Yep, they were right.
The air was bad and the tap water tasted like Richard Simmons’ unmentionables, sure, but the part that rang most true to me (being the driver of the expedition) was the crack about Jersey drivers. Yes, ladies and gentlemen, they are the worst drivers in this country. I say “in the country” because I have met worse drivers out of it. But that really doesn’t count, because everyone there drove badly the same way, so everything was predictable. Such is not the case here.
Jughandles are part of the problem. If there were cars in medieval England, then jughandles would be the torture device of choice. Instead of making a left turn, a jughandle is a waste of asphalt that forces you to turn right to go left. They say jughandles cut down on accidents because left turns are dangerous. Which would make slightly more sense if every left turn in the entire state of New Jersey, nay, the entire US, were made by jughandle. That way, everybody would be used to jughandles and stoplights would only have to be wired for traffic going straight.
But this is not the case. There is no rhyme or reason to which turns get jughandled and which don’t, so drivers are caught in the wrong lane and are constantly leapfrogging across three or more lanes of traffic (usually nearing a stoplight and therefore decelerating and becoming denser), causing mass slammage of brakes. Since Jerseyans are used to jughandles, this makes them less skilled at making normal left turns, of which there are a good many in the state of Jersey. They seem to forget that extra lane of traffic they have to watch out for.
They also suck at driving in general. This gets back to the unpredictability I mentioned earlier. For example, they slow down while merging onto the highway. This is ass-backwards from the way I learned it. I thought the point of that little merging lane was so the driver could accelerate enough to make a smooth entrance and not disrupt the flow of traffic. But I guess said driver can’t do that when traveling cars enter the rightmost lane instead of moving left to allow the merging driver to actually merge. Jersey drivers also have this habit of speeding up when the light changes to yellow and when they realize they don’t have time to make it before the light turns red, they play the game called “My Skidmark Is Longer Than Yours”. They also play “I’ll Race You Out Of The Toll Plaza (And Cut You Off When I Win)” and “No, I Have The Right-Of-Way, You Fuckass”.
Garrett tells me I need to be more positive, so I’ll focus on the good things about my Thanksgiving break. First and foremost, and the reason why my tail wags harder for Thanksgiving than for Christmas, is the food. I was (and am) most thankful for the excuse to gather together with a large group of folks who are, after a fashion, related to me and eat a house’s worth of food in one four-hour-long sitting.