To begin with, it’s a passing lane. You don’t cruise in it, you don’t talk on your cell phone, make dinner plans, fiddle with your radio, or lean over into the backseat to beat your kids. Eating, phone conversations and domestic abuse can be just as easily done–and safely, too–if you pull over to the side of the road and commence with whatever activity helps you get your jollies.

The passing lane, the furthest lane on the left side of the highway, is meant to be a quick kiss, a tantalizing, teasing caress, not a prolonged Stabby-McStabbity thanks to the help of automotive Viagra. Much like your fumbling boyfriend of yon high school days, the goal for the passing lane is to get in and get out. Once your bidness is finished, don’t bother sticking around; move over and let those of us who want to go faster than you slip on by. It’s only nice. Don’t dawdle in the lane, celebrating this one small victory in your otherwise unexamined, unhappy life; don’t stay put, reveling in your small-hearted joy of knowing you’re quickly building up a line of cars behind you, each with a driver ready to visit unholy destruction not only on you, but also on your children and children’s children; and for god’s sake, don’t–please, please–actually slow down.

In addition:

  • If you’re over 70 (or just look like you’re 70) don’t chance it; stay in the furthest lane on the right.
  • If you drive a truck, SUV or mini-van with tinted windows, hie thee to the middle lane so the rest of us can see past you and decide whether we need to gun it around you because you’re going so slow, or because there really is a traffic snarl ahead and that’s why you’re driving like a turtle stampede.
  • I’m flashing my lights because you need to move over. There’s an opening to the right–take it! And if by some glancing miracle you do move over thanks to my skilfull use high beam morse code, don’t get all pissy and immediately move back into my lane, behind me, and start tailgating and flashing your lights. Bitter passive-aggressiveness will never make you any friends. (But it might secure you political office.)
  • Finally, if you’re towing anything, anything at all, stay in the furthest right lane. Be it a U-Haul, rowdy children, or grandma’s dog on a cross-country vacation, if it’s tied to your car’s back end, stay out of the passing lane.

And hey, if I missed anything, feel free to add in comments.

Posted Tuesday, September 16th, 2008 at 3:43 pm
Filed Under Category: Life
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