Home Lane; Visitor’s Lane


Every highway needs to have a Home Lane and a Visitor’s Lane.

I realized this a short while ago, when I saw several out-of-state plates in a row on “my” highway. There was a caravan of folks from out of town, though they weren’t all from the same place.

I’ve heard the insurance company statistics that claim certain states have worse drivers than others, but we in the states surrounding California know the real truth: California drivers are the worst. They get out of their highways that resemble Vienna Sausage cans and get to the open spaces of highways beyond their claustrophobic state, and sadly they have no idea what to do with their vehicles or all that extra spaaaaace.

Say it with me: Spaaaaace.

They keep their bad habits of tailgating and sudden lane changes and pulling ahead of you to make you slow down, even though there’s a good seventeen car gap behind you that they could have filled instead of that two car gap in front of you. This is only in reference to the California driving habit of course, and not derogatory toward the people who practice it. They could easily move out and find themselves with more civil driving habits within a year, if they tried.

One way I understood the contrast in driving habits was when I had a conversation once. This guy asked me, “What would happen if you drove 55 on that road over there?” I thought I responded honestly, “You’d run over someone.” The stretch of road he was referring to was a long line of RVs, as I remembered it; RVs filled with the geriatric who were fleeing one location to occupy another supposedly better location, the “greener grass” people, people who drove really slow so they wouldn’t spill the beans boiling on the stove in the back of the RV. But then my friend said, “No, you’d get run over.” You see, in my older friend’s eyes, everyone was going really super fast on the highway where the speed limit is 55 miles per hour—though to me, a personage slightly younger than him, everyone on that road was driving as slowly as was mechanically possible. So in that scenario, I WAS the California driver, and I should have learned some manners, some highway etiquette, and instead of forcing my way around the snail-paced RVs, I should have had a bit more patience. I should have stayed in the lane built for me.

That would be The Visitor’s Lane, if there was such a thing.

Now that I’m a bit more stationary, a local, I can claim the Home Lane. Everyone with those Guam and Cuba and Hawaii and Samoa license plates can occupy the Visitor’s Lane. Move over!

Published by Kurt Gailey

This is where I'm supposed to brag about how I've written seven novels, twelve screenplays, thousands of short stories, four self-help books, and one children's early-reader, but I'd rather stay humble. You can find out about things I've written or follow my barchive (web archive, aka 'blog) at xenosthesia.com or follow me on twitter @kurt_gailey. I love sports and music and books, so if you're an athlete or in a band or you're a writer, give me a follow and I'll most likely follow you back. I've even been known to promote other people's projects.

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