Beeper and Lane Bane

January 31, 2014 

By Bill Filer

Working local for so long, I’ve forgotten what it’s like to commute. The last couple of weeks on the road have afforded me the opportunity to get reacquainted with some of my favorite people. The family nature of this publication will prevent me from using the exact verbiage I would prefer. So, nicknames will have to suffice. My two favorite types of commuters are beepers and lane-banes.

Beepers are the ones who honk at the car in front of them at the exact moment the light turns green. Unsatisfied that a slow poke with apparently nothing to do all day spent an entire half second transitioning from brake to gas, beepers will give you two quick beeps. If you don’t possess the reaction time of a combat pilot, and use a full second to get moving, you just might get two beeps and a blast.

Beepers share a few common traits. Most of them wait until the last possible minute to begin their commute. These high strung tardy folk feel like if they can save a fraction of a second by urging on their fellow travelers at each stop light, it will magically make up for allowing themselves fifteen minutes for a thirty minute drive.

There are a few beepers who honk simply because they are indignant about being forced to share the road, frankly the same air, as anyone else. These special people are the type that would yell at their own grandma for bringing twenty one items to the twenty items or less express lane, or not allow a crowded elevator car to empty before barging on. A horn to these people is simply a way to signify to you, and to the world, that more important people than you are in transition to more important affairs than yours.

Sometimes beepers just beep for no reason, before the light has even changed. I call this a preemptive beep, as if the driver knows you’re slow off the line and is warning you ahead of time that two beeps and a blast are coming. One nice thing about a beeper is their incessant honking tends to bleep out my usual responses to their need for speed.

What is a lane-bane, you ask? Well, sweet, gentle non-commuter, a lane-bane is an unpredictable scourge driving over sixty miles an hour in a 2,000 pound death machine within mere feet of you. A lane-bane will ride your bumper if you are in the left lane, indicating that it’s time to move over, only to slow down just enough to be perpetually in your blind spot when you do move over.

The lane-bane is well known for drifting over the center line enough that you’re pretty sure they stopped at a bar along the way to deal with the stress all those beepers caused, and passing means taking your life into your own hands.

Lane-banes like to over yield letting several cars go ahead of them, versus the standard one or two, making sure traffic that actually has the right of way comes to a complete stop. Lane bane royalty is the driver that suddenly, and without warning, sweeps across all three lanes of traffic so as not to miss an exit ramp, instantly creating an entire new batch of beeper recruits who need to change their underwear.

Yes, beepers and lane-banes, oh how I have missed you.

On a positive note, I did schedule an auto policy review with my agent and have updated my beneficiaries on my life insurance.

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