Tuesday, April 05, 2005

how to drive like a texan

A Manual for New Drivers.

Step One: Acquiring a Vehicle

Choose one of the following:
a)The biggest, widest, shiniest truck you can find. F250-350 preferred. Attach cattle catchers.
b)The biggest, widest Suburban, you can find, white only. It should come from the dealer with W '04 sticker already applied.
c)The biggest, widest, rusted-outted-est old Cadillac (it is acceptable to replace the Cadillac with other versions of square-ass pimp cars from the 70s. The more it looks like something your grandma would drive, the better) you can find.

Bush/Cheney stickers (more authentic with '00 sticker next to '04)
God Bless America stickers
"Power of Pride" stickers
Magnetic ribbons (the "Save our Troops" ribbon is the most common; however, for an especially Texan flavor, find as many different ones as possible and use all of them)
Some reference to deer hunting
Christian fish magnet
Decal of Calvin (minus buddy Hobbes...he was always the real troublemaker, anyhow) praying at a cross
Sticker that says "JESUS!" in the loudest, largest letters possible.

Once you have acquired a vehicle and the necessary accessories, you're ready for the road. Just insert your head into your anus and get behind the wheel.

Step Two: The Freeway

It doesn't matter if you've never really driven on a normal street before, you'll find that Texas highways are a fun and easy place to drive if you follow these important rules.

Frontage roads
Many Texas highways are built with frontage roads on either side, one way in the direction of traffic, that assist in boosting the ecomony of the roadside mechanic's shop and fast food restaurant. If you are using the frontage road to enter the freeway, wait in the furthestmost lane from the ramp until the last possible minute, then swerve gracefully over to enter the highway.

Merging onto the freeway
There is no reason to use the onramp as a way of gaining speed to catch up to the flow of traffic, as is a common misconception. Maintain your frontage road speed and make sure to ignore the cars approaching you in the right lane of the highway. They'll slow or speed up to meet your needs. If you are in the right lane of the highway however, make sure to ignore those merging as you have the right of way.

You have two options when it comes to blinkers.
One, you may leave one on, constantly, as no one is sure what it is for anyway.
Two, don't bother using it! As we said, who knows what the silly blinky thing is for?

Flow of traffic
Contrary to what out of state drivers may think, the speed limit posted is just that: a limit. You may go over, but not if you chose option C as your vehicle. Pick a lane and go as fast or slow as you please or as your automobile will allow. If you chose option A or B, be sure to match the speed of the person in front of you by driving as closely to their bumper as you can without striking them.
Vehicles, especially the kind you'll be driving, are often hindered by what are known as "blind spots." When another vehicle or object is in your blind spot, you will be unable to see them properly. If another vehicle on the road is trying to change lanes or merge, make sure to stay in their blind spot so as not to confuse them with more distractions than are already present on the dangerous road.
When approaching a vehicle with non state-certified equipment and/or accessories (such as a Kerry-Edwards sticker, other liberal propaganda, or an out of state licence plate, first tailgate them as closely as possible, then pass them and drive below the flow of traffic. Make sure that their blind spots are covered by other drivers on the road and prevent them from changing lanes or exiting the highway. Use courtesy profanity; driving friendly, the Texas way, is a how we say howdy on the road.

Exiting the highway
Slow down as soon as you see the sign for your exit, and make sure to achieve frontage road speed at least 100 feet before you actually reach the ramp.

That was easy, wasn't it? Let's get you driving our beautifully maintained surface streets!

Step Three: Your Neighborhood

Most major surface streets in Texas cities have a speed limit of up to 40 mph, but never go any faster than 30.

Making a right turn
Right turns are tricky business. Make sure to go as slowly and deliberately as possible, arcing into the next street as far as possible. You don't want to tip over!

Making a left turn
If you have a turn lane, curve outward as you go, intersecting the oncoming traffic on the street you are turning off of. Remember to go slowly!
If turning from a smaller street onto a larger one with a median, when oncoming traffic from your left is clear, pull out and position yourself in the middle of the road, ready to merge into the direction you'd like to go. Make sure to block traffic from your left as much as possible- don't worry, they'll stop for you! It's more than likely they know what's going on, and are paying proper attention to the road.

These few simple tips should make it easy for you to participate fully and happily while driving in our great state. If it's not listed here, than go ahead and make up your own rule...experimentation is the best method of education. Other drivers on the road are always curious to see new and daring forms of innovation in driving, and you're just the operator to give it to them! Let's get driving!