Sunday, September 29, 2013

The Top 5 Things I Love About Lake Stevens Drivers

5) Wipers Are for Wimps

The only people who use windshield wipers are tourists who've never seen a raindrop in their lives. Locals don't need windshield wipers. They can see just fine, thank you very much, and the wiper delay on the slowest setting is perfectly adequate for even the most violent storm.

4) Turn Signals Will Be Used

Turn signals. In Lake Stevens, we use them. A driver who fails to signal will be promptly reprimanded by the sucker they purposely fooled into waiting at an intersection longer than they had to. Such reprimands include being preached a hellfire and brimstone sermon via hand signals and facial expressions, or the offended driver revving their engine loudly as they FINALLY get to take their turn to pull out onto the road. Having a blinker light out and not knowing it is no excuse whatsoever. Dude. Get it fixed. Then use it.

3) Standing Together Against Roundabouts

Everyone hates the roundabouts, which now number eight in our little community, according to the WSDOT website. This stalwart hatred is expressed in various ways, including shuddering at the mention of the word roundabout, ranting about their useless impracticality, denying their benefit to drivers, writing letters to the editor of the local paper decrying their existence, claiming to always take the long way to anywhere just to avoid them, insisting they cause more accidents than they prevent, and simply ignoring their existence by driving a 4x4 straight across the cement circle that's meant to be driven around.

2) Speed Limit Shmeed Limit

There's the posted speed limit, and then there's the Understood Speed Limit, which is at least 5mph over the posted speed limit. If you are not going a few miles over the Understood Speed Limit, you can expect to be tailgated indignantly by the driver behind you who is appalled that you are hovering near or, heaven forbid, driving UNDER the Understood Speed Limit. But once you get the message and go the appropriate at-least-seven-mph-over-the-posted-limit, the tailgater will back off and consider you schooled. If you do not speed up to the tailgater's satisfaction, they will get so close that you can no longer see the front of their vehicle but only their windshield, through which you will behold an enraged beast with smoke coming from its ears, fire spitting from its mouth, and a fist shaking at you, sometimes with a certain significant finger pointed to the sky.

1) Citizens Against Public Safety

Sometimes cops position themselves strategically in order to jump out at speeding vehicles. We've all seen this. But in Lake Stevens, cars that have passed a police lair and lived to tell the tale defy the sneaky cops by flashing their headlights or waving their arms out the window at drivers headed into the trap. In my first year of Lake Stevens driving, I have never once been surprised by a cop with a radar pointed at me because a fellow citizen has seen fit to warn me, communicating ominously that it's Us Against Them. I've never seen anything like it. I suspect this warning system is a community-wide necessity in order to maintain the Understood Speed Limit rule mentioned above. It's like the mafia. You pay for their protection or they kill you. "We'll tailgate you and flip you off if you slow us down, but don't worry, we've got your back if you do it our way. Forget about the cops who work tirelessly for public safety. We got this. We'll keep you safe."

Ummmm... thanks?