Now that I’ve been driving in Los Angeles traffic for about five years, I’m ready to draw some conclusions. The first is that there appears to be an inverse relationship between whether you drive a BMW and whether you value human life. Maybe it’s the fact that I’m toting around a 9-week-old, but I hardly want to drive through Beverly Hills anymore for fear of being cut off, given the finger, and run off the road.
It’s true, there may be a bit of class warfare in my blood. Once upon a time, I read a study that said the nicer the automobile you drive, the more leeway people give you on the road. Specifically, when a traffic light turned green and you were the first car in line and you didn’t go, researchers measured how long it took for the driver behind you to honk. If your car was worth $50,000, it took about 10 seconds. But if it was worth $1,000? About 2.
With that in mind, my new favorite game is to pull up behind a shiny BMW 3 Series and, my palm braced on the steering column, LAY ON MY GOD DAMNED HORN THE INSTANT THE LIGHT TURNS GREEN!!! And I don’t mean just honk. I mean lay on the horn like I had just been shot and fell forward dead pressed against the steering wheel. I can’t tell you how much fun this is. Until, that is, the incensed driver of the BMW cuts me off, gives me the finger, and runs me off the road.
They can’t help it. It just comes natural to them.