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Charlie Hatton
Brookline, MA



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Howdy, friendly reading person!
I'm on a bit of a hiatus right now, but only to work on other projects -- one incredibly exciting example being the newly-released kids' science book series Things That Make You Go Yuck!
If you're a science and/or silliness fan, give it a gander! See you soon!

How the Hell Can You See the Road With Your Head Jammed Up There?

Bringing you the thrill of blogtory, and the blogony of defeat

It’s a cliche around these parts, but I’ll repeat it here, just in case the truism hasn’t seeped into your part of the world quite yet:

Boston drivers are the worst in the world.

Now, I used to make fun of other drivers. I’ve lived in three (count ’em, three — 1, 2, 3) states that border Ohio, and the taxpayers of that fair land are certainly among the most auto-piloting-challenged road retards on the planet. I give them high marks in several important areas — the Blue-Hair Old Fart factor, the Crossing Three Lanes to Make a Left Turn contest, and the Inadvertant Turn Signal Idiocy marathon, to name just a few. Certainly, Ohioans achieve impressive scores in these activities, and frankly, in all of the Drive Like a Lobotomized Chimp Olympics events. These folks are regularly clueless, frequently senile, and often drunk — or seemingly so — and therefore can never be counted out of any of the various competitions sponsored by the Ted Kennedy School of Driving.

“My friend, you put the mo’ in moron. Ku-dos.”

But they’re not the ‘Kings of Kar Abuse’. Nor the ‘Apex of Automotive Asininery’. Nor are they the honorary ‘Vogon Admirals of Vehicular Assault’. Nor even the ‘Primo Pissant Peckers of Pedestrian Plowing’. No, my friends, all of these titles, and many more, belong to the squirrelly driving denizens of the Boston Metro area. Ohio cannot hold a candle to these enraged, ape-like creatures. New Jersey — no chance. Manhattan? The taxis come the closest, but they’re not even in the same league as Boston school buses, much less the cabbies. Los Angeles, perhaps? In terms of pure firepower and homicidal fury, certainly. But for blatant disregard for the life and property of others, as well as ever-climbing heights of incompetent boobery, the drivers of Eastern Massachusetts win, driving-gloved hands down. They even have a name, which I sadly can take no credit for — ‘Masshole drivers’, or simply, ‘Massholes’. So take my word for it, folks — if you see an MA license plate behind you, or swerving wildly in front of you, or careening over the median toward you, then for spoot’s sake, give ’em room! Take an exit, pull over, flip your hazards on — whatever. Just don’t risk being yet another innocent victim when one of these Masstards (okay, I came up with that one… but it’s not nearly as good, is it?) tries to swerve sideways through a red light and fishtail their rusting heap of metal into the Dunkin Donuts drive-thru lane. Better men and women than we have stood in their way, and there are wreaths all along I-95 to prove it.

So why do I tell you this, especially when many of you already know such things?

(Such clever boys and girls you are, too! Living proof that slack-jawed Neanderthals aren’t the only ones who enjoy this site. Bravo!)

Well, I mention it only to preface — and perhaps explain — my vein-popping frustration in trying to get to work today. You see, during my little jaunt to the office this morning, I encountered no less than five — yes, that’s five — utter nincompoops masquerading as automobile drivers (and one pedestrian, just to show that not everyone in the city remembers to extract their head from their ass when they exit the vehicle). Please, if I may, let me give a shout out to my new-found peeps in the ‘hood. So that if you happen to run into one of my new friends, you can give them a hearty kick in the balls, or lack thereof. With love, from me, through you, to them. Nifty. Let’s begin, shall we? The roll call includes:

