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Burnett's Urban Etiquette

Monday, March 26, 2007

I'm not checking myself into rehab or anything, but...

I think I might be a little bit of a chauvinist. Not a women-should-be-barefoot-and-pregnant-and-baking-cookies-and-making-lemonade chauvinist.

I really don't like lemonade that much.

I kid, I kid. Seriously though, it occurred to me earlier today when a bad driver cut me off in traffic on the way to work.

I was driving. Another car whipped in front of me with about two inches to spare. I saluted that car, and then I muttered to myself that "she" was a terrible driver.

A few minutes later, as per the ebb and flow of traffic I ended up side by side with the same car. Turns out the driver was a man.

Bad driving is a pride sport here in South Florida, and when I'm on the receiving end of some numbnut driver my snap reaction is usually to say something smart about "her" behind the wheel.

Mrs. B opined the other day that I'm usually wrong. The other driver, the bad driver, usually turns out to be a man, she said.

After today, I agree that she's right. I'm usually wrong about my driver assumptions.

I don't know why I instinctively assume - again, usually incorrectly - that most of the bad drivers I encounter are women.

Maybe I heard men in my life dog women drivers when I was a boy? Nah. My dad is the silent stoic type when he's behind the wheel. Always has been, even when he has to slam on breaks or swerve to avoid a bad driver.

Maybe it's the brand of entertainment I subscribe to? I doubt it. The books I read range from mystery novels - many featuring female protagonists - to pop philosophy, like the Tipping Point. And the most blatantly biased TV I watch is South Park. And even that show's biases usually come with some sort of moral behind the story line.

I don't know why I do it. There's plenty of other stuff I blame on men, after I've jumped to a conclusion.

Luckily Mrs. B doesn't hold this one against me. Then again I do believe she once was given a warning for coming close to speeding. I've never gotten more than a parking ticket.


PS. You guys hurt my feelings. No one went to the last post and read my most recent articles. We reporters are sensitive people, you know.

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  • That's so funny. "women drivers" is an old joke, but I don't think that can apply to Miami.

    Being raised here in Miami, I've always assumed that all bad drivers are men who secretly wish they were Hulk Hogan carrying a machine gun, screaming "Mine's bigger than yours" as they cut you off, driving on testosterone over drive.

    By Blogger Manola Blablablanik, at 11:21 PM  

  • Five words: Soccer moms on cell phones.

    By Blogger Hammer, at 11:58 PM  

  • The only time I drive is to & from work. Other than that, my wife usually drives and I prefer it that way.

    By Blogger JR's Thumbprints, at 12:04 AM  

  • I'm more misogynistic than I should be, considering I'm a woman myself. My boyfriend is annoyingly feminist. We cancel each other out.

    By Blogger hyacinths and biscuits, at 12:49 AM  

  • LOL, I guess we can all come to assumptions from time to time, we have a 50 percent chance of being RIGHT, hahaha.
    When I was leaving an air show the other day, alongside another 1000 cars or so, I was trying to merge traffic and this dude wouldn't let me in. So the next person did and I waved nicely. Down the road a bit, that guy that didn't let me in, he had broken down, karma I tell ya, kar-MA!!

    By Blogger Cazzie!!!, at 5:54 AM  

  • Everybody knows that a man would typically leave only ONE inch to spare. It's an honest mistake.

    By Blogger The Sarcasticynic, at 6:46 AM  

  • I torture my wife with chauvinistic remarks all the time. It's a lot of fun.

    By Blogger captain corky, at 7:16 AM  

  • You may be sexist, James, but it's worth noting that only a woman would swerve off the road to avoid a squirrel or other woodland creature.

    I know. I used to work at the national highway safety transportation administration. Ninety-three percent of all squirrel-related accidents are caused by women.

    By Blogger Matt, at 9:09 AM  

  • Matt is pretty squirrely --
    I wonder what lengths women go to.. to avoid him.

    My sis-in-law always said the worst drivers were little old men in hats.

    I've been driving for a long time.. and I think it's equal, both sexes, all ages.

    By Blogger Pamela, at 10:08 AM  

  • I like lemonade. I am a bad driver. Do you think the two could be related?

    By Blogger mist1, at 10:46 AM  

  • i dont like lemonade either. weird. i drive like a bat outta hell. hence... me not having a car. lol

    my sister can apply mascara, navigate LA freeways and work her iPod at the same time. she scares me.

    and i told you i'd get to them! i came back to 59 emails!! sure most of them were from young girls named becky trying to show me their goods for a cheap price... but still!!

    By Blogger Yasamin, at 10:58 AM  

  • In the D.C. area, I've noticed that most slow drivers are elderly, fast drivers are young men, and rude, inconsiderate drivers are black women. I hate to say that since I AM a black woman, but if someone does something amazingly rude behind the wheel around here, it's usually a black woman... on a cell phone. I wish it weren't so.

