Thursday, September 24, 2009

So many pedestrians, so little time...

To the Licensing Authorities who dole out driving licences very leniently to women, I'd like to make just one suggestion--Don't.

Don't get me wrong here. I love women, especially since I am one myself. I think they are brilliant and beautiful (except for the ditsy ones), but good drivers they are not.

This particular rant has been brought on by me having to spend about 20 minutes longer in traffic this morning than I should have, only because a woman driver, who came to a diversion, couldn't decide which road to take. She sat there, sans seat-belt, peering left and then right, and then heavenwards, looking for a signboard, I presume, or perhaps, a sign from God. Most normal people would, at this point, roll the window down and ask for directions. Note here that I said normal people, which naturally excludes men, since they would not ask for directions even if they were lost in the deep, dark recesses of the Amazon jungle, surrounded on one side by cannibals, and on the other side by a very hungry anaconda. It's against their male pride or something, as I understand it.

So this lady does not think of asking for directions from the half-dozen or so people surrounding her car and glaring at her angrily. She chooses instead, to call someone on her cellphone, to ask where she should go, gesticulationg the whole time she speaks, as if that person can actually see her. All this while there's a cacophony outside her car, to which she is oblivious, apparently, and even finds a few seconds to laugh at a joke the person at the other end of the line has cracked.

Impatience and rage has washed over the traffic like a wave, and I'm afraid the guy driving the earth-mover is actually going to mow her car down and flatten it like a bottle-cap. Finally, a traffic warden comes upto her car and knocks on the glass. She looks up at him and nods as if to say, 'Yeah, yeah, I'm going. Why's everyone having a baby about this?''

The warden shakes his head as if to say, 'Women!' and waves the traffic on.

So, my proposal is that we change the rules to ensure that women are required to pass a driving test every 6 months, just to check that in that very short span of time, they haven't forgotten a few vital things, like say, switching on the left indicator when they actually mean to switch on the left, or for that matter, switching the indicator on at all. Or trying to park their six-foot wide car in a parking space that is about five-and-a-half-feet wide. So, to my fellow women I 'd like to say--

Ladies, in case you haven't noticed, your car is not a sponge. You cannot squeeze it in to tiny spaces, and the space does not magically expand to accomodate the car.

It would really help if you could save the very important conversation with your daughter about what she did at school today till after you reach home and are safely within the confines of the four walls of your home, where you no longer endangering human lives.

Try to resist the urge to drive very large cars that make you look like you are a squirrel trying to steer the Titanic. At the very least, it will severely limit your visibility and cause you to create dents, scrapes and scratches on the car for which your husband/boyfriend will secretly hate you for the rest of your life, because the bitter truth is that, yes, he does love his car more than he loves you. Deal with it.

Another helpful hint is to try to learn the names of the parts of your vehicle. It's very difficult for people to help you if you say things like, "Oh, I don't know what's wrong. There's smoke coming out of the thingie with all the wires in it, you know?" No, they don't know. You wouldn't go to the Doc and say " I have a pain in the part of my body that digests food and has inlet and outlet pipe-like thingies." You'd say 'stomach', wouldn't you? Same principle applies here.

Before you ever dream of getting behind a steering wheel, learn how to change a tyre. Standing with your hands on your hips and staring at the flat tyre helplessly does not in any way cause the tire to repair itself and self-inflate.

Oh, and if your car starts making strange unfamiliar sounds, please call someone's attention to it, to avoid scenarios like--

Boyfriend (BF)   : What's that sound?

Woman              : What sound?

BF                     : That knocking sound.

Woman              : Oh, that! I don't know, really.

BF                     : How long has it been making this sound?

Woman              : Oh, I dunno. About a week?

BF                     : A week? Why didn't you tell me?

Woman:             : Oh, it slipped my mind! And anyway, I figured that it's something minor, because the car's still running fine.

Ladies, these kinds of conversations and logic usually cause BFs/ husbands to have minor brain aneurysms, so if you love the person in your life, and are a law-abiding citizen and care about yourself and humanity in general, do yourself a favour. Get a driver.

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