Sunday, July 12, 2009

What we've got here is failure to communicate

There's a line from a novel or a book or something that I (and apparently Google) can't recall which goes something like "Typical WASP - loves animals but hates people."

That's me on a Sunday morning (well, on many mornings but especially 'the day of our lord').

I'm out early getting my usual coffee and am invariably stuck behind gaggle of 'hatbrakes' - more on this later - that only seem to drive when going to church on Sunday. That old used car salesman line apparently must sometimes be true. I'm left crawling along block after block, cornered with no way past them (they proceed in swarms like a Hell's Angels chapter out on a run).

After 10 minutes or so, I swear I see floats ahead of me, circus music fills my ears and big balloons in the sky blot out the sun. I have the urge to roll down the window and wave to the invisible crowds along my route - perhaps I should throw them candy. I must, after all, be in a parade for otherwise why would we be going so mother*!@! slow?!?

I'm not a bat-shit crazy driver - I obey(ish) the speed limits and traffic laws. And it's not like there are sights to see - it's the same boring neighborhood - no Christmas lights up (and its daytime anyway). Move! Don't keep God waiting - Bad enough you make him get up early on his Day Of Rest and haul his ass into some cramped building you constructed so you can feel less guilty the other six days of the week. I feel bad for him. And I'm an agnostic.

  • Term: hatbrake
  • Definition: See a brimmed 'hat' poking up from the driver's seat (but no head), prepare to brake.
  • Origin: My sister and her friends circa early 70s. Stereotype that only older people wear brimmed hats that were popular during the earlier part of the 20th century and that they get shorter as they age. Also stereotypes them as driving slower.

I'm not fond of stereotypes as a rule - in fact I have seen plenty of tall, hatless older drivers that have laid on the horn because I was moving too slow for them - but I always liked the name and when you do see a brimmed hat popping up ahead of you, like as not you'll have to brake.

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