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July 26, 2004


I was driving down to Homestead this morning for some business, and was coming up a two lane road on a car that had it's hazard flashers on and was going maybe 15-20 mph. So of course I'm thinking, this person's having car issues, just be careful as I go by. As I pull along side this person, I realize that the woman driving was not using her flashers to notify other drivers of car problems, but in fact was using them to make sure drivers knew she was applying her makeup and mascara with both hands and her flip down mirror in a commercial area.

Too bad she already has a Florida driver's license.

Andrew Smith

NOTE: To forestall any insinuations to the contrary, the stealth bloggerette was busy dodging the people reading on I-95.


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was she blonde, too?

Andrew should have snuck into her blind spot, then honked his horn for 10 seconds straight.

Gotta love Florida...

At least she wasn't talking on a cell phone. Oh wait, they have those hands-free gizmos now...

You long distance commuters know how over time you tend to see the same group at about the same time of day? Well over a period of several years, I watched this one "female driver" well basically getting dressed on the drive. She got on the interstate in her robe and curlers, and by the time she got to her destination about 45min away, she was all made up and ready to go. My favorite was putting on the mascara at 75+ mph in rush hour traffic while driving her town car with her knees (I assume, both hands were in view).

do they even give a driver's exam in florida, or is it, just here's yer keys, have a good time?

queensbee, a what?

You long distance commuters know how over time you tend to see the same group at about the same time of day? Well over a period of several years, I watched this one "female driver" well basically getting dressed on the drive. She got on the interstate in her robe and curlers, and by the time she got to her destination about 45min away, she was all made up and ready to go. My favorite was putting on the mascara at 75+ mph in rush hour traffic while driving her town car with her knees (I assume, both hands were in view).

Is there an echo in here?

Funny you should mention. About an hour ago I saw a woman on a cell phone run up the back end of a truck which was stopped at a traffic light. (No serious injuries if any, but both vehicles will need signigicant body work.

sorry D'arte - just kinda slipped my mind for a minute. i must have a cold.

so, if you're 90 and half blind, it doesnt matter. i guess i'll stay here in ny-what is the accident rate like?

D'Artagnan -- that's a great idea. I'm going to get to work on a diagram for a patent application for a hands-free makeup applicator for Florida drivers.

btw massachusetts drivers are just like florida drivers, except they're not old.

sheepdip, I have to disagree with you. Massachusettes drivers are just as old and just as bad. There's nothing more frightening than seeing a car going 15 mph with it's left turn signal on and a small tuft of blue hair poking up over the top of the steering wheel while driving on a narrow country road. You get that sinking feeling when you realize your stuck behind someone who's never going to exceed 15 mph, never turn left and probably won't stop at any intersections.

Here's a joke I heard, of all places, from a driving instructor DURING the exam:

"A man is driving the work. While travelling at 70mph down the highway, he looks over at the car next to him and sees inside, a woman putting on her makeup. Both hands off the wheel, she's not even looking at the road and is driving with her knees. The man is so suprised, in fact, that he drops his cellphone into the cup of hot coffee in his lap, splashing scalding liquid all over the memo he was reading, the laptop he was working on, and burning his right hand, with which he was preparing his daily lunch."

Can I pose a question?

If so many people are driving while they're not looking, then why can't blind people drive? What makes me any different than these fools? I'd pay attention to the road if somebody would let me! If I feel that bumpy road feeling, I know I'm onto the shoulder right? Isn't that how that works?

I'm baaaaaaaaaack!

SMFTC, you'll fit right in.

Welcome back SMFTC! Don't forget to check out the MOAT again.

We missed you! (Well, I did.)

SteveB. - Old men wearing hats. That's what I try to avoid driving behind. Or even worse, when you can't see the top of the head - all you can see is a couple of sets of knuckles on top of the steering wheel.

(Did I get enough prepositions in that sentence?)

Hey Brad, welcome back! You're right. At least you wouldn't be driving on the interstate with the New York Times fully open on the steering wheel, totally obscuring the road ahead. (Would you?)

Anyway Andrew, unless you're a cop and pulled her over, how do you KNOW she had a Florida license? There are a lot of unlicensed drivers out there, or at least there are in New York, where little things like suspensions and revocations don't stop them from getting behind the wheel.

Brad from SMFTC! Welcome back! (oh, and, you're veering a little to the left, so move back to the right.)

