Saturday, November 6, 2010

Rushing to be Good Citizens

If your true personality comes out when you drive, then I'm in big trouble: I never should have had the gumption to graduate from high school. The only drivers who approach me in mellowness are on the island of Kaua'i.

Island drivers wave you into an endless line of cars crawling toward Lihue on a Friday afternoon. Waiting for the next hick-up forward, they roll down their windows to watch the surfers catching end-of-the-work-week waves. Island drivers thank you with a thumb and pinkie shaka salute when you wave them into line.

Yes, the traffic is heavy and slow; no, we won't get to Kapa'a in time; but the sun is turning the ocean to gold and the guy noseriding the longboard is slicing through the waves like a ship's figurehead. We might as well enjoy the view.

The other evening I uncharacteristically joined the thundering herd of vehicles leaving downtown Boise and wearing their tires to latex dust. Cruising down Front Street I cringed and caved as an SUV loomed on my front fender. I shuddered as a pickup appeared in my back seat at a stoplight. I avoided a Corolla wandering across lane markers while its driver laughed on a cell phone.

A white Suburban stitched a path from one lane to another and back, oblivious to the series of compression waves it created as drivers slowed to avoid it in each lane. The Suburban's brake lights flared angrily when it was caught in another driver's wave. We reached the 184 connector and the race was on. I chose life in the slow lane as a tan Chevy attempted a new land speed record to Meridian.

I looked at the clock on my dash: it was 7:23 pm on Election Day. I had voted that morning but the other drivers clearly had not: they must be rushing to the polls before they close. They must take their civic duty seriously and enjoy casting their ballots as much as I do.


  1. Oh dear, the elections...the day after, I had my own driving debacle while listening to the rehash on NPR. I was driving on 13th beside Camel's Back where the speed limit is 20. Oh, oh. I was going 35. Usually I drive like an ol' grandma and I wasn't even in a hurry. My absent minded driving cost me $85.

  2. Oh dear, Linda! I'm sorry the weight of the elections pressed on your accelerator enough for the police to notice.