Dear Little Old Lady Who Is This Close to Having Her License Revoked,
Let me begin by saying that it is not my intention to hurt your feelings. I think you’re cute as a button and I’m sure you’re the sweetest grandma to ever walk the planet. I am. I just wish you’d walk more and drive less. But since I see you nearly every day in that roller skate with seatbelts you’re trying to pass off as a car, I’m guessing that’s not going to be the case. As such, I wanted to give you a little refresher course on Virginia driving rules. I'm guessing it’s been a while since you perused the manual, eh?
Rule #1: When you are making a turn and the person on the cross-street has the stop sign, it is up to you to go. The person who stopped at that sign did so because she (and by ‘she’ I mean ‘me’) was required by law to do so. Sitting in the middle of the road, waiting for her to go is pointless, as she will not (because she knows as soon as she gives up on you and pulls into the intersection, you will choose that moment to make your turn). Bottom line: if you don’t see a stop sign, a red traffic light, another car mere inches in front of you, blue lights flashing behind you, or a person or large farm animal in the road, do not stop.
Rule #2: As alluded to in Rule #1, you are only required to stop at red lights. Green lights mean you can go. This is an important rule. The person behind you is trusting that you know this rule and, as such, you will not simply stop in the middle of the road for no good reason, causing her to slam on her brakes, spill her Diet Pepsi, and swear (loudly) in front of her 9-year-old. And so you know, stopping in the middle of the road for no good reason is not a good idea. Ever.
Rule #3: When changing lanes, it is generally a good idea (and by ‘good idea’ I mean ‘imperative’) to look first, in order to be certain no one else is occupying the lane you wish to enter. When you don’t look first and simply change lanes, the person who is already in the lane you are entering is forced to slam on her brakes, spill her Diet Pepsi, and swear in front of her 9-year-old (again).
Rule #4: You should not leave your blinkers on for indefinite periods of time. It makes it difficult for the drivers behind you to know exactly when you plan to turn or change lanes (see Rule #3 for why this is important). If your blinker is stuck, please get it fixed. The Aamco station on Reservoir Street has good rates and friendly service.
Rule #5: You must be able to see over your steering wheel in order to drive effectively. If you can no longer do so, a booster seat is in order. Since the Pigsknuckle phone book is not thick enough to function as such, you’ll need to take a trip to Target. Booster seats are in the toddler aisle.
Rule #6: Speed limits are set for a reason. Everyone knows it’s not good to go over them, of course, but what you might not realize is that driving significantly under them isn’t safe either. For example: when you are driving 10mph in a 35mph zone, the person behind you gets aggravated and tends to ride your bumper (I’m sure you’ve noticed this on numerous occasions… or you would, if you ever looked in your rearview mirror). So when you stop at that green light (again), she is forced (again) to slam on her brakes to avoid rear-ending you, (again) spilling her Diet Pepsi and swearing. See? Frustrating, unnecessary, and quite unsafe.
Rule #7: Pedestrians pretty much always have the right-of-way. This is especially true when they are in a cross-walk and you have a red light (remember, red means stop). And even when they don't have the right of way, it's still best to stop when they walk in front of your car (see Rule #1). Not doing so causes a mess... true, sometimes it's just in the pedestrian's pants (like that man from the other day on Main Street... remember?) but it's always a mess.
OK, I think that’s about it. For now. I'll review rules again as necessary. That, or I'll slash all your tires, steal your distributor cap, and put sugar in your gas tank. Right, thanks so much for your time and attention! Take care and drive safely!
PS… I hope you enjoy your 99th birthday party!