In view of the light snow showering down gently upon the Earth like frozen tears of angels, I left work at Southern Living at 11:30 AM for the usual 30-minute drive home. I arrived on my front porch at 5:30 PM. And I have a few choice words for the idiot drivers who made possible this memorable and heart-warming ordeal.
Important Memo to Drivers of Pickups & SUVs
Just because you have 4-wheel drive and 700 ponies under the hood DOES NOT make you immune to the effects of ice. Right now, our neighborhood is blocked by pile-ups at both ends. One pile-up consists of a big SUV, a 4×4 pickup, and a sedan that looks pretty much like a metal burrito. The other involves two pickups and a HUMMER. Nobody is going anywhere! So listen here, Bubba. I don’t care if you’re driving a turbocharged 12-wheel drive armored personnel carrier with 800 horses and a construction crane. You can’t drive it up a hill coated with ice! So give your massive chicklets a rest, park your vehicle, light up a Camel, and wait your turn like sane people do.
Simple Driving Tips for Idiots, Morons, & Various Cretins
It isn’t snow and ice that makes driving in winter storms so difficult and dangerous. It’s driving in storms with people like you. I tried every route I knew to get home last night. Every single one was blocked by stuck and spun-out idiots. This wouldn’t have happened if said morons had used common sense. In order to facilitate their reintegration into sentient society, Grumpy offers them the following tips. Read along if you can.
1. When driving on slick roads, put your vehicle in low gear, drive slowly but steadily, do not make any sharp turns, and think about what your next move is BEFORE you slide. Look ahead for places where you can gain traction. At one problem spot, I put my right tires on the grass. At another, I had my left tires riding the raised yellow reflectors on the center line. Made it past both spots easily.
2. Keep as much distance as you can from the vehicle in front of you. If you tail-gate him, you could plow into him or he could slide back into you. More likely, though, he’ll get stuck and then you’ll get stuck.
3. If you’re approaching an icy hill, wait until the vehicle ahead has topped the hill before you follow — because if he gets stuck, you’re stuck. Then get up as much speed as you safely can, head up the hill, and DO NOT STOP. If you stop, you will get stuck — and dozens of indignant drivers behind you will start searching for a tree where you can be tied up and whipped.
4. If you get stuck, DO NOT FLOOR IT. You will just dig a hole from which your tires will never emerge. Instead, put your vehicle in its lowest gear, put anything you can find to give traction (door mat, old towel, Richard Sherman jersey) under the drive wheels, and press down on the gas pedal as gently as possible. If this doesn’t work at first, look even more pathetic than you already are, and perhaps a couple of big, manly guys will offer to push.
And A Special Thanks Goes To
Grumpy would like to recognize a couple of special numbskulls who made his 6-hour odyssey home so gosh-darn much fun.
1. Dieter von Krappenbrehn, the German guy in his spiffy, rear-drive Mercedes. How do I know he is German? Two ways. First, his license plate reads, “GERMAN.” Second, he believes every road is an autobahn that can only be negotiated at 125 mph. He therefore becomes quite indignant when he pulls up behind me on a road that is blocked by two stuck vehicles at the bottom of the hill. “Was ist dis!” he screams, lays on the horn, and then drives off onto the shoulder to go around — whereupon he promptly gets stuck.
Life is gut.
2. Billy Bob Roadkill, who stops behind me in his huge, manly pickup shortly after Dieter’s debacle. He knows that because I am waiting patiently in my sensible Toyota Camry for the road to clear I am a wuss. He is not a wuss, so he decides to go around too. Only as soon as he turns his front wheels, he totally loses traction and starts sliding right down the road towards me. Fortunately, I see this happen and pull the Camry forward just enough so he doesn’t crush me.
I made a rude gesture. I felt better. Better to be a wuss going home than a stranded cretin who isn’t.