Sunday, December 30, 2012

say something nice

It's a bit of a truism  that the people who drive BMW cars are assholes, or at least display traditional asshole behaviors when they are on the road.  I've seen some dissent from this position but usually the folks who beg to differ are driving BMW cars themselves and so they can be assumed to have a certain measure of bias.  I've also considered that with the distinctive logo and the sizeable price-tag maybe the BMW simply suffers from a combination of sticker-price jealousy and easy ability to recognize - but that doesn't explain why the general public appears to be mostly fine with the Mercedes Benz (except for my mother who calls them Nazi mobiles) and the Porsches and Ferraris and the whatever else is the newest hotness.

If pushed for a preference (mostly I dislike everyone equally) I prefer a BMW sedan over a Lincoln Navigator because I have an easier time making eye contact with drivers who are seated in the chair position of a sedan as opposed to the I-Am-Your-Overlord chair position of an SUV.  Of course the BMW SUVs seem to be exceptionally aggressive coupled with the usual BMW cluelessness which is why I wasn't surprised today when it was a BMW SUV who drove up the wrong lane behind four tense roadies and then cut off a car when he realized that he wanted to take a right, not a left because right and left are so similar that it can be difficult to tell them apart.


Last week I realized there is something consistently awesome about BMWs and I want to call them out and thank them before I forget and go back to complaining.  I was at a traffic light waiting for a green left turn arrow.  I was a little nervous, there were a bunch of twitchy cars behind me and it's a short light.  Sometimes cars zzz out at traffic lights (which is weird considering how excitable they are about getting to red lights, why fall asleep when it turns green?) and the light turns green and they go on zoning while I make honking noises.

The car:  zzzzzzzzzzzzz.

Me:  (helpfully) Beep.  Beep-beep.

Then the car wakes up.

The car:  >snort< Wha? Hmph?

Then the car panics.

The car:  omigod green!  green!  omigod!  wtf!  I've been tricked!  Fuck you traffic light, fuck you!

Then they do that zero to 90 thing.


Me:  pedalpedalpedalpedal.

The cars behind me:  omigod green!  green!  omigod!

The cars behind me:   rRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRROOO [there is a little obstacle in front of me but I think I can hurdle it] OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOARRRRRRR!

Yeah, so.  I have a vested interest in the car in front of me staying on the ball and accelerating gently and confidently as the cars in front of it start moving through the green light.  If they move forward at a steady rate of acceleration I can actually pace them and the cars behind me don't go into Thoroughbred "with a running start I can clear that bicyclist, I can clear three bicyclists" mode.

And this is why BMWs are kindof ok at times.  They never snooze at traffic lights.  At a red light the BMW will sit there revving it's engine like a kid crossing his legs and dancing from side to side but insisting that he "does not need to go."  Then the light turns green.  If the car in front of the BMW snoozes the BMW will wake him up, possibly with a light thump on the rear bumper, none of this horn bullshit.  When the car in front is travelling through the intersection the BMW will be so close on it's tail that I think the BMW drivers sometimes accidentally impregnate the driver of the car in front of them.  

And me?  I can follow through at a nice sturdy pace and no one feels compelled to force their way around me or ride over me.  Which I appreciate.  So to all of you BMWs who careened through intersections doing 90 when I was safely behind you where I didn't have to worry about dying?  Thanks!  Stay awesome!  

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