Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Stupid is as Stupid Drives.

Seriously, cars create stupidity. I’m not talking about the obvious kind of stupid, like when a person sees a nice car and wants to check under the hood, groan and gnarl with a Timallenesque woof and beat off all over the V8 Carbonomator Spark Ploogues. No, I’m talking about the subtle kind of stupidity that cars manufacture, the kind that cars bring out of people. It takes real smarts to design cars and put them together and be all hella-fast. Wild scienticians are finding new ways to do more with less that costs less and kills less trees and shit. But once it’s finished and one of them geniuses steps into the car… potential moron. While I won’t bother to list obviously stupid driving mistakes made by regular people behind the wheel, I will list through a few of the more convincing and seemingly random arguments to prove that cars bring out the stupidest side of stupid, whether with their operation, their decoration or just their existence in general.

1) Vanity Plates.

Who first thought that this was a fun investment? Have you ever heard of a situation where having your license plate be easy to remember would be a good thing? Every time in life or in the movies you hear “Did anyone get the plate number?”, it’s generally preceded by something like hitting an old person, running through a restaurant terrace, exploding a fruit truck, drive-by shootings or running over a small family. In these cases, if your plate number is snappy and easy to remember, then shouldn’t we assume it makes you easier to catch? Wouldn’t it be embarrassing for a hooligan to get caught because of their vanity plate?

“Surely I’m not the only one in a silver Saab, I mean, what does that prove?”
“Is your plate 'MADD DOGGZ'?”
“Seriously, otherwise I wouldn't have known where to find you.”

It’s not as if the coppers are tracking down anyone to reward them for good driving.

“Wow, did you see that guy parallel park in one move? Did anyone get his plate?”
“Hi, I heard that you witnessed the lady that came to a full stop at the stop sign… did you happen to get her plate number?”
“That’s the seventh car he has let in ahead of him, I’m going to take down his license plate and give it to the authorities, you know, for reward.”

So why bother having a nifty catchy plate? Is it so that the other drivers can know just a little bit more about you and what you’re all about? Sad.

“Say, that guy’s plate says ‘4 REALZ’. Geez Patricia, do you think he likes reality TV, or reality in general, or maybe he is a very genuine person? Oh! Maybe he is in a boy band called 4 realz… hmmm… well, I guess the only way to find out is to run him off the road and ask him.”
“I don’t know Stan, that one there says 'RKR CHK', she sounds like fun. I would assume that she is a chick, and also that she potentially rocks. We like to rock don’t we? I mean, in general, we rock. Let’s crash into her.”
“You never like any of my ideas!”


Some don’t even make any sense, because people take letters out of the words, usually vowels, and leave it up to you the reader to decide, like ‘BJNSHT’ you know for ‘Blowjobs and Shit’. They’re not always easy to figure out, which, begs the question “what’s the fucking point”. Sometimes the word is pronounceable, but meaningless to anyone but the driver, like 'SARTO' or 'FANAPY'.  Is ‘HPY’ hippy or happy? Is that a ‘5’ or an ‘S’? Who really cares? I saw one that said 'AXNDRA'… which maybe means Alexandra, or maybe has something to do with an axe. Why are people being so cryptic? If you are that lonely and desperate to have tailgaters know just a little more about you, why not just have a regular plate and then put a banner on your bumper that says “my name is alexandra”? Just state facts like “hey man, check me out, I like cats”, instead of ‘CNTLUVR’.

I guess that’s all bumper stickers are. I once saw a car that had a ‘Jesus Loves’ type of caca bumper sticker taped to the inside of the back windshield. Were they worried about changing their mind down the road and not being able to take it off the bumper? They don’t want to fully commit to the idea, but still want to display it. Apparently they just kind of love Jesus, for now, but not enough to make it a permanent fixture on the bumper. I find that kind of insulting, you know, for Jesus. I guess when someone better comes along they can just swap it out for Buddha, Tom Cruise or evolution. Bumper stickers are stupid.

Sometimes I come across a plate and I’m not sure if it’s a vanity plate or not. If vanity plates didn’t exist, this wouldn’t happen.

'583 MAN'… hmmm… well I wonder what the significance of that is” he pondered as he drove the car into the snow bank. ‘Dreamer’ by Supertramp softly played in the background.