I just got back from a trip to Florida, and I have to say, it's all true. On the way from the airport in Orlando, we're* driving east on the 528, and suddenly traffic stops in both directions. People start getting out (why anyone would abandon their air conditioned vehicles in that sweat pit is a mystery), looking around, playing cards, and basically having an impromptu party. After a while, a helicopter lifts off and traffic progress resumes. When we approach the accident scene, there's a lone SUV looking somewhat munched; it clearly overturned. There don't seem to be any other vehicles involved. This freeway, is long and straight for miles. No hills, curves, nothing. I can only conclude the driver spontaneously combusted.

*the royal we of course.

And, Brad -
What makes me any different than these fools?

You're no fool, Buddy.

Brad - It appears that in Alabama blindness does not disqualify one from holding a valid driver's license. It is unwise to be near the parking lot exit at the Alabama Industries for the Blind in Talladega at quitting time.

Tetsu -
"Such emotive, organic vehicles," they add, "could also lead occupants to have great affinity for their vehicles and make the driving experience more comfortable."

An "emotive, organic" vehicle? If drivers are distracted when using a cell phone, how much more so if they have to figure out how to run an "angry" program on their emotional car?

I think it would be far cheaper, not to mention safer, to try Road Rage Remedy.

Q: What do the call the technique of a woman driving, who leans over to apply makeup in the mirror?

A: Mabel-lean.

Q - What is the French term for applying make-up?

A - farding

So, Andrew saw a woman farding in her car . . .

would somebody please provide directions to this fabled MOAT that i have heard so much about? this seems appropriate in a bloggie about driving, doesnt it?

if it weren't for bad drivers, naked husky men who look constipated, and strange animal acts, (no, I am NOT talking about the democratic national convention) this entire blog would be blank.

Thanks for all the welcomes. Let me try to answer some specific questions. (It's good to be back in touch.)

Jeff, I would not have the NY Times open in front of me. If we can ever arrange for radio reading services to be open channel in my area (a long way off to be sure) I could be listening to it though.

MOTW, would you mind telling my friends that I'm no fool? Based on my website, they disagree. Thanks.

Pogo, I can honestly say that I've never been to the Alabama Industries for the Blind. I take it from your comment that this is a good thing?

Thanks all.

SteveB: Thank you for pointing out my error. I SHOULD have said that Massachusetts drivers aren't EXCLUSIVELY old. See. Here in Mass., bad drivers are both old and young. Whereas in Florida, chances are they are more likely to be on the elderly side. Cause it's Florida. Where people are often old. not that there aren't any old people in Massachusetts. And not that's there's anything WRONG WITH THAT!!! Is it time to go home yet?

I cannot take credit for this assertion, but a friend of mine, when talking about the drivers in DC versus the drivers in Boston said, "Drivers in DC are bad drivers because they just don't know how to drive." (She told me that she first learned to drive in DC, and the license test was super easy.) "Boston drivers are bad drivers because they want to be."

Don't shoot the messenger!

why do you folks stick with the MOAT instead of, i don't know, one of the other options?

thanks djtony - i went there. i shall stay there a while.... it will be fun to just read and add to it... i bookmarked it too... so....

"Q - What is the French term for applying make-up?

A - farding"

Hmm. I remember the reflexive verb meaning "to put on makeup" being "se maquiller." Though "fard" means "dark," so I'm guessing it refers to the eyeshadow and liner and whatnot parts. There was an entire chapter on this in one of my earlier high school french classes, as well as an entire chapter on driving. We spent more time on each of these than on the food or travel chapters. (and of course we all know that makeup and cars are both HIGHLY useful things to learn to discuss on your next vacation to Europe) If I had gone to high school in Florida, I would be pretty suspicious.

I do well to talk and drive. Even hands free. Although I have attempted the txt msging and driving...not adviseable.

"he's dead now."

Good one, Punky. Just hope no one ELSE is dead because of his idiocy.

MOTW: I always thought "Road Rage Remedy" (which wbagnfarb) was a .357 Magnum. :)

I happen to be in Florida today on vacation reading this blog and laughing. I almost slammed a little car in front of me today who was accelerating vigorously to a red light. Anyone know what's up with that?

I guess since we are not too far from Daytona, there must be something in the air around here. I almost got caught up in the craze myself. Since, they were already missing 2 of their rear lights I suppose that it wouldn't have mattered much if I had taken out the rest of the backend.

Troy -

You must be colorblind...the light was only pink..not yet red. Didn't you stop at the official welcome station for your Visiting Drivers Handbook?

Amen to the observations. Why do we give drivers licenses to some of these folks. I try to understand that on my blog and hopefully others will be able to help me lol

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