Postcard from Chicago

23 Jan

Oh yeah, that’s how this works.

I’m on the Dan Ryan, driving Ma Jaracz to Rush Hospital, and we’re in morning rush hour. Traffic’s pretty heavy, but still moving, and that’s when I see him: The Weaver.

Probably every area of the country can complain about its drivers because no one ever drives perfectly enough for someone else. [Cue the Boy’s latest lecture: When We Have Self-Driving Cars, None of This Will Happen]

I’ve apparently gotten very used to Massholes, because I complained like an old person when I saw The Weaver doing his thing, which, for those of you not from Chicago is someone who goes at least 15-20 miles over the speed limit and changes lanes like crazy just to get ahead of you–just in traffic, all of that weaving rarely really gets you ahead. And that’s the fun of dealing with Weavers — they try so hard to get around everyone, yet in traffic, that effort is pretty much for naught because they never have enough space to really floor it and speed off into the sunrise.

This is much different than the Masshole, who tends to drive the speed limit–or slower, if possible. They just do stupid stuff everywhere, which on the highway means driving 40 mph on empty roads, and on regular roads means running traffic lights 15 seconds after they’ve turned red, making left turns from the far right lane or making U turns anywhere and everywhere.

The Masshole is the type of driver I brought to Chicago on this trip. In trying to navigate to the proper hospital building, I took a wrong turn [par for the course in Boston]. The building we needed was right there, except a median was blocking our path.

Never fear! Take a right and at the stop light, make a U turn. Oh, I can’t make a tight enough turn? No big deal–just make it a three-point turn, because that’s what everyone does, right? [Note: Fifteen years in Chicago, and the only people who would’ve ever done those moves were cabbies.] Someone wants to drive around you? They can wait because…..fuck them (Unofficial slogan of Boston is “Boston. Because…..fuck you”).

As I made my Masshole move on Harrison Street, I felt embarrassed. This is no way to drive. It’s really no way to drive. It may invoke pride in Boston, but here, where people know how to make right turns at speed? It’s a little sad.

That changed on my way home. Even though I was driving an old-person Buick, I did at least 15 miles over the speed limit as well as a fair amount of weaving myself–since Chicagoans also have a problem staying out of the passing lane.

Man, did it feel good.


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