This morning, while I was hanging out in traffic listening to a book on CD, I started thinking about something my wife mentioned to me a while back. She made a comment one time when we were stuck behind a slow moving automobile. “Just our luck. An old man driving. An old man with a hat!” Apparently, the hat had some significance. Not sure what. But it made me start thinking of a list of things I’ve noticed about slower drivers.

  1. Old man with a hat. Yep, my wife’s observation takes the top of the list because I’ve seen it plenty of times. Doesn’t even matter what kind of hat. Baseball cap, cowboy hat, fedora, derby, or even a sombrero. If they’re old and got a cover, take flight as soon as possible.
  2. Multiple yellow ribbon disorder. I’m all about supporting the troops… used to be one (I’m also a disabled vet with an arthritic knee). So, I don’t really mind those yellow ribbons on the vehicles to support the troops… unless they have more than one. Don’t know why those multiple stickers slow vehicles down, but I’ve been stuck behind a number of vehicles with lots of those ribbons. Maybe the ribbons are just so densely packed with well-wishing for the troops that they develop an intense gravitational force that slows the vehicle down. Or something.
  3. Jesus fish and a church. Yeah, there are lots of people that sport their religious preferences right there on the backs of their cars, and one of the most predominant devices is the lovely Jesus fish. Most of the times, these people cruise right along like everyone else, but I noticed every once in a while, they’d slow to a snail’s pace. Never really understood why until I noticed that it mostly happened whenever they passed a church. Is it sinful to disobey the laws of man in the presence of the House of God? Or maybe they just get a little paranoid. “Oh no, I’m passing a church. I better slow down before God catches me speeding and decides to cast me down into the blazing inferno.”
  4. The Ford-Chevy feud. I drive a Ford. Not because I’m some big Ford fanatic, but because it was the SUV with the highest safety rating that we could afford when we bought it (our priority since we have kids). And it’s pretty safe as my friend Marty has seen firsthand. Anyways, I don’t really care about all that Ford-Chevy rivalry (and I’d seen plenty of it back in my hick town days), but I have noticed that a lot of times when I get behind a Chevy truck… they slow down. Sure, they’ll speed back up when I try to pass them, but while I’m behind them, they have that tendency to drive under the speed limit. Not sure what the reasoning behind this is. “Yeah, you’ve just proved that your truck can move much slower than mine. Congrats! That’s gonna definitely win over all of your ‘my truck’s better than yours’ arguments.” I wonder if I’d run into this as much if I bought a Toyota?

There’s not really much scientific evidence to support any of these thoughts… just my own personal observations. Still, it’s neat when you can see odd little patterns in everyday life.