The most irritating thing about driving is tailgating. It makes people’s blood boil, and worse, many tailgate intentionally, KNOWING that they’re making people angry. For the tail gaiters who do it unconsciously……. what is this need to be so close ? Are you afraid to be alone ? Are you afraid I’m going to abandon you ? What IS my car ? A magnet ? Tailgating is intensely more irritating now because half of us are DRIVING TRUCKS ! The headlights of SUVs and other trucks are higher than those of cars, so at night the tail-gating headlights glare straight through the rear windows of cars, the same as high beams. Tailgating is bullying and bigotry. It is dangerous, offensive, aggressive, and as ugly as throwing trash and cigarettes out the window. It’s a combination of anger and disregard.
People ARE angry. You can feel it on the road. They’re angry for personal reasons, angry at those who drive nice cars, angry at the summer people, angry at good-looking people, angry at rich people, angry because they broke up, angry because they’re broke, angry at who’s the President, angry at the Spanish people. Blue-collar workers are mad at the white-collar workers, and people are mad because of their own inadequacies, which they make up for by getting behind the wheel of an oversized vehicle and bullying people off the road. A petite-sized woman driving an SUV will run a6 foot200 lb. man driving a car off the road if she’s in a hurry. A6 foot,200 lb. man driving a Dodge Ram Pickup will run a petite-sized woman driving a Mini Cooper off the road by riding her butt like he’s her husband, until she can barely breathe and finally pull over. Last week I was chased from Hampton Bays all the way upFlanders Road(Rte. 24) to Riverhead by a Dodge- Ram Pickup with a Confederate flag on its front plate.
Tailgating is particularly provoking because someone is “In my face” and “On my butt” at the same time. They’re obviously on my butt, but how are they in my face ? Because they’re in my rear-view mirror. The face of the Dodge Ram Pickup – head, horns, Confederate flag and all, fills my rear-view mirror like a portrait in a frame. So our rear-view mirrors are in our faces as we’re tail gaited, literally the same as being chased. They come on like flies. Pestilence.
Riverhead has become theshopping centerofEastern Long Islandwith just about everything. Home Depot AND Lows, Staples AND Office Max, Home Goods AND Pier 1 Imports. But at least when you go to the Tanger Outlet and park your car there’s one thing you don’t have to worry about. Shopping carts.
One day I was driving home from Greenport on Rte. 25 and I stopped at Waldbaum’s in Mattituck. As soon as I pulled into the parking lot I saw a man drop his bags of groceries on the ground and begin running furiously towards his new BMW because a runaway shopping cart was heading straight towards the driver-side door of his car, being propelled by the wind from the Bay, and hastened by the downward slope of the Mattituck-Plaza parking lot. The shopping cart was traveling about15 milesper hour but he beat it, and was able to prevent the damage aimed at his door.
If we all did the right thing people wouldn’t do60 ina 35 like they do on Rte. 58 or County Road 39. Young motorcyclists wouldn’t pass me on Rte. 51 doing a wheelie and going 90. People with expensive and nice cars wouldn’t worry about dings, insurance rates would go down, people would lose weight and become healthier, property values would increase because streets wouldn’t be strewn with litter, meaning, people would be nicer. The next time that red-haired, freckle-faced teenager takes the road test she’ll pass it, but I hope that she doesn’t end up crying into that pink cell phone because of stupidity on the highway.
If you visit the military base at Gabreski Airport in Westhampton, there’s a large sign prominently posted upon leaving, that reads: CAUTION: YOU ARE ABOUT TO ENTER ONE OF THE MOST DANGEROUS PLACES ON EARTH – A PUBLIC HIGHWAY !