for August 28, 2002
by Your Diva, Robin Pastorio-Newman
Travel is educational. For instance, a road trip with friends taught
Your Darling, Your Diva, Your One True Love that not everyone knows how
to caravan. It's hard to enjoy a glorious drive across the lovely North
American continent when you're stifling mortal terror. Perhaps a guide
is needed. Your Dragon Roll, whose varied acquaintances include
pedagogue truck drivers, merrily provides.
How to Caravan
1. Make happy with companions owning fabulous vehicles. Your Miso
Soup's prefered co-defendant installed a CD player into a metalflake
green 1960 Catalina. Your desire for air conditioning may yield
different results. Persons wishing to nap, rather than drive, must
nevertheless remain conscious of the cinematic aspects of being seen
snoozing in the right car.
2. Off the top of your head: how many rearview mirrors? Most drivers
don't know and don't use them. Don't be an idiot. You'd look ridiculous
at the bottom of a smoldering three-car pile up.
3. Where are your sunglasses?
4. Caravans work best in groupings of two or three vehicles. For larger
groups, drivers must work in twos and threes, and stay in formation.
Starting to sound like band camp?
5. (Assuming groups of three and minimal traffic.) When entering a
highway, the first driver looks for a place for all three vehicles to
merge with traffic. All three vehicles move with the speed of traffic,
but it's the third car that moves into that space and creates room for
cars one and two. This works even better with groups of two. Got it?
It's the last car moving into traffic that slows slightly to permit
the caravan to merge.
6. (Assuming groups of three and fast-moving, heavy traffic.) Merge,
first car first. Remain calm. Keep your eye on the car you're supposed
to be following. Recreate your formation as quickly and efficiently as
possible without endangering yourself, passengers, construction workers,
other persons coping with traffic, wildlife...
7. (Assuming groups of three and slow-moving, heavy traffic.) Merge,
third car first, creating space, maintaining formation. You won't even
spill your Snapple.
8. (Assuming groups of three.) To pass slower traffic, driver one puts
on her left blinker. You WILL pass on the left, because passing on the
right is your ticket to the Emergency Room in a hick town where surgeons
may have supernumerary digits. Driver two observes the blinker and puts
on same. Driver three waits for a space in traffic, moves left and
creates room for one and two. When slower traffic is safely behind your
caravan, driver three moves right, creating space again for two, then
one, who also move right. Got this? Driver in front signals, driver in
back moves left, everyone moves left, driver in back signals and when
all drivers are signalling, driver in back moves right, everyone moves
right. Et voila! You move ahead without considering the incendiary
properties of your gas tank.
9. Parking your caravan in the left lane obstructs traffic and will
earn you moving violation tickets in a hick town where deputies may have
supernumerary digits, like their cousins the surgeons.
10. Be aware of vehicles in your caravan that guzzle gasoline and
persons with microscopic bladders. Running out of gas will delay your
arrival at your glamourous destination. Unexpected roadside pee breaks
may lead to hilarious yet stinky accidents or encounters with wildlife.
Avoid startling skunks. Generally. To coordinate stops, the wise carry
cellphones which passengers - not drivers - operate.
11. Do not fear the semi.
12. Do not outrun the semi, especially at night. Truck drivers talk to
one another and have a better grasp of where the police are. If they're
moving at the highway speed limit - which in New Jersey is a polite
suggestion - they probably know something you don't.
13. Turn signals - USE THEM. Your Paper-Thin Beef Sashimi would like to
spend less time contemplating a horrible fiery death and more time
admiring her tan.
Keep your eyes on one another, and watch for idiots who cross five lanes
of traffic suddenly and without signalling. Your Shrimp Tempura feels
confident you can get the hang of it. Plus, she's certain you'd rather
use your blinker and shout along with Ramones Mania than spend months in
traction. Gabba gabba hey!
©2002 Robin Pastorio-Newman
All material ©2001-2014 Sean Carolan, except as noted.
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