My wife Becka and our daughter Nora will be leaving this evening for Detroit. They plan to drive to Kentucky, spend the night in a hotel, then continue their trip Friday. Their thinking is that if they had decided to drive the whole way up on Friday, they would have arrived in Detroit right at Friday rush hour. They'll drive back here on Tuesday.
They are going up at this time to help celebrate the first birthday of our grandson Drew on Sunday. It's hard to believe that he's a year old already! There will be a friends party on Saturday afternoon and a family party on Sunday afternoon.
When our children were little, we used to pass the time on roadtrips (trying to ward off some of the squabbles) by playing that old favorite - The License Plate Game, seeing if we could see and write down a plate from each of the fifty states before the trip was over. I think the best we ever did was maybe 37 or 38 different states in one trip, surprisingly bagging Alaska and Hawaii on one trip or another!
With Becka and Nora's upcoming roadtrip to Michigan, I thought I'd give them something to do that ramps that game up to a more sophisticated level - identifying a car's home state or home town by looking at the the driver or other car features, before looking at the license plate for verification of your deductive skills. Maybe some of my readers could add comments giving other helpful tips for IDing drivers from their part of the world or tendancies they have noted in various locales....
How to identify where a driver is from...
Changing lanes or turning without using a blinker or speeding up when he sees your blinker rather than letting you change lanes, running red lights, pulling out in front of you from a side street when there's nothing behind you, waiting at a side street halfway out into your lane, driving down the middle of a street rather than in his lane: Greenville, South Carolina
Knee up against steering wheel, one hand on Tim Horton's coffee cup, cell phone in ear, accelerator to the floor, applying makeup, doing crossword puzzle in the morning Free Press, knocking down orange barrels, changing lanes without turn signals: Detroit (please pray for Becka and Nora since this is not the kind of thing they're used to here in Greenville) 😀
One hand on wheel, one hand on horn: Chicago
One hand on wheel, one hand making rude gestures out the window: New York
One hand on wheel, one hand making rude gestures out the window, cutting across all lanes of traffic: New Jersey
One hand on wheel, one hand on newspaper, foot solidly on accelerator: Boston
Foot lightly on the gas pedal (usually driving 5 or more mph under the speed limit), both hands on steering wheel, or if one hand isn't on the steering wheel the other hand holding a cup of Starbuck's coffee, seat pushed all the way up to the steering wheel, driving a Toyota Camry: Cleveland
One hand on wheel, one hand on nonfat double decaf cappuccino, cradling cell phone, brick on accelerator, and with a gun on lap: Southern California
Lowered Honda, can't see over dash, driving too fast or too slow, car sounds like a bee as it goes by: Los Angeles
Both hands on wheel, eyes shut, both feet on brake, quivering in terror: Ohio, but driving in California.
One hand on laptop computer, one hand at on-board navigation/Internet console installed in dash board, cell phone attached to head with microphone earpiece, having a executive meeting with half a dozen people on speaker phone, palm pilot wedged between knees to observe up to date stock quotes, and shoes kicked off, and feet crossed because traffic hasn't moved in the past hour: California (Bay Area / Silicon Valley)
Both hands in air, gesturing, both feet on accelerator, head turned to talk to someone in back seat: Italy
One hand on a 12 oz. double shot latte, one knee on wheel, cradling cell phone, foot on brake, mind on the game on the radio, banging head on steering wheel while stuck in traffic: Seattle
No use of turn signal, or left blinker on for 26 blocks ... also cradling cheap cell phone: Dubuque, Iowa
One hand on wheel, one hand hanging out the window, hunting rifle between legs, feet alternating between both being on the accelerator and both being on the brake, keeping speed steadily at 70mph, driving down the center of the road unless coming around a blind curve, in which case they are on the left side of the road, throwing a McDonald's bag out the window: Texas male
One hand constantly refocusing the rear-view mirror to show different angles of the BIG hair, one hand going between mousse, brush, and rat-tail to keep the helmet hair going, both feet on the accelerator, poodle steering the car, chrome .38 revolver with mother of pearl inlaid handle in the glove compartment: Texas female
Both hands on steering wheel in a relaxed posture, eyes constantly checking the rear-view mirror to watch for visible emissions from their own or another's car: Colorado
One hand on steering wheel, the other hand waving gun out the window and firing repeatedly, keeping a careful eye out for landmarks along the way so as to be able to come back and pick up any bullets that didn't hit other motorists, so as not to litter: Colorado resident on spotting a car with Texas plate
Beat up 1983 Dodge Ram pick-up truck, right hand holding a Dunkin Donuts coffee, cigarette dangling from mouth, greasy hair shoved underneath an oil stained cap, oldies blaring from the radio: Maine
Both hands on the wheel, seat as far forward as possible, head fixed only looking forward, ignoring people behind and beside you, stopping and waiting for the road to fully clear before making any forward progress: Toronto
Both hands clenched on steering wheel, driver staring directly forward, cutting in front of you and slowing down to 40 in a 60 zone then looking in rearview mirror in wonder as to why the car behind is flashing high beams: Ontario
Engaged in heated political discussion with espresso in one hand and croissant in the other, aiming for pedestrians who have the mistaken notion that crosswalks are for them: Quebec
One hand on wheel, other hand reaching out window trying to catch the windshield wiper to snap the ice off the blade: Minnesota
Four wheel drive pickup truck, shotgun mounted in rear window, empty cans on floor, squirrel tails attached to antenna: West Virginia male
Junker, driven by someone who previously had a nice car and who is also now wearing a barrel instead of nice clothes: Las Vegas
One hand on the wheel the other waving at every car that passes as if it were his neighbor: North Carolina
One finger on steering wheel of a jacked up 4x4, country music blaring from speakers, dead coyote in back, hay leaves blowing out of bed while going down the highway: Montana
Both hands on wheel, chunks of rust falling off by the pound: Nebraska
Two hands gripping wheel, blue hair barely visible above window level, driving 35 in the left lane on the interstate, with the left blinker on: Florida "seasoned citizen" driver, also known as a "no-see-'em"
Both hands on the reigns: Pennsylvania
"Is the gospel good news for you, or is it just good information?" - Dr. Tim Keesee
Teach a child to be polite and courteous in the home and, when he grows up, he'll never be able to edge his car out onto a freeway.
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