Dear Seattle Drivers....

You are awful. I won't say that you are the worst, because Massachusetts has that market pretty well cornered, but you are bad. The thing about you is that you are uniquely bad. While Massholes are renowned for their aggressiveness and wanton disregard for things like traffic lanes, which I'd say is classically bad, you, Seattle Drivers, are actually killing each other with kindness. Add to that a complete lack of awareness of your general surroundings, and you have a recipe for me wanting to strangle all of you.

Take, for example, my commute home from work on Monday night. First, there was a FedEx truck parked in front of an apartment building cutting down traffic on Western Ave from three lanes to two. Not a happy thing during rush hour, but you know what? It's a Fedex truck. It's this guy's job. And it's the holidays, so you know he is just getting crushed right now. Can't blame him, especially because I tried to do as much of my holiday shopping on Amazon as possible.

So I finally make it through the light at Denny Way, after which I have to make an almost immediate right turn. Sure enough, some guy behind me shot over into the right lane midway through the intersection, and he is riding my tail like it's his job. I can't get over, and he will neither slow down to let me in, nor will he get past me. In fact, he basically drives directly parallel to me for about three blocks even though my turn signal is on and there is no one in front of him for at least 100 feet. I, on the other hand, have a line of cars behind me and a car directly in front of me. Stopping to let this douche pass me would really screw my whole lane up, so I keep moving at the pace of traffic.

Finally he passes me. I zip in behind him.... and then he comes to a dead stop to pick someone up. Naturally, I did what any half-decent east coast-trained driver would do. I laid on the horn and swore up a storm. I may also have waved a middle finger. Or two. There is a limit to my bullshit tolerance, people.

This incident, while particularly frustrating and egregious, is by no means out of the ordinary. Let me give you some other examples of the atrocious driving in Seattle.
  • Coming to a dead stop on the freeway to let someone in.
  • Coming to a screeching halt in order to let a pedestrian jaywalk across the middle of the street (even though the same pedestrian would absolutely wait for the walk signal if she were at the crosswalk).
  • Driving directly parallel to another car on the freeway, preventing anyone from passing. While you both go five miles under the speed limit. 
  • Acting as though rain -- rain in Seattle, mind you -- is such a rare occurrence that you cannot remember how to drive in it. 
  • Lack of understanding regarding the use of car horns and the purpose they serve.
  • Seven drivers are stopped at a seven-way intersection, all waving frantically at each other to go while everyone remains at a dead stop:
"You go!"
"No you go!"
"No, you go!" 
"Oh, but I couldn't possibly. You go my friend!" 
"Oh, but I'm sure you were here first!"  

  • For no discernible reason driving 10mph under the posted speed limit.
  • Looking mortally offended when the driver behind you (me) gets extremely pissed that you are driving (for no discernible reason) 10mph under the posted speed limit and tailgates your ass.
  • General difficulty with the concept of turning right on red.
  • General difficulty with the concept of merging, to the point of coming to a dead stop so that you can merge (see e.g. above for an example of someone [me] who kept moving even when someone else was being an idiot).
  • Complete lack of understanding of the "zipper merge" principle. When you see that there is a merge a mile up and all of you make a mad dash for the right lane, it is going to cause a traffic back up. Do not blame me when I drive up much closer to the actually merge point and then do what you all should have done: zipper merge. 
I know there are more examples of how incredibly frustrating it can be to share the road with you. I also acknowledge that my driving is not perfect, and that I have probably enraged other drivers in the past. In the past (well, very recent past), I have been known to do things like make a U-turn in the middle of the street in order to get the best possible parking space. But at least that bad driving has a purpose. You people, on the other hand, I just don't get what the end goal is here, unless it's to drive transplants (and frankly, each other) completely bananas.


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