Friday Firesmith – Alien Lane

Today I saw something. I’m not sure what it was that I saw, but I’m pretty sure that it wasn’t something that can be explained by normal human observation here on earth.

Okay, let me set the scene here…

The off ramp of I-75 Southbound, intersects with US 84 heading west and there is a traffic light there, and rightfully so. It’s the last traffic light as you leave Valdosta Georgia heading west, and once I get past this choke point, things begin to open up traffic-wise.

A little over a mile away is Rocky Ford Road, which is on the left side of the highway, and people leaving Valdosta will stay in the left lane if they’re going to turn left on RFR and you cannot blame them. There is a turn lane there, and there’s a fifth lane in the middle for t
wo-way left turns, and to the right are a lot of side roads. So, even if you get behind a RFR person you are still better off than trying to dodge the people making right turns because…  →

Seriously. How hard is it? And don’t hit your brakes, begin your turn, and then signal. We’ve figured two things out by that time. (1) Oh, you’re turning. (2) You are an inconsiderate prick.

I’ve learned never to get in the right-hand lane because no one knows how to operate a turn signal. Moreover, what is infinitely worse, is there are people whose faith in humanity, or their inability to learn, leads them into this lane, and they are constantly trying to get back over into the left lane, where I am not using my blinker because I know where to be and when to be there.

By the way, and pay attention to my thoughts on this subject because I might actually be wrong here, I aver that as long as you are in a residential area where there are blinkerless morons to your right the left lane is no longer considered the “fast lane” and a driver is not obligated to move over for faster traffic. Yes? No? Maybe?

So, this all gets us to Rocky Ford Road, and here the RFR people slow down, get over into the turn lane for their road, and then turn on their blinkers. This is also, coincidently, where the area becomes less residential and there is a grass median. It’s “median” not “medium” by the way. And the speed limit opens up to 55 from 45. And this is where it gets surreal.

As I’ve mentioned, I’m in the left lane which by now can be considered the fast lane and I ought not to be there. I get over in my lane, the slow lane, but there’s a big semi-truck ahead of me, and a white Honda in front of the big truck, and oddly, very oddly, I pass both of them while traveling at the dizzying speed of fifty-five miles an hour, in the slow lane.

I’m in the slow lane being slow. The white Honda is in the fast lane being slower. Okay, so about two miles up the speed limit kicks off to sixty-five. I’m thinking either one or two things will happen. The first is the guy in the white Honda will continue at his pace and eventually, a gap will open and the truck will go through it. Either that or the guy in the semi will get tired of the Honda and run over it. But the Honda speeds up and matches my pace.

Damn. I look back and sure enough, the Honda Guy has left just enough room between the rear of my truck and the front of his car for someone to squeeze through, if they’re brave, and there’s someone about to try it. Meanwhile, the semi is about a three point seven two centimeters off Honda’s rear end.

There’s only one way to resolve this issue and only one person seems to be willing to do so. I turn the cruise control off and hit the gas. Sixty, sixty-five, seventy, seventy-five miles an hour and I open up a gap that the line of cars stuck behind Honda guy stream through. I know better than to stick around that much traffic so I hit cruise and it’s nearly a mile before anyone catches up to me.

Five minutes later I drop down to sixty-five and then back down to fifty-five, my normal speed on the road. A couple of minutes later the truck passes me and blinks his lights at me. A minute or two after that, Honda passes me and he’s doing sixty-five if he’s alive. So what makes more sense here? He could be just a self- absorbed jerk who doesn’t notice the world around him and just doesn’t care that he’s hindering people. Or he could be a self- absorbed jerk who enjoys pissing people off because he’s a self- absorbed jerk. Or he could be an alien. He could be an alien who feeds off negative emotions from the brains of human beings and I was witness to an alien buffet.
Take Care,

Mike writes regularly at his site:  The Hickory Head Hermit.
Opinions expressed in this article are not necessarily those of the management of this site.



14 thoughts on “Friday Firesmith – Alien Lane

  1. Used to be stationed at Moody back in the 80’s; I vividly recall the (unofficial) welcome sign at the “knights”… “Welcome to Valdosta; please set your clocks back 200 years”

    Aliens? that’s new 🙂


    • Keith,
      The Knights is still open, but under a new name. Couldn’t tell you what it is as I quit the bar scene a while back. Aliens makes as much sense as anything else I’ve tried in explaining why these people drive the way they do.

      Of course, there is always alcohol. We recently had a school buss driver get tested right before she left the parking lot with thirty kids on a bus. She was twice over the legal limit.

      I’m not saying it was alcohol, but…


  2. Mike, I’m afraid you’re an alien, like me. Human beings don’t care about all the other people around them and make considerate choices that benefit everyone. If you get a signal from the mothership before I do, let me know and I’ll do the same.


  3. Sound about par for Valdosta and all of south GA/AL for that matter. My stepmom is from Valdosta and my Dad’s family is from Richmond Hill/Savannah so I’ve been through there many times. Back in 1971 we were hit head on by a drunk driver in between Valdosta and Waycross. She turned out to be the daughter of the Police Chief of Blackshear. The lady died instantly and almost killed my mom. I was asleep in the back seat so I didn’t see it coming. I want to say I saw the ghost of that woman coming over to us apologizing and asking to be forgiven.


    • Steve, I’m pretty sure I can speak for everyone here in saying that we’ve all lost loved ones in crashes. I can also tell you that we’re sorry for your loss.

      I’m not sure how you are going to feel about me saying this but I had a friend who was drunk and driving and he killed someone in a wreck. He has never been the same since. He’s carried it with him every day.

      Also, the that section of road between Valdosta and Waycross is finally being fourlaned, even as we speak.


  4. I vote for clueless, everything not seen through the windshield doesn’t exist. And he could see through the windshield better if there wasn’t that damn shiny reflective thing hanging down.


  5. I could have sworn they sent all the really crappy drivers to Killeen, Texas. I seriously thought it was a government plot for a while. We have many of the same problems it seems everyone does. Driver inattention, alcohol, driver who doesn’t care about anyone else or seems to think he’s the sun, because surely the world revolves around him.
    I had a guy behind me at a light the other day, mind you I was the first one there. There was a car to my right who was next to me and a car behind him as well, so this guy behind me was on a crotchrocket behind me, as soon as the light changed, he darted between the cars and sped to the next light. What an ass. We all just kind of looked at each other and shook our heads. No wonder those have a bad rep. This is why when I rode, the people I rode with had no respect for those guys. I know there are guys who are safe on them, but guys like that make the safety conscious look really bad. Organ donor on wheels- too bad they go so fast they mess up what may be left.


  6. I saw that alien on I-95 northbound in Palm Beach this morning. Five lanes in each direction. The posted limit is 65, 70-75 is the norm. This alien is driving 60 in the left lane. Traffic was fairly heavy, and people were flashing their brights and honking their horns to no avail. The guy between me and the alien was so frustrated he decided he was a motorcycle and went in between the alien and the car in the lane right next to the alien. As I passed him, I glanced over and saw both the driver and his passenger were wearing New York Yankee baseball hats. That explains some if his crappy driving. A few miles down the road, I could see in my rear view mirror that he was still plugging along with a large contingent of people doing their best to get around him.


    • Paul, I am a slow driver and I will never change, but I’ll be damned if I’m going to get people killed over it. I haul ass on the Interstates. If the pack ahead of me is doing 75 I’ll drop back a football field or so and go 75 with them.

      When I am on a two lane and there’s more than one car behind me I’ll turn off a side road or slow down to where it’s safe to pass me quickly.

      But to think that I have no obligation to others’ safety is just…alien, to me.


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