Don’t be that guy: Tourist season edition

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Fiesta San Antonio, our annual 11-day arts-crafts-and-music-that’s-really-an-excuse-to-get-tanked hoedown begins this Friday, and by the time I’d been back here long enough to prepare to attend, I had also already learned enough about it to decide I didn’t want to.

As it turns out, it’s relatively overrated anyway.  It’s one of the few times all year that they charge for entry to the Riverwalk, which I understand, but I figure that being able to go during the rest of the year (sans crowds) gives me better views, a more enjoyable experience, and at a much better price.  But I digress (don’t I usually?)…

As the weather warms up and the tourists come out of their holes, traffic is getting crazy.  Well, as crazy as San Antonio gets, anyway, which, despite what some of the whinier citizens among us would have you believe, really isn’t all that bad.

But lately?  Heh.  On the road these days, I find myself sandwiched between somebody parked in the left lane in front of me, driving 5-10 miles per hour below the speed limit (with no one in front of them and no impending turn to make), and the douchebag behind me (usually in some contemporary piece-of-shit muscle car) who figures he can make both of us go faster if he rides my ass.

So if you’re the one in front, reacquaint yourself with the anatomy and physiology of your accelerator or move the fuck over.  If you’re the idiot behind me, well, there’s a reason that my car insurance is lower than yours.  Just be sure that when you do decide to rear-end someone, I’ve gotten out of the way and you give a friendly nudge to the left-lane putzer instead.

Then you have the (sorry, predominantly Mexican) mindset of “I know I’m an oncoming car making a left turn and you totally have the right-of-way but I think I’ll use your left lane (the one I’m in) as my second turn lane and come thisclose to hitting you.  And I don’t care if that’s OK with you or not).”

Whiskey Tango Foxtrot.  Stay on your own goddamn side of the road and if it means you have to wait 30 milliseconds until I pass and you can turn, then fine.

So if you’re that guy, learn your right from your left.  Even in Mexico, y’all drive on the same side of the road as we do, so this shouldn’t be new to you–so stay there (“there” meaning on your own side of the road or in Mexico altogether, I don’t care).

Footnote: if you are driving up from Mexico, please keep in mind that although you may be some hotshot politician or business owner in your country, you amount to precisely dick here.  We don’t care that you’re some high-and-mighty Gobierno; you still have to stop at our redlights, signal your lane changes (at least in heavy traffic), pick a single lane to drive in, and stay the fuck between the lines.

And please remember to convert your rate of speed properly.  Kilometers (which your vehicles are programmed with) are not the same as miles.  You do 45 klicks in a 45 mph zone and you’ll likely have SmartCars trying to hockey-check you into the ditch.

And people?  There’s a shit-ton of construction out there right now.  Yes northerners, we do it year-round…because we can.  None of this seasonal bullshit.  But what that means is that we have long-term projects going on at all times of the year.  This is not an opportune time to suddenly forget how to cooperate with people in other lanes when you realize your lane is going away.

Now, we’re usually pretty good about warning you.  You know, those little orange diamond signs that say, “Right Lane Closed Ahead”.  Yeah, those aren’t just for fun; they mean it.  These signs do not mean, “speed up and pass 20 cars and then edge in at the last minute”.  Do not assume someone will let you in.  Some people might indeed let you in; this is friendly San Antonio, after all.

But I’m not always one of them (it depends on the attitude I’m sensing from the other driver; if they’re nice, then I will; if they’re rude or aggressive, fugeddabout it), and increasingly, people around here are getting fed up with douchecanoes mistaking our courtesy for their entitlement.

And thus, boys and girls, ends my Public Service Announcement for the week.  Meanwhile, I’m going to have a blast at home with a cordless phone, an endless supply of music (including this gem!) and of course, a healthy (ha) supply of kreteks.


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