The only real use I could see for a vanity plate is if you actually plan on committing vehicular crimes and want to make it impossible for anyone to remember. Get a plate with 27 numbers, letters and symbols placed at random.

“Did anyone get the plate number?”
“I think there was a ‘J’ and a happy face in there somewhere…”
“No, it was one of those winking happy faces… I think… or the one with the tongue sticking out.”
“I think that was a ‘e’ with umlauts.”

2) Rubber Band Traffic.

Nothing says stupid like traffic caused by nothing. People slow down enough, to look at an accident, that it then has a ripple effect and causes traffic, or another accident. All because they need to slow down, check shit out and think or say out loud something extra dumb.

“Oh gee, I hope no one got hurt.”

Who, out there, is hoping people are hurt? Is anyone driving by thinking the opposite?

“Hmmm… ’94 Tercel, I hope they’re all dead.”
“New York plates? Well it’s about time.”
“If only they’d just FUCKING EXPLODE ALREADY!”

I guess it wouldn’t be so bad if people actually had thoughts of that nature. At least then they would likely speed up, and I would make it home in time to watch ‘Kardashians Take a Dump’, or whatever. Sometimes it’s not even an accident, sometimes it’s just some car parked on the side of the road because the driver probably shit their pants or needed to pee. Sometimes it’s because there’s a state trooper on the side of the road, who’s already pulled someone else over, flashing lights and everything. Well, shit, shouldn’t you speed up then? Now’s your chance! Floor that sucker, and give the trooper the finger on your way by.

3) Global Positronic Swerndieferndenspiel (that sounds right).

Didn’t someone follow their GPS into a river? I don’t really think any more needs to be said about that. Granted, it’s not as if before GPS people were smarter with directions, driving all around town with a few notes jotted down on a post-it (like “left at the second lights after the second MacDonald’s” or “you gotta go three stops past the Burger King”) that would cause people to get lost, not pull over to ask for directions, and subsequently have the night end either in divorce or dying in the woods somewhere thinking “we must have missed the turn somewhere back before we hit the Canadian border” or “seriously, I didn’t see any sign that said Fluffandstuff Beach, did you? There was no sign!”

4) Nose Picking.

There’s nothing quite like cleaning house after a long day’s work breathing in conditioned air and office dust. Next time you’re in traffic heading home from work, look around. Two out of three cars house a driver that is up to their wrist digging for gold. These people would never stand in line at the bank or super market and do this, but in the car, in traffic, they somehow feel safe, and are also too stupid to realize that windows are see-through and are too busy flicking boogers towards their passenger seat to notice that they’re being watched.

5) Ritualistic Car Washing.

If you have a good dozen or so bird poops blocking windshield visibility, or better yet, a homeless man used the back seat of your car as a brothel / toilet / bathtub, then go ahead and give your car a good once over. You have my blessing. Otherwise just wait until it rains. I could see cleaning your car religiously every week if you were going to drive it in your house. No sense in leaving pesky tire treads all over grandma’s new carpets. But since no one is really about to do that, let’s just take a deep breath and remember that we drive our cars outside, and outside is dirty. Nothing stays new forever, let your shit age gracefully, it’s embarrassing.

“Look at my car, it’s clean, it’s like new, I’m like new, I’m shiny, my life is empty.”

6) Motocyclette.

You know what? I won’t even get into this right now. They are half of a car and exponentially more stupid. Screw motorcycles. Motorcycles don’t make stupid, they just are stupid. You like motorcycles? You’re stupid.

7) Laws.

Why do we need so many road signs? Because we’re that dumb in cars. 'BRAKE FOR MOOSE'? As far as I’m concerned, if you can’t figure that one out, maybe it’s just your time. And what’s with those deaf child ones? Are people coming up to a kid in the middle of the road and not stopping? Are we not trusted to stop for a child unless we are told they are deaf?

“It doesn’t say deaf child anywhere, any non-deaf child should really know better.” BOOM.

Or honking once and hoping for the best?

“Well fuck him, I honked, he had his chance.” Kablammo-Smoosh.

I wonder if those signs are the result of some lawsuit where some scumbag got off scot-free.

“If I’d known he was deaf I would have flashed my brights at him, thrown my water bottle at his head and slowed down a little. But I really thought he heard the honks. I gave him a good half second to get out of the way. I’m the victim here. I thought this is what he wanted. You know there really should be a sign.”

