Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Leaner Drivers

A couple of days ago I made a nonsensical list of things that irk me. #11 was a particular kind of driver who leans across the front seat 'til his gimme-capped head is under the rearview mirror.

Admittedly, I stopped short of the full story that day. I didn't quite do the subject complete justice. It might have behooved me to have named this type of driver instead of just describing him. So I suppose I could call him a Bubba Leaner. And I forgot to mention that usually he is a smoker.

Well no sooner had I posted that story than I had to go out on the road. A certain street here that leads from my little town to the [cough] big capital city [cough] is a perfect place to observe Bubba Leaners and Ghetto Leaners (they have a slightly different profile; Ghetto Leaners usually have a car full of people and they do tote kids with them; also, the passengers or the Leaner himself will hang or wave limbs or appendages out the windows). There's a stretch of road that seems exclusively populated by half broken-down cars, cars with no hubcaps, dented cars, cars with red tape over the taillights, cars with cracked windshields and broken windows, and cars that otherwise cannot possibly have passed inspection. Yes, Dear Reader, I had occasion to drive down that street to get to the allergist in the big city.

And let's be honest--while my car does still have hubcaps, it is only a year or 10,000 miles away from somewhat resembling a Ghetto Leaner car, and every time I go to the allergist I fully expect the hubcaps to get gone and perfect the picture. Were it not for the way I sit in my seat, and for the make of my car(it's a compact that in no way qualifies as a Leaner model), and the fact that I do not smoke, am not male, and don't wear gimme caps, I could be profiled as a Leaner.

But I digress. Tristram Shandy has nothing on me. Anyway while I was driving down this street, with its charming detours and perpetual construction, I was going faster than the car in front of me, which was going somewhat slowly as is usual for drivers on this street. I was in prime territory for a sighting, and gaining on what I realized was a vintage Oldsmobile. Soon as I identified the make, I knew I'd pegged one. But well before I overtook it I realized it was a HYBRID: A GEEZER Bubba Leaner!

How had I overlooked this possibility? It was a goldmine! Classic car, driver too short to see over steering wheel, gimme cap showing clearly, heavy cigar smoke nearly obscuring interior of car, steering with forearm (only I think it was the left one rather than the right), head under the rearview mirror, plodding along at 20 mph. Eventually, he did what I expected: made a big, slow, WIDE right turn.

I apologize for leaving out the subcategories, and for having no photo to illustrate all of these phenomena.



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