Thursday, April 19, 2012

The Art of Zigzagging Through Traffic

The first round of chemo is scheduled for Monday the 30th. I've been here in Israel almost a week. I'm having a blast. In lots of pain, but Vicodin, and the kids are easing on the pain. If you read my first post, I said I'm not going to just blog about my battle with cancer, so today I want to talk about something that annoys me: drivers zigzagging through traffic.

Say you are in a hurry because the world is about to end today, the Earth is dying out, it is about to explode, we are too close to the Sun. You are driving on the 101 (or whatever highway/freeway/fastway you have near your town), and you absolutely must get to your destination as soon as possible. I mean, the world is about to end, no time to lose right?! You zig zag from one lane to another, passing one car, a second car, a third car, oh boy you, mister almighty, are making up soooo much time, you are THE man (or woman). You cannot stay in one lane because some great number of us decided to spend our last day on Earth pissing you off. We woke up in the morning, and told ourselves "I want to piss off that driver. Muah Ha Ha! I'm going to drive "only" 75 mph." You have no choice but to zig zag, and pass all of us dicks ruining your day (how dare we!). You're passing a forth car, a fifth, oh my, you are about to make up so much time the people from the Guinness World Records are fanatically calling your cell, why aren't you answering? (ah, at least you're not talking and driving, very nice, 10 brownie points). The Guinness people want to get one last great record in their book before the end of time. But I got one last newsflash for them Guinness people before we all become ashes. Lets actually look at the numbers shall we?

So you and I are driving down 101. I'm driving the same speed as everyone else, only 75 mph (that's 120 kph). Starting from point A, you are finally fed up with all of us slow drivers, so you decide to begin your magic, and show all of us amateurs how it's done. You speed up to 80 mph (128 kph), and start zigzagging your way through traffic. Speed limit on the 101, by the way, is 65 mph (104 kph).

Now, let's say it takes you 5 seconds to pass a single car (even Schumacher is impressed), so it will take you 500 seconds to pass 100 cars (5 seconds per car times 100 cars = 500 seconds). 500 seconds is equal to 8 minutes and 20 seconds (500/60 = 8.333, 0.333*60 = 20). In hours that is 8.333 divided by 60 which equals about 0.1389 hours (if you are wondering why did I divide by 60 and then 60 again, well because there are 60 seconds in a minute, and 60 minutes in an hour).

Ok, so it takes you 0.1389 hours to pass 100 cars when you are driving 80 mph. So once you've started your magic, you drove 11.11 miles (0.1389 x 80). If you forgot the equation (I do sometimes) it is TIME x SPEED = DISTANCE. Say you have reached your destination after passing 100 cars, you are at point B. I, the guy driving slow, is so far behind you. How far? let's do some more calculations, yeaaaah! I like numbers more than words. Numbers are easier for me, I can handle them better. My disorder comes with learning disability, and language was never my strong side. Anyways, I'm driving 75 mph, so after 0.1389 hours, I drove only 10.42 miles (75 x 0.1389). You are 0.69 miles ahead of me (11.11 - 10.42). It will take me another long long long 0.0092 hours to get to point B. That's more than half a minute!! (0.0092 * 60 = 0.552). I just lost 33 huge precious seconds (the world is ending remember?!).

Say I was to have some more fun, piss you off even more, and drive only 70 mph (still breaking the law, shhhh don't say anything, I know a cop who would give a ticket even if they know the end is near). Driving 70 mph, when you get to point B, I drove 9.72 miles. I am 1.39 miles behind you, and it will take me 71.5 seconds to catch up with you. Say I'm in a bitter mood today, and I, like all other drivers, decide to drive 60 mph. I would be 2.78 miles behind you, and it will take me another 2.78 minutes (60 mph means 1 mile per minute) to get to where you are at.

If you know how to make nice professional tables, please redo this and send me, thanks.