How come you don’t see any signs regarding blind children? I would assume they’d be more likely to be out in the road accidentally. And why stop at blind or deaf children, or, hell, why stop at children at all? Why not just have a big sign that says ‘TAKE’ER EASY – people jump out into the road around here, totally at random’. That’ll get people’s attention. Sadly, while they are reading it they may have run over a child or two. Maybe we should stop building roads that go directly through play areas. Or were the playgrounds built near the roads? Chicken and the egg, I guess. Maybe they should point the signs towards the side of the road where all the kids are running out from and write ‘WATCH OUT FOR ROADS’ on it or something, or ‘CARS WON’T NECESSARILY STOP FOR YOU, KID’, or build a fence.

Even speed limits exist because people can’t be trusted. Without them people would just never stop speeding up.

“Slow down Gerald the exit is coming up!”
“Blow your exit out your ass, Vera! I’m going to keep going until the needle flies off.”

In any case, regardless of all the road signs and laws, people break them all anyways. You’d never shoplift, or kill your wife, or hamburglarize. But get behind the wheel and you’ll definitely do a U-Turn over a median going seventy-five in a school zone, drunk.

“Stick it to the man, God damnit! Laws were meant to be broken!” said Nigel, the LOCAL PRIEST.

They even have to make laws to tell people what not to do while driving. Like being drunk or making and eating a sweet hoagie. You have to tell people not to text while driving. And still you see people doing it all the time. Well, I assume that’s what they’re doing, as they only have one free hand on the wheel and are looking down towards their crotch and manipulating something. You got it – they may be whacking off. (Texting… masturbating, is there really a difference?) Probably shouldn’t do that either, though. I’d like to see Oprah challenging people to take that pledge. Celebrities would be lining up. Seriously, though,  imagine getting pulled over for that?

“License and registration please."
"Hold on, the license is in my pants, I threw them in the back seat somewhere..."
"No, sir, hand them to me with your other hand.”
“You got any Purell?”

In some colder areas of the universe they had to start forcing people to put snow tires on their cars… assumedly because people weren’t smart enough to feel it was necessary. As long as we’re heading in that direction, let’s ticket the moron that clears a fist sized hole out of the snow on their windshield, for visibility, and thinks they’re fit to drive on the highway.

“Hey, I can see my own hood, and that’s sure good enough to know if I hit anything.”

Helmet laws, SUVs in the suburbs, that robot that gets help for you when you’re in a jam, locking keys in the car, double parking, drive-thru anything, people listening to iPods while driving… ET CETERA ET CETERA.  Look, I know public transportation isn’t the answer either. I saw an ad campaign, for a while, that was trying to be all green and ecosexual, insisting that public transportation was the ‘car of the future’. Have these marketing assholes ever even been on the bus or subway? What a bleak future that would be – unreliable, old, smelly, and being driven by the absolute cream of the crop (people still rocking the mullet and wearing the same outfit since the mid nineteen seventies). Imagine picking up a date in the car of the future.

“Be on the corner of Stain and Shart at 8:02 pm.”
“Can’t you pick me up at my house?”
“Well, no I can't, Wendy, I have a very futuristic car of the future. Now, make sure you’re there at 8:02, because that’s when I will pick you up, in this future car, otherwise the date is cancelled, or I suppose you could just catch the next future car and meet me at our destination. Anyways, look for the car that is big and rectangular and makes lots of noise and says ‘Downtown’ on the front. Oh, and I won’t be driving, and there will be other people in it. See you then.”
“That sounds like the bus.”

There are certainly some parents that could have some fun with it.

“Hey Dad, can I take the car out tonight?”
“Sure son, you can take the ‘car of the future’. Here are the keys” said the father as he threw some change out the window.

Thank heavens more and more people are working from home or just simply getting too fat to drive. Honestly, until we invent transporter beams or some kind of high speed travelling tube system like they have in movies set in the year 2000, I don’t think there’s much hope for intelligent daily commuting.  In the meantime, at least avoid the crap I just went over, and be safe, please.

That’s it. My exit’s coming up.


  1. Too many good jokes... Head exploding...

  2. Bwah ha ha! Found you via Facts Are Strictly Optional. Good stuff. You sound like I do about traffic, idiots, and so on. :)

  3. Yeah, traffic... the great equalizer... Thanks for checking out my stuff!