Rules of the Road

Today’s post is written by our split personalities, Apoplectic Erin and Road Rage Ben. We apologize for all the ways you are about to be offended.


We’ve been thinking recently about how much better the world would be if everyone took driving tips from us. Many of you probably are reading this now thinking, “Finally! How much longer did they think they could wait?”

We’ll be honest: You, our friends, are wonderful people. Witty, diverse, creative, generous, loyal, hard-working people. But you are also terrible drivers. You may act like good drivers when you pull away from our house, but we know what you do once you’re out of sight. You drive like lunatics. Or grandmothers. Or lunatic grandmothers.

We’re not singling you out. It’s simply that everyone else on the road is stupider than we are. The sooner you accept this, the better it’s going to be for everyone.

First, some general tips for all drivers. Then we’ll offer Cincinnati-specific tips for drivers who share the same roads with us on a daily basis.


1. You should always be prepared to yield the right-of-way to a pedestrian. Even the dumb ones. If there’s a moron crossing when he or she shouldn’t, guess what: You’re in a car, he or she is not. If you are so insecure that you need to feel justified in the rightness of your cause by hitting this individual, you should — and will — be incarcerated in the very near future. (Did you know that more New Yorkers are killed legally crossing in crosswalks than jaywalking?)

2. Do not attempt to read the newspaper when you are driving. Or send that text. Or type on your laptop.

3. Or smoke a cigar while doing all three. (You know who you are.)

4. Finish shaving/applying make-up before you get into your car in the morning.

5. It’s common courtesy to flash opposing drivers with your headlights if you know a cop car is waiting for them. Same if you almost hit a deer or something. Just help each other out, people.

Basic, commonsense stuff. Now…


1. Please, for the love of all things holy, let drivers merge from the on-ramp onto I-71 North just after the Ridge Avenue North (8C) Exit. What possesses you to camp out in the right lane when oncoming cars — clearly visible from an extended, semi-circular on-ramp — need to merge immediately is beyond our comprehension. If there was an upcoming exit you needed to be in the right lane for, well, that’d be one thing. But the Red Bank Exit is still a mile up the road.

Driving home Saturday night at seven o’clock, when the entire I-71 North corridor was light on traffic, Ben witnessed not one, not two, but three cars camp out in the right lane while an oncoming Pontiac had to break sharply and come to a complete stop to accommodate for their boneheadedness. There was not a single car within two hundred feet anywhere else on the highway. Both of the left two lanes were wide open for even one of these cars to move over, thereby facilitating a seamless merge. But no. Stupid ball* won out.

2. If you are pulling into the Rookwood Pavilion in Hyde Park/Norwood from Edwards Road, you have the right of way. Everyone else at the three-way stop stops for you. Yes, it’s difficult to understand this even when it is spelled out on the sign (INCOMING TRAFFIC DOES NOT STOP). But when you come to a complete stop, everyone stares at each other at a total loss as to how to break this stalemate of idiocy.

Similarly, if you are at one of those three-way stops, you must yield to all incoming traffic. (Again, the sign.) Don’t pull halfway into the intersection and then slam on the breaks, make an aggrieved face and flip the bird at someone who turns off of Edwards and does not yield. Get it through your thick skull: They do not have to yield. You should be flipping yourself the bird. 

3. If you are driving southwest on Madison Road toward O’Bryonville and want to take a left onto Torrence Parkway, here’s a news flash: The far left lane won’t get you there. That’s a left turn only lane to Grandin. You want to be in the middle lane going down Madison. If stupidity has clouded your brain into thinking you can just nose your way from the far left lane back to the middle lane without causing undue harm, here’s a suggestion: Check behind you to see if there are cars already in that lane. And when you see that they are, don’t merge! Isn’t that a novel idea! Not endangering your life or anyone else’s by using good old-fashioned common sense! How about that.

If you can’t follow our simple guidelines, we promise we will report you to RoadRagers.com. After we slash your tires.

Good. Now that we’ve got that off our chest, we’re off to a local elementary school. We’ve been invited as guest speakers to berate seven-year-olds for their alarming lack of personal hygiene. Later we’re going to a nursing home to dress down the seniors for farting at mealtimes. It’s just repulsive.


* = “Stupid ball” is copywrited by Eric Bescak. We steal everything from him.


Meanwhile, over at the Voreblog Readers Forum, much healing has taken place as people share the movies that made them cry. As sister Ellen put it, “Let your tears go. It’s cleansing.” Don’t keep your deep, dark secrets to yourself any longer — share them with total strangers! Matthew Leathers did! (And check out a sweet music video from The Neverending Story.)


9 thoughts on “Rules of the Road

  1. Feeling a little frustration with your wrongheadedly adopted home? Masking deeper regrets with mundane complaints?

    Nonetheless, as I recall, Ben Vore is no Safety School role model. He’s driven my car only a couple times, but has gotten pulled over for speeding (https://voreblog.wordpress.com/2008/08/13/speeding-tickets-revisited/), got me a ticket for parking next to a hydrant, and bumped a homeless man (but we’re pretty sure he was faking).

    Whateve. Your thefts of my riches give my life meaning.

    BTW…get the new Thao album yet?

  2. You’re never going to forgive me for that fire hydrant. I still lose sleep thinking about how disappointed you were (are) with me. Woe.

    Thank you for at least qualifying that the homeless man I “hit” was faking it.

    I do not have the new Thao album yet. Should I?

  3. You take your lumps, buddy. Just like the vehicularly assaulted homeless do everyday.

    And yes, you should have the new Thao album. Somewhere along the way, I got fixated on you and yours owning this. But then you also have the entire Coldplay discography plus imports (even that one-off single where Chris Martin fronts REM to cover “Leaving on a Jet Plane”), so maybe you aren’t the type.

  4. I want to thank these good people for their public service announcement. I begin to sweat every time I enter Rookwood that way and it is from the fear of people who either can’t or won’t read the signs there. I would like to add my own comment about the on-ramp. This goes for about any on-ramp. If anyone should refuse to give up the right lane please DO NOT speed up as you see someone trying to merge. If you do this both of you will end up at the same place at the same time. Many times I have been the one trying to merge when someone that was a few car lengths is now at my driver side fender and continuing to speed up. Give the people on the ramp a little room to merge. I’ve nearly been killed when people refuse to do so. I don’t want to be killed I want to arrive home in safety.

  5. Does Thao sound anything like Vampire Weekend? That could heavily influence my decision.

    I saw a fire hydrant this morning and thought of you.

  6. I hear Ezra Koenig does great trim work with a weedwhacker. I’d move them to the top of your list.

    The kids have been buzzing about Ra Ra Riot. After I buy Thao, are they worth my time?

    Do people denigrating Al Green still get you riled up? Your answer will affect whether or not I denigrate Al Green in my next comment.

  7. mike stipe just lowballed ezra by $1.35.

    of course you’d hear about ra ra riot now. anyone else you want to get into? maybe some titus adronicus? howabout them new times vikings?


    get with the program. seriously. or just hang it up and get “a little bit longer.” you probably already have it. pretty edgy and adorable, those Jonas boys.

    btw…after that Corinne Bailey Rae duet, i’ve developed some pretty thick skin about the Reverend. denigrate away.

  8. Stipe does shoddy work. He just wants to take a dump in your flower bed. Stick with Ezra.

    I promise you I will purchase Thao tomorrow on my day off. And if I run into the kids along the way, I won’t let their snide condescension wear me down. But is it so wrong that I just want them to like me?

    If even Al Green has fallen, who is left standing? Bob Sura?

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