What's my point? My point is that your daddy didn't create these roads for you to selfishly drive like a dick. I understand intelligence isn't your strong side, but here, you just read it all, I think I made it pretty clear no? So next time some driver is "purposely" ruining your day, driving too slow for your short temper to handle, stop (not the car), don't touch that blinker, take a deep breath (exhale as well), find a good song on the radio, and relax. Dance it up a little bit. It's going to be ok, I was joking before, the world is not ending today. You are not making up much time. You are risking your life, your kids life (I see parents with their kids on board zigzagging like crazy too), and the rest of us driving next to you, all for a few minutes.

Now you might say "yeah but I'm not driving just 500 seconds." Well ok, if you are driving 80 mph for one hour while I'm driving 60 mph, then you are 20 miles ahead of me, and it will take me another 20 minutes to get to 80 mile. Which is still only 20 minutes, and in most senerios the difference in speed from one car to another isn't that great. If you are driving in the city, say the speed limit is 40 mph which is the speed you are driving at, and I'm driving only 35 mph, after one hour you are 5 miles ahead of me. Driving 5 mile at 35 mph will take me about 9 minutes. And again that's if we're driving for an hour. I think most trip in the city aren't longer than 20 minutes. Also, I didn't take traffic lights into consideration. Those lights just make you stop at the red light before me, then I reach the light too, and have a green light the same time you do.

I see idiots, that's right you are an idiot, zigzagging, in heavy rush hour traffic, or if there was an accident, and there is a huge long ass jam. I once was driving to check out a university's campus about 2 hours away from where I live. Some truck turned over, spill something, there was a huge traffic jam. I saw some drivers changing lanes back and forth trying to make up some time, and I decide to test a theory that one lane is NOT faster than the other. I saw a big nice RV on another lane, and used it as a mark. At one point I was so far ahead I couldn't see the RV in my mirrors. I thought to myself perhaps my theory is wrong?! Oh well at least I'm on the faster lane. I forgot about it, kept going, listening to the radio, relaxing knowing there is nothing I can do to speed things up. After a while, from no where this RV came back. I got excited, my theory is back and strong. The RV kept going, and was no where in sight in front of me. More good songs came on the radio, I thought about and performed some new dance moves. A bit more time passed by, and sure enough, there it was again, I caught up with the RV.

Speaking of car accidents I get very irritated with curious drivers slowing down to see what happened. I understand it if the accident happened in the same direction we're all driving because it's a safety issue (not that that's why most drivers are slowing down for). But too often I see it happening when the accident is in the opposite direction. Now why is a car accident so fascinating?! There are accidents every day, unfortunately, you've seen them before.

On a different note, today is the Holocaust memorial day, a two minute siren just went off. During those two minutes everyone stands silently, as an act to remember and give our respect to the six millions of lives lost. I'm mentioning this because everyone stops, even on the roads. Drivers stop, pull over, step out of the car, and stand for two minutes. I think is a very impressive, strong, beautiful, and touching sight (here is a video from last year where you can see somewhat what I mean).


  1. "The Guinness people want to get one last great record in their book before the end of time. But I got one last newsflash for them Guinness people before we all become ashes. Lets actually look at the numbers shall we?". GREAT one cous! Although you say that numbers are easier for you to handle than words- I think you handle the words just as well ! Just proved it here- Beautiful!

  2. I drive fast because I like driving fast - I try and keep my zigzagging down (and have gotten more patient with age), but a lot of times, there are a few people who seem to be pacing each other, across all 4 lanes, and they create a mini-jam. Those people are worth zigzagging around - it's also the law for slower traffic to keep to the right lanes, but no one pays any attention to that one. I think they read the signs as:

    "Slower traffic keep right, except you, Special Snowflake."

    1. First of, muchas gracias for reading my blog!! Please share with your friends.

      Secondly, if you're talking about the law, then the law also says that the speed limit on the freeways for example is 65. That means you are NOT allowed to go even 1 mph faster than 65, but no one pays any attention to that one...

      Also traffic jams are created because there are too many freaking people on this plant.

      Now, my point was that you are NOT saving as much time as you might think. You are not saving enough time to justify zigzagging. Sorry, but I think it is a selfish act where you are risking OTHER peoples' lives.

      Thanks again for reading my blog.