Today we will talk about work driving. Something most of us do, whether we drive company cars or trucks for work or drive our own vehicles to accomplish work errands.
“But why does it say ‘leisurely’ in the title?” you may ask…”This is work after all, right? Aren’t you on the clock??”
Because, sometimes your drive is interrupted by unforeseen circumstances and said drive becomes a leisurely jaunt through the countryside (whether you wanted it to or not). Humor me for a few paragraphs as I relate the following story 😉 –
Out running errands one day, I made an uneventful trip into town – you’ll be happy to know that this is fairly typical. And then on my way back to the office, I was behind a Chevy truck.
The driver of said truck was going well under the speed limit, so I adjusted my speed accordingly and waited patiently for the driver to get up to speed. After a bit, I realized with a sinking feeling that he had no intention of going any faster. He was doing 20 in a 40. And it’s a good 3 mile stretch or so to my turn off…
Most people would have just passed him at this point, but I didn’t for whatever reason. Maybe I was now intrigued and actually enjoying the slower pace?
He had white hair and would be what we out here in Wyoming call an “oldtimer”. Even oldtimers call fellow oldtimers ‘oldtimer’, so it’s okay for me to say this (Christmas with the Kranks, anyone?). He would glance at me in his rearview mirror every so often. Maybe it was his way of saying “Slow your roll, young’un. Always rushing around in a hurry!”. Mind you, I was by now a cautious two car lengths away – tailgating is the worst.
I gave him even more space. He moseyed on up to 25. Hope could not be restrained and it started to rise in my impatient little heart!! He gradually approached 30 at about a 1/2 mile in. Could it be?? Would he go the actual speed limit???!? I kept hoping against hope that we would pass a speed limit sign, so he would see it and maybe go faster!!
You know that he didn’t. But at that point, he had edged up to slightly over 30, so I could deal with it.
Once we hit the county part of the road and the speed limit changed to 45, he was actually doing a bit above 40. MORE HOPE!! I was actually elated and didn’t pass him once I hit the dotted lines.
I see you, leisurely driver…I see what you did there. Very clever…
Mind you, I am the type of driver that drives pretty much exactly the speed limit. I am usually the one that people are passing like I’m standing still. So for me to encounter a slower driver than me is not super common. To those who have somewhere to be in a hurry, I get it. I just want to say the following in the most respectful way –
“PLEASE, for the love of all that is good – watch the road and not your phone, stay on your side of the line, and stop running reds!!”.
…because speaking of…
On the same day I was driving behind Leisurely Driver, I was at an intersection waiting to go and a company van barreled through a red light – our green. A few seconds later, myself and the driver in the turning lane next to me cautiously eeked out into the intersection, unsure if it was safe or not. We were safe, fortunately. This is someone’s auntie and daughter here…I wanna make it home intact each night.
And then just last night, a man who was apparently filming the incredible sunset with his phone – while driving – almost ended up in my lane and looked like he was heading right for my car! That was kind of dumb.
But I digress.
All of these driving adventures made me think of the old Burma Shave ads. You know the ones? The little red signs along the road that had little pieces of a saying. Theirs were always clever quips that basically said “Slow down and enjoy life”. Here are a few of my favorites –
- Train approaching / Whistle squealing / Stop / Avoid that run-down feeling / Burma-Shave
- Past / Schoolhouses / Take it slow / Let the little / Shavers grow / Burma-Shave
- Don’t take / a curve / at 60 per / We hate to lose / a customer / Burma-Shave
- The midnight ride / of Paul / for beer / led to a / warmer hemisphere / Burma-Shave
They had the wittiest and most memorable way to tell people to mind the road.
Anyways, I don’t mind the drive from work to town and from town to work each day. It’s quiet and mostly peaceful and I get to watch the scenery or see the wildlife or just enjoy the trip.
Maybe the oldtimer did have something to that very slow, easy pace after all.
So you get to work just a few minutes later than normal? You get to enjoy the scenery. Out here, you get to enjoy the nearly ever-present sunshine on a winter’s day and maybe roll the window down just a snip for a fresh breeze. In the spring, summer and fall, you get to enjoy the beautiful scenery! You get to slow down and give wildlife a chance to cross the road, unharmed. You don’t put your life or your fellow drivers (or passengers) lives at risk from driving too fast, or in a distracted manner. And you get to just savor an unrushed moment of life!
I see you, leisurely driver, I see what you did there. Clever. Thanks for that moment of chill in my work day.
Here are a few links if you want to look up more on the Burma-Shave signs –