Gotta Go Joes


By Jerry Lambert

In the writing of this blog, I don’t normally get on my soapbox. That said, there is an urgent issue I feel the need to discuss. Tailgating. Not the fun kind. With good food, good friends & good football. I’m talking about the kind where a tap of your brakes can get your rear end smashed in, and possibly send you to the hospital. If you read my article Green Highway Signs, you’ll remember my commute is over 30 miles. As a result, I have been exposed to a large number of these individuals who feel their main goal in life is to ride my bumper until I get out of their way. There doesn’t appear to be a speed that will placate these jerks. Whatever my speedometer reads, I’m not going fast enough.

I call these people Gotta Go Joes. What really irks me is after I change lanes, they’ll often pull up next to me, driving the same speed I was going! They just want me out of the way, I guess. I get it. I don’t like being stuck in the middle lane behind a bunch of cars who seem like they’re actually driving BELOW the speed limit! I do have a personal code when it comes to highway driving. If I am in the left lane, and you come up behind me at a safe distance, I’ll get over at the first opportunity. However, if you have plenty of chances to pass me, but choose to ride my bumper and flash your lights like some demented snowplow, I won’t budge. It’s just a matter of principal. I can hear my wife’s eyes rolling again.

My highway code has led to some humorous results. The ride into work does a natural slowdown in two spots. The Telegraph Curve and the I-275 Interchange. One day, a very irate person didn’t appreciate the fact that I wasn’t breaking the land speed record. Even though there was plenty of room to pass, he rode my bumper, laying on the horn and flashing his lights for a couple of miles. He finally gave up and went around, giving me the middle-finger salute, and changing lanes way to close for comfort. However, I had home field advantage. He didn’t know about the two bottlenecks up ahead. I kept tabs on him as we crawled our way through the first slowdown. When he came to a screeching halt at the second stop, I couldn’t resist laying on my horn and returning his salute as I sped by. Was I proud of myself? No. But you know what they say about karma buddy!

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