  • the asswipe — sorry, Masswipe — in the green Camry who hogged his lane and two-thirds of mine as we passed in the CVS parking lot. You couldn’t have slipped a playing card between my passenger door and the brick wall of the pharmacy building, all because Eldred wanted to protect his shit-car shine from the vehicles parked seven feet away from his precious fender. Grrrrr.
  • the proprieter of a large white passenger van who decided, in same said parking lot, that he was simply tired of driving for the moment — oh, the exhaustion! — and squatted that behemoth down across two lanes of the lot, right in front of me. As though he might leave the van there as a monument of some kind, staking claim to the entire parking structure in the name of drooling ignorami everywhere. ‘Ah claims this here parkin’ lot fer me, an’ fer Earl, and fer other-Earl. All you folks’s gotta git now so’s me an’ the Earls can hunts ‘possum!‘ My friend, you put the mo’ in moron. Ku-dos.
  • a rather ample forty-ish woman who was apparently driving while legally blind, since she completely blocked the exit of the CVS parking lot — and therefore, my car — by pulling her late ’70’s model sedan into a line of cars stopped at a red light on the cross street. She was also evidently paralyzed on the right side of her body, as she never turned to face my car as I sat, and waited… and waited… and waited… for her to deign to move her Ford Hunk-o-Shit the hell out of my way. Poor dearie. So very, very many issues. Bitch.
  • the snowy-haired old biddy — behind whom I found myself upon leaving the CVS facilities, or as I now thought of it, Satan’s House of Mental Nipple-Twisters — who had a few problems of her own, not the least of which was her inability to remember exactly where she’d left her car’s fucking accelerator. I suppose Alzheimer’s can get the best of anyone, and perhaps at her age it is rather a good idea to drive only as quickly as she’d be able to walk… but I still want to wrap her walker around her wrinkly neck and drag her behind my car. Is that wrong of me?
  • a rather dashing young corporate fellow — with the requisite SUV, of course — who simply couldn’t decide whether to turn left or go straight at the next stop light. The poor fella didn’t even have time to use his turn signal; he could only slow to a crawl for no apparent reason, and then lurch his big metal box away to the left, forcing me to stand physically upright on my brake pedal in order to avoid finding out what his rear bumper tastes like. Mother. Fucker.
  • and finally, the hep cat sans vehicle who calculated that a green light beside him and three lanes of traffic screaming towards him were clearly no concern of his, and that he should cross the street, regardless. Slowly. While bip-boppin’ to the freaky tunes blarin’ out of his iPod. Truly, I wanted to tell him, ‘Yo mamma must be so proud!’ But I just couldn’t get past, ‘Yo mamma.’ Well, to be perfectly accurate, ‘Yo mamma, needledick,’ but who’s counting, right?

Anyway, those are the highlights of my odyssey this morning. And lest you think that this was some unique experience, some once-in-a-lifetime gauntlet I happened to fall face-first into, let me just say: no. No, this was pretty typical of a three-mile-or-so drive around Boston, I’m afraid. It’s nowhere near the record for this type of thing. Actually, local legend has it that a few years ago, some guy ran into no less than twenty-six separate and distinct Jell-o-brained jackasses on a single trip to the Boston Market in Somerville. They say that once he got there, he just snapped and went on a rampage, bludgeoning customers with drumsticks and drowning employees in the deep-fryer oil and the tubs of mashed potatoes. Not a pretty sight, to be sure. He finally ended the carmage by impaling himself on a rotisserie skewer and falling into the oven. From what I’m told, if you visit that branch late at night, and you listen really closely, you can still hear his ghost, muttering to himself as he spins his way through eternity: ‘…s’not a friggin’ turn lane… that light was red, dickhead… pick a goddamned lane, buttmunch…‘ You know, if you can believe the stories.

So that’s that, I suppose. There but for the grace of God go I. Who knows what any of us would do if that kind of concentrated nerve-twanging stupidity were funneled down our throat? Best not to risk it — if you live around here, then keep your vehicular excursions as rare and as short as possible. And if you’re visiting Boston, take the trains. They’re cheap, easy to find, and only rarely do they run red lights or try to pass on the right. And finally, if you’re one of those people — one of those belligerent Masshole bastards in need of a good thrashing with a Cluebat — well, Porky, you just watch your ass, and keep your bumpers the hell away from me, got it? ‘Cause I’m still worked up from this morning, and I’ve suddenly got a craving for mashed potatoes.

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