2007-11-26

Ego emissions

I did love that "Low ego emissions" VW Passat ad when it first came out, and it rings true. I am by now proudly the smallest car on the road (as opposed to white-knuckles-terrified smallest car on the road I was in the first few months), as I valiantly steer my little Miata among the trucks, SUVs, and minivans that constitute the majority of traffic around where I live.

Just last evening on the way home something happened to me that I noticed quite frequently before. An SUV pulls up behind me on a 45-mph road. I'm going a bit over, with the rest of traffic. SUV passes me on the right and wedges itself into what I thought was a safe following distance from the car ahead of me.

Well, a'ight, wha'ever, I fall behind a few yards, but then another classic thing happens: the SUV slows down to 43, so now they are falling behind the car I was following, and force me to perform an unsafe pass on the right.

I guess it is not prestigious to be in a large vehicle behind an itty-bitty Miata.

Sigh.

Move on.

But this morning, a similar situation was brewing up. Red light. I'm the front car in the left lane, and a huge truck, something like Nissan Titan, pulls up to the line in the right lane next to me. Right lane becomes a turn-only lane just about 200 yards down the road.

Light changes, I accelerate, but then the truck accelerates harder, so it is clear it wants to cut me off and get in front of me. "I'll race you, fucker," I say and step on the gas. I'm still in third gear, at maybe 4500 RPMs, as the truck finally gives up and gets in the lane behind me, just before right lane ends.

I had to muster what little civility I had left not to give them any hand gestures, but man, did I enjoy watching the truck in my rear view mirror for the next ten minutes!