Monday, March 07, 2016

Hey, why the hurry?

"Hey, how are you?" I asked.  I am rarely ever at his lane at the grocery store, primarily because his work schedule and my shopping times don't match up, I think.

In his usual style, he mumbled that he was well.

Then, out of the blue, he said, "I don't  understand why everybody seems to be in a hurry.  They want things done fast, they drive fast.  Why the speed?"

It dawned on me that this was not the first time that he has talked to me about this.  The guy is really my kind of a guy.  Slow and steady.

"Like yesterday" he continued.  "I was driving down south with the cruise control set to between 65 and 70, and everybody else is passing me.  Felt like they were driving 80 and 85 and 90."

I nodded a yes.  Meanwhile, an older couple had joined me in the lane, and they were trying to listen in.  But, in addition to the problem of joining a conversation that is well underway, they also had to deal with his muffled mumbles.  Strangely enough, I was doing well keeping up with him.

"What's wrong with people?  Why do they want to speed like that?" He was really agitated over this.

"I know what you mean" I sympathized.  I meant it, of course.  I am one heck of a dull and boring driver.  No speeding, no unnecessary overtaking.  No road rage. No nothing.  I can certainly put any passenger to sleep with my driving.  Any passenger who is awake will probably jump out of my car and outrun my car ;)

"Last week, when I was driving on 99, on two separate occasions, two different drivers behind me flashed their headlights at me.  Apparently they were in a hurry and wanted me to get out of their way."  One was scarily close behind and I worried that he might even rear-end me in rage.

"After all that speed, what are they gonna do?  Watch a TV show? Play video games?  Surf the web?  I don't get it."

He mumbled in agreement.

Sometimes I worry that this world is not made for us slow coaches.  People do not have patience for us anymore.  Even in talking--the young talk a million words a minute and I imagine they see the world in ultra slow motion whenever I start speaking!  Then there was that taxi driver in Costa Rica whose speed in driving and talking fascinated me.  She would perhaps join the people in America who find my driving and talking to be annoyingly slow.

But then there are places where people are even slower than I am.  It is not easy to figure who the tortoises of world are!


Ramesh said...

Its only on the road that the mania for speed fully manifests itself. It must be something profoundly psychological - even the slowest idler turns into a demon when put behind a wheel. In the 'Old Country" read that as put behind handlebars for the disease is even more acute when riding a two wheeler.

Of course there is nothing urgent to be done when the destination is reached. I speculate that the instinct of the survival of the fittest is at play here. You must compete everywhere and what better place than on the rod where the results of the "competition" are obvious.

Remember the slow cycle race back in school. Did you win, by any chance :):)

Sriram Khé said...

I remember those slow-cycling events. Some would even deflate the cycle tires in order to win ... ah, those were the days!
I have never won anything, my friend. Nice guys finish last, as they say here in my adopted home ;)

Mike Hoth said...

Come now Sriram, you won the hearts of some of your students. Perhaps not all of them, but you did get invited to my wedding. Only three people I met at WOU got invitations, but perhaps you're saying you took the bronze because you had to watch the ceremony and missed out on cake? :)
People are in a rush to do everything these days because we give ourselves more obligations. Keeping up with Facebook and Twitter have joined catching our favorite television shows and doing chores. It's why takeout an ever growing market; people want more time to relax and can't be bothered to enjoy things like cooking or driving.

Sriram Khé said...

Oh yeah, some students have treated me, and treat me, really well--including the invites to weddings. Yes, I am a huge winner there. Thanks.

Rob and Sara said...

I plead guilty to the speed thing.

We were on a road trip in November, crossing Idaho where the speed limit on the freeway was, what? 80? 85?

I was driving, as I love to do, and moving with traffic. OK, maybe moving past most traffic, but still, nothing remarkable.

Until Rob leaned over and said, "Excuse me, but did you know you're going 98?"



Sriram Khé said...

So, were you the one on 99 who was flashing the bright lights from behind me? ;)
98? I don't think I even dream of those speeds ...

Rob and Sara said...

No, I wouldn't do that, Sriram. :D I'm very patient with old geezers at the wheel. Oh, wait. You're younger than I am! Oops. And by quite a bit.

Only on the freeway, with no oncoming traffic, do I ever let my speed freak flag fly.

And even then, I wouldn't go THAT fast on purpose.

Fortunately, there were no bright lights flashing behind me... Especially not lights in color... accompanied by sirens. Yeeps!


Sriram Khé said...

Your comments reminded me the old classic, "Hot Rod Lincoln"

Rob and Sara said...

Love that song! Mine's a Mazda, but that doesn't rhyme with much if anything... :O