way fast enough.

I am not suggesting that Rosemary is this sort of driver, by the way. I assume that her comments were hyperbolic, and that she doesn’t really behave this way on the road. But if she does, I urge her to change her ways. Slowpokes are just irritating, but speed kills — all the time.

UPDATE: Rosemary confirms (in the comments and in a new post on Dean Esmay’s site) that she was simply blowing off steam and doesn’t really drive like that. I suspected as much. Anyone who can write a post as good as the one she wrote about leaving the Democratic party has more sense than to deliberately endanger people’s lives on the road.


  1. I am not this way. I spent the weekend driving around Chicago and I saw some things that nobody should see. People crusing the passing lane are as dangerous as speed demons. Why? Because they piss people off. They endanger everyone. Someone decides to start weaving in and out to get around “pokey” and we are all at risk.

    I actually avoid freeways when I can because I don’t want to risk my son. People are insane.

    I was tired and really annoyed after 6 hours in the car. It was a vitrolic rant. I was not serious about the cutting people off bit – although I have fantasized it.

    Rosemary Esmay (7fe0e7)

  2. I figured as much. Unfortunately, there are people out there who act out your fantasy. But I didn’t think you were one of them, really.

    Patterico (72d71b)

  3. I had a tailgater years ago. I slowed to 45mph to prompt him to change lanes. He changed lanes and got in front of me and slowed his car to 30mph. We were on a highway. I camly observed as he revealed his character. He was a pushy and vindictive sort of dude. I also camly observed my thoughts, I thought that if he was unarmed, I could invite him to the shoulder to converse. I thought that I could probably reason with him or leave him crippled. I saw my thoughts were a waste of time. I got off the highway and went around him to get back on further down the way.
    He probably was armed, and probably not a rational person at the time or ever. I do not play games with others using my car. I have no need to point out the errors of others and teach them a lesson with a car. My survival is important for my family, my main concern is to survive an encounter the best way possible causing the least amount of harm. One thought does linger, the delicious fantasy of applying heel hooks to each leg while he screams, then choking him out. I gotta get some Sanka….

    Hugo (cd3483)

  4. Here is something that I’ve sent to the Editor of the Herald Sun in Melbourne Australia concerning the driving habits of the people I am forced to share the highway with.

    Dear Sir
    A quiet drive to work is getting to be almost an impossibility when using the Warburton highway. In the predawn hours the hoons, hillbillies, rednecks and tailgaters are in plague proportions along this and ad-joining roads. They all seem to favour utes and four wheel drives. These idiots feel that speeding, tailgating, flashing their lights and passing on double white lines is a must, that I can handle, but then standing on the brakes after they pass you is right over the top.
    If the government is serious about the road toll they should put tailgating on top of the list. Long license cancellations, jail and stiff fines sound like a good thing for these people, and they should start on the Warburton highway in the predawn hours.
    Earl Downing.

    Dear Sir
    The incident that has caused this letter to be written happened last friday morning. At about 6:00am I was tailgated by a ute driver, as I am nearly every morning. This driver demonstrated a lack of responsibility that I found hard to believe. Not only was he speeding to catch up and tailgate me, he started flashing his lights when about 3 metres behind me at 80 kph, I slowed down in the time honoured response to such behaviour. He then took it upon himself to cross double white lines on a bend. When he got in front of me he stood on the brakes and almost came to a standstill, I was still going slow but we had entered a 60 kph zone while this was going on. He then accelerated on to another group of vehicles about 100 metres ahead and proceeded to do exactly the same as he had done to me. He turned off at Monbulk road.

    I reported this to the police who said that unless they had a license number they could do nothing.
    All I could give the police was part of a trade name on the door XX.XX Jordan Plant Hire or Plant Hire XX.XX Jordan. I have had run ins with this driver before but not as bad as this last lot. He appears to be a serial tailgater. I think there was a fatal accident on this particular road (Cleg road) a couple of weeks ago.

    Earl (0fe66f)

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