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DRIVING WITH DIPSTICKS

Fort Wayne drivers don't need no stinkin' stop signs in the snow

Monday, December 23, 2013 - 12:01 am

Two days till St. Nick has the reindeer darting all over the planet and that means we will be darting all over northeast Indiana trying to get to our loved ones. For me that will happen if someone decides to plow Fulton Street so I can get the Veedub out of the parking lot. What gives? Everything else was plowed downtown and I had to dig the car out for Mrs. B after the Dec. 14 storm only to get it stuck in a foot of muck. Come on, do I have to get my own plow? That will look quite sexy on our Bug.

I got a few replies in our contest for new and exciting ways to call someone stupid. Cathy wrote in and suggested, “A vacuous, vapid, imbecilic, oaf (who got their license from a Cracker Jack box).” Cathy, you're on the right track, but I am looking for single words that carry the idea with a certain sarcastic flair.

Cathy also mentioned concerning drivers in the snow, “What I have noticed is that the minute there is even a sprinkling of snow on the street, it suddenly becomes apparent that stop lights and stop signs are now just mere suggestions. You might slow down, but since it is now snowing you are allowed to just continue on through the intersection without coming to a stop – if you time it right it will work out – besides everyone else is supposed to be driving carefully – right? And those left-turn arrows? When the light goes from green to red, what that actually means is the next 7 cars are still allowed to go through the intersection – everyone knows that unless they are not from Fort Wayne.”

You're right Cathy, it seems all traffic rules are thrown out the window when it snows. There is no stopping at lights, staying in your lane is not expected, and the speed limit gets raised by 20 mph. NOT!

Cynthia wrote in and mentioned, “Fort Wayne is an interesting city to drive in with the many one-way streets downtown. My favorite route home from work takes me down Berry Street. On one occasion, I was driving down Berry when this other car was driving East in my lane. The other driver honked at me to move and just kept driving like I was doing something wrong. I changed lanes because the other driver was a (insert “Dipsticks” contest suggestion here) and I like my car not crumpled. The other driver turned off the road when the wave of traffic came up behind me.”

Well Cynthia, that is clever, and, no, I won't explain it.

John wrote in, “First of all, let me thank you for taking on the thankless job of attempting to bring 'behavior behind the wheel' to the attention of an increasingly self-absorbed, ignorant culture with an entitlement mentality. On second thought, maybe I should offer you my condolences instead.

“Secondly, I would like to officially offer my entry for your contest of synonyms for stupid, idiotic, pickle headed, !@#$% drivers. For over 25 years I've referred to them 'Motoring Morons.' The term fits, and it's generally acceptable for use in polite society, although there's a slight chance that true 'morons' could be offended by being associated with 'dipstick drivers.' ”

Well, John, the original title for the article back in California was Monday Morning Morons. John also explained that he thinks of other locales when he thinks of bad drivers. We will explore this in future columns. I still think the worst drivers are in Illinois, especially after living in Chicagoland for seven years. Mind you, I am from the land of flakes and nuts, the left coast.

So in conclusion, send in your entries into our contest for one-word euphemisms for the word “stupid.”

Watch out for reindeer. Have a fantastic holiday, and PLEASE be careful out there. No one else is!

Ben Brickman is production manager for Fort Wayne Newspapers. Want to vent? Send it to dipsticks@news-sentinel.com. Include all the details you can think of. If your dipstick gets in the paper he'll give you the credit, or not. It's your call. You can phone in your Dipstick sightings at 260-461-8285. Ben's also on Facebook, Driving With Dipsticks!