Nick's Journal
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2021-04-17 12:33:52 (UTC)

Got my Shot! and Regional Driving

so I got my covid shot! yay! now I am immortal! I'm actually super surprised to have gotten it already, I was planning mid to end of may. let's give the government (or whoever) some credit for once. I got Moderna which, according to my brother who is a dentist, is one of the better ones. he got the same one.

it was funny getting it though. it was in this big convention centre. I went mid-day on a weekday. there were surprisingly few people. I mean the ratio of volunteers to people was easily 10 to 1. so I am going up to the entrance and there's a sign that says, "have ID ready" so I take out my driver's license as I approach the octogenarian standing out front.
"oh no, you keep that for later." and she kindly directed me to a fellow octogenarian who then directed me down a line of octogenarians to "#7" to whom I dutifully showed my ID to which she responded,
"oh no, not me, that's for later. now. have you taken the pre-screening questionnaire?"
"yes ma'am."
she then proceeded to ask me all the questions found on said pre-screening questionnaire. to which I yes and no ma'am-ed my wy through.
"oh you're such a pleasant young man. you could tell you were raised right" with this she gave me a look that made me momentarily consider if maybe we should hook up right there on the convention centre entrance (yeah I'm lonely), after which I quickly moved on.

then I actually entered the centre. there was a row of barriers directing you to the other side with about 7 different volunteers all of whom said the same thing to me, "no sir, you don't show the ID to me, go there" and then pointing down the obvious path. finally I made it to the table where I could finally show my ID. I thought for a moment to spitefully not show it.

so my brother and I, I guess we do share 50% of our DNA, have had the exact same symptoms. dude, my arm hurt like a son of a bitch. like I've had soreness before from a shot but this is other-worldly. of course being the genius that I am I gave my dominant arm for the shot. only today have I been able to even begin to move it. I was like John McCain over here not being able to raise my arm over my head. I felt a little bit sick the day after but nothing major. like I said, now I'm immune.

so I've lived in a lot of places. and I've found that the act of driving varies greatly from region to reason. less you think I am targeting a certain race, ethnicity, or national origin, (I guess I sort of am the latter?) let's just say this is a regional thing. think about the difference between driving in the Oklahoma versus New York City (both cities I've driven in by the way.

in the PNW where I lived for 10 years people drive like they are on drugs (which they may very well be). this means that they kind of behave erratically. they will also do the weird thing where they idle in the left lane, blocking traffic, then, as you frustratingly try to pass them they all of a sudden get a lead foot and crank it up to 20 over the speed limit. I've seen someone take bowl hits while driving on the interstate. we made eye contact and he just grinned. so yeah, if I could some up PNW driving in one word it would be drugs.

the place where I grew up, very southern, very laid back is basically the way they drive. very lacadaisically. they just do their 5 under the speed limit, hang out in the left hand lane because their turn is coming in five miles and drink their big gulp in their insanely huge SUVs. once in a while you'll get some redneck rolling coal in a jacked up truck but on the whole, everyone is pretty chill.

in Austria people drive by the book. the complete opposite of the PNW. they would never dream of breaking a traffic law (other than speeding, which doesn't count). they expect the same from you and woe be upon you if you fail to adhere. they will ride your ass, flash their lights and honk. they are also very frenetic. if someone is taking just a second too long they will peel out into the other lane. I once got honked at while I was literally shifting into gear as the light turned green.

in italy, you will meet the nicest, friendliest people. until they get behind the wheel. there they turn into formula 1 drivers. imagine if everyone just went into their car, buckled up, adjusted the rearview mirror, looked themselves in the eye in that mirror and said, "today, either I or someone else is going to die as a result of my driving, and I'm feeling lucky."

in India the type of traffic accidents that would cause someone to claim $250,000 worth of damages is routine. I once saw a biker get completely wiped out by a car and the car didn't even so much as slow down. DO NOT cross the streett in India unless you do it with a local or are prepared to die. also, cows occupy the roads and they could give a motherfuck.

which brings me to my current region. I can only describe the driving here as ranging between complete and utter detachment to homicidal. I don't know what it is about this area but someone is either on a cell phone or trying to commit vehicular assault. I don't know which is more dangerous. the detached seem to really not give a shit. just the looks on their faces. Jesus, it looks like their souls have left their bodies. there is just nothing left. I just feel like they get into the car and think, "well, if I die, I die, fuck it." I have watched more than one driver blatantly cut someone off (to much fanfare and honking by the person having been cutoff) and looking like they just ate some bad cheese. like no real reaction at all to what they just did just a detachment to life in general. their eyes are glazed over, their lips hang loose, a little of spittle is coming out of their mouths, they are slightly hunched forward over the steering wheel.

the homicidal on the other hand always have the same driving position. gangster lean, seat way too low, left elbow propped up on the door handle with the left hand either floating in the air or casually touching their cheek, the right hand fully stretched out on the steering. these people go 30 over like they have a dying child in the back seat. they weave in and out of traffic with (without?) abandon. they are impatient, get road rage at a drop of a hat and fly down the roads.

and god help us all when the two (the detached and the homicidal) collide (figuratively...usually). when I was driving home from my covid shot the detached did the last minute "I could seriously give a fuck if this causes a 50 car pileup, I'm done with it" merge onto the highway just as mr homicidal was racing down the very right hand lane (because 20 over in the left hand lane was holding him up). of course not driving defensively he almost plowed ms. detached off the road. thereupon ensued a lot of middle fingers. one very half heartedly raised by ms detached, one aggressively waved by mr. homicidal.

then, realising that his aggression was being met with indifference, something with which he could not abide, mr homicidal WENT ONTO THE SHOULDER, swerved around ms. detached, slammed on his brakes to which ms detached briefly awoke from her coma of a stupor and much honking and (what I believe was) cursing as well. at that point I was realising I was paying too much attention to what was going on behind me, so I went on my merry way.

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