In the South we love our Bubbas, which is a very good thing, because we have an abundance of them here. And they are everywhere, but nowhere more than driving in the left lane, in front of me, when I am in a hurry.
The other day I was leaving my doctors office and as usual was in a hurry to get back to my office. It was just after noon. I was late and was tempting fate by driving 10 miles over the speed limit through a local speed-trap town. I checked my watch, breathed a sigh of relief, and realized I was trapped in my own nightmare – Bubba was in front of me in the left lane.
A Bubba is a good ole boy, who is calm by nature, loves to fish, drinks beer, loves Nascar, works when he has to and plays harder than he works. Bubbas drive old, primer colored, indestructible, pick-up trucks with the bumpers missing. In most cases these traveling road hazards are loaded with tools, ladders, plastic buckets, one or more very large coolers, and at least 4 helpers / friends / co-workers / buddies, all of which fall off the truck from time to time. Trailer hitches that extend 2 feet beyond the rear of the truck are signs of high-class Bubbas’. To this hitch Bubbas will attach a trailer loaded with more ladders, plastic buckets, yard tools, wire, wood, empty boxes, garbage cans, charcoal, a grille, assorted lawn chairs and miscellaneous road side debris. Knowing this fact, one must remember the “golden rule” of Bubbas – never follow closely. Bubbas stop suddenly and without any warning. Bubbas also use tobacco and do not hesitate to discard the juices out the window and on to anything that passes by. These juices are more dangerous than acid rain and can strip paint, chrome, and the white walls from tires.
Though it could be argued that Bubbas are as varied as the trucks they drive, you can’t prove it by me. My Bubbas come in one standard variety – slow. This is not a statement on their intelligence, but rather an observation of their driving. No matter where I go in the South, it is a safe bet that if I am in a hurry, running late, and becoming more fretful by the moment, there will be a Bubba ambling along at the speed limit minus 5 mph, in the left lane, in front of me, blocking my access, impeding my progress. If that weren’t annoying enough, my Bubbas are always oblivious to the problems they create. Though the law requires slow drivers use the right hand lane, Bubbas are ignorant of this fact. It is next to impossible for a Bubba to drive in the right hand lane. They only venture into ‘right lane territory’ when a right turn is necessary, a naked woman is sighted, or a beer selling corner market is located on the right hand side of the road.
When behind a Bubba, as frustrating as this may be, remain calm, as nothing you do will coerce, frighten or shame a Bubba into venturing out of left-lane territory. You can ride close to him if you dare, but he won’t see you for he has no review mirror. Your attempts to pass him in the right lane will be foiled by the law abiding citizens who drive beside him. (Actually, I think these right lane people are in cahoots with the Bubbas.) You can curse at the Bubba and even resort to using hand signals to express your