    By Blogger katrice, at 12:22 PM  

  • Don't feel bad, most men (all the ones I know anyway) do the same thing when someone cuts them off in traffic, they instantly assume the driver is a woman. Perhaps it is an instinct you are born with.

    By Anonymous krkbaker, at 12:45 PM  

  • I notice lots of women on cell phones not paying attention and swerving or lane drifting, BUT I also notice that most agressive driving seems to be middle aged to older men.

    I thought we had already gotten to read the piece on true love, that's why I didn't read that one. Going back to check out the links now.

    By Blogger fiwa, at 12:53 PM  

  • Most of the time I drive good. 2% of the time I drive bad. Maybe you were just around that 2% that we drive bad... And I read some of those articles... but I didn't know you wrote them... I thought they were just linked for us to read.

    By Blogger Erica AP, at 12:56 PM  

  • At least you didn't say Asian, or Vulcan.

    By Blogger Evil Spock, at 1:20 PM  

  • Awww... give yourself a break James. My husband is the same way. During the first year of marriage I gently pointed this out to him, and by "gently" I mean that I threatened "no sex for a month".

    It's not a bias that's particularly harmful unless you start lobbying for the wholesale revocation of female-issued driver's licenses. ;)

    P.S. - I just got back home and I'm heading over to your articles now. I wouldn't want to chase you up a bell tower or anything.

    By Blogger Queen of Dysfunction, at 1:49 PM  

  • I forgive you. This once.

    By Blogger Winter, at 3:35 PM  

  • Columbus Ohio has to have the worse drivers in the whole world! Mostly, the men....: ) They drive like they're drunk, asleep or visually impaired. They're rude and mean - but get this, they won't look at you after they honk or cut you off. They drive as if though thier lives depend on keeping thier heads forward. It's the funniest thing I've ever seen. I ride next to them and try to get them to look at me. Bad drivin' Ohio chickens! LOL

    By Blogger Angie, at 4:05 PM  

  • First you get in an argument with the guy who's dog pooped in the yard and now your dripping the one finger salute on your fellow drivers.

    Do you think you might have some anger management issues there James?

    LOL .... kidding ... I kid because I care. ;-)

    By Blogger Jay, at 7:01 PM  

  • MB, you're right. It hasn't applied in Miami for me either.

    Hammer, you're gonna get picket lines outside your house ;-)

    Jr's T's, I am getting closer every day to seeking that sort of driving arrangement.

    H&B I try to be a feminist sympathizer sometimes. It just never works. I might need more hugs.

    Cazzie, I love that story. Karma is...a very nice lady!

    Sarc, guys swap paint down here.

    Captain, I'm still learning my limit so I don't get that cold shoulder or couch. I'm not fond of either.

    Matt, I heard squirrels were good for the preservation of tire tread.

    Pamela, in the end you're probably right.

    Mist1, didn't you know? Lemonade causes inatentive driving.

    Yas, your sis should move to Miami. She would get a medal and a statue erected of her downtown.

    Katrice, LMAO! Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha! The PC police won't like you saying that.

    Krkbaker, born instinct makes sense to me!

    Fiwa, old guys who aren't Hugh Hefner are angry. And we do a new love story every week. I'm in the rotation, so it's my turn ever four weeks, I think.

    Erica, I don't know. Down here the bad drivers are the 98%. As for the articles they're all me.

    Evil Spock, Vulcans are too logical to drive recklessly.

    Queen, it's just that sort of threat I'm afraid - the no snugglin', not the chasing me up a bell tower.

    Winter, thank you. I'm trying to be more soft. So far the only thing that has worked is cocoa butter.

    Angie, that no looking thing is funny as all get out. Down here, folks will not only look at you but hold up a handwritten cardboard sign and ask you what you're looking at.

    Jay, I swear I don't have an anger management problem. I'm as peaceful as Ghandi. It's Miami. The driving breeds road rage. I didn't have any before I moved down here. In Wisconsin I drove down I-94 tossing rose petals out the car window so other drivers would have a sweeter path. Well, not really. But I would have thrown rose petals out the window if it hadn't been so cold.

    By Blogger James Burnett, at 9:42 PM  

  •, bad. I'll go read them now.

    And, for the record, I assume bad drivers a women too. Does that make me a chauvinist too?

    By Blogger Lex, at 12:49 AM  

  • James, these are my sisters. I can talk about them, but NO ONE ELSE can. LOL

    By Blogger katrice, at 1:01 AM  

  • Hmm.. I think we tend to find what we're looking for, and if that's proof that the opposite sex makes up a greater majority of bad drivers, we'll find it. It's like that saying: to a person with a hammer, everything looks like a naili.

    By Blogger The Dummy, at 12:48 PM  

  • Duh. Everyone knows that Asians are the worst drivers.

    By Blogger Lee, at 10:19 PM  

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