How to drive really fast and get where your going at the same time as grandpa

Another path

Once upon a much too short lunch break, I came up on that Cadillac on the freeway. Yes, THAT one. The gazillion dollar shiny caddy driving 45 mph on the freeway. Grandpa was sitting in the drivers seat, both hands on the wheel, glasses that resemble ski goggles on his head; squinting to barely see the road in front of him.  Construction to the left of me, and semis to the right there i was stuck in the middle with him.

GTFO off my ROAD!

After much bobbing-and-weaving, I catch a break. I fly by grandpa on the right, hong my horn, give em’ the good old bird finger and hit the gas!

There I was, 85 mph weaving in and out of all the other idiots that had the audacity to plug up MY road. I had one hand on my gear-shifter the other hand balancing a McGigantic sandwich and a lit cigarette, steering wheel delicately controlled with my knee so as not to spill my soda pop stuffed between my legs. Of course I had the Radio blasting! I finally hit my exit, hit the breaks, glare at the red light in front of me. Requiring more multitasking for my under-stimulated brain, I rescue a lost tomato from my lap and quickly stuff it in my mouth. “Waste not want not.”

At that moment two things occurred. One of my Dad’s favorite old songs came on the radio, and good ole’ grandpa slowly pulled up in the lane next to me. I looked at him, he looked at me, and in a moment of obscene awkwardness he smiled and gestured me a friendly wave. I waved back hoping he didn’t know I was the guy riding his bumper and honking for 3 miles.

I was shocked. I just made Dale Earnhardt Jr. look like a kid with a go-kart and here’s slowpoke grandpa pulling up next to me? I was furious. How the hell did he and I get to the same destination at the same time?

On the radio I heard the chorus to the song:

I’m in a hurry to get things done,
I’m rushing rushing till’ life’s no fun.
All I’ve really gotta do is live and die,
but i’m in a hurry and don’t know why.

From “I’m in a Hurry” by Alabama.
Learn about the band Alabama.

Something changed in me that day. This really intrigued me. For one thing, people had told me that you spend more gas to drive fast but i hadn’t really payed much attention. Even if I was using more gas, I had to be getting there faster right?

Even though every afternoon I’d hit the gas station and blow through the money like I was a frat boy at a strip club, I’d still not really gotten it. Could this gas problem possibly be related to me?  My inquisitive mind began a little experiment. I started clocking my commute time. The first day I drove like grandpa, (but a little safer) i drove 65 mph. At first it was torturous. Then I would drive like normal (bat out of hell) and see how much time I could shave.

The results were very similar. Regardless of my speed, my commute time was pretty much the same. Sometimes i would shave a couple of minutes sometimes not.

I suddenly had this thought,

“I’m risking a speeding ticket and a flaming car wreck for two minutes?”

But i STILL wasn’t convinced.

Then my Dad and I went on a long trip out to a place where the Casinos are brightly lit and you don’t have to know a secret password to get into the door.

The deal was I would drive and he would buy the gas.

The min speed limit was 65, max was 75. Dad’s preconditions were that I must 65 to use less gas. I was not happy. I argued, yet to no avail. Rules is rules. So I waited until he went to sleep and then I hit the gas. 80 mph we went and we were making good time.

Another path

Another path

Unfortunately, on the way home Dad didn’t fall asleep. So, he watched my speed and every time I started to speed up he’d bark at me to slow down. So I set the cruise control and we trudged along at an agonizing snail’s pace, through the most boring terrain imaginable. But; I noticed something. The heat on the salt flats was shimmering. The tumbleweeds were migrating across the parched clay like bison. Each stupid little hill suddenly took on the shape of something interesting.

The two gasoline bills were drastically different. The second one looked like a restaurant check, the first looked like a new PlayStation2 (back when those were actually cool and I really wanted one).

I was convinced. I had realized that my foot on the pedal had some type of direct correlation with the cash in my pocket. I had control. I had power. I had responsibility.

It was about then that started to understand that I could be different. The way that everybody else did things wasn’t necessarily the best way of getting something done. From then on I have become skeptical about all manner of daily living. I’ve been on a quest to learn the best, the easiest, the most efficient, the cheapest, or simply a better way of doing things. I haven’t found the path of enlightenment. Even as I write this i’m stuffing flavorless “KAY”FC  in my face. Yet I’m learning nonetheless.

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Comments
4 Responses to “How to drive really fast and get where your going at the same time as grandpa”
  1. whispit says:

    TYPOS!! =P

  2. whispit says:

    I see people driving like that all the time and they always end up at the same light with me at the same time. =)

  3. Falhalah says:

    LOL yeah but sometiems ya just wanna go fast. but 65 is alot better gas mileage
    and take time to smell the rores on rad trips Luna ya shoulda detoured thru monument valley or something there are a lot of great places along the way to Vegas.

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