Monday, August 15, 2005


I've come up with a new moniker for the plethora of bad drivers around here, especially those who have State Department-issued license plates, otherwise known as Diplomatic Tags.

We all know what D.W.I is, right?

D.W.D. is "Driving While Diplomat."

I think in my inaugural post many, many weeks ago, I said that one of the things I like about D.C. is its diversity and internationalism, but I hate all the bad drivers. (Or maybe I didn't.... If I didn't, then I am now. Add it to my previous list, please.)

Well, there you have it; I said it: I love the multiculturalism of this area and the fact that I can buy authentic brats at the German Gourmet Deli in Falls Church and bangers at the British Pantry on Route 50 in Aldie, VA, but the bad drivers make me ABSOLUTELY INSANE.

Having lived in California, I'm hear to disabuse you of the notion that California drivers are the worst in the U.S. The worst in the U.S. live all up and down the Eastern Seaboard and the very worst of them live in this metro area. There are 33 million people living in California--a third of whom probably own at least one car. In the entire eight years I lived there, I was NEVER in an car accident. Last year, I was in a wreck on the corner of Rhode Island and 15th that totaled my car. And I can't tell you how many near misses I've had since because someone was tailgating or was traveling at unsafe speeds (80+ mph) on I-66 inside the beltway or didn't know where they were going in the District and decided at the last second to make a really stupid, highly illegal traffic manuever or were too drunk to drive.

Maybe I'm being unfair to diplomats, though, in singling them out. I mean, some of them can't help that this is their first experience living in a place that requires such a heavy dependence on cars. Besides, if I moved to Paris, Hong Kong, or Mexico City, I can very well imagine I'd be the bane of someone else's driving existence.

In truth, D.W.D. is going to have to stand for "Driving While Dumb."

And for those among you who are the dumbest drivers of them all, a friend of mine suggests the following: there should be a law that restricts you to owning a vehicle made entirely out of rubber so that those of us who are decent, largely law abiding drivers will know to avoid you like the plague. At the very least, if you crash into one us, at least we'll be able to bounce right off of you and continue on our calm, healthy, happy way.

Meanwhile, I'll keep repeating my own mantra while you zip stupidly around me--"I'm not in a hurry. I'll get there when I get there. If I'm five seconds or five minutes late, I'm late. I'd rather be five minutes late for a meeting than 50 years early for heaven. I'm not in a hurry. I'll get there when I get there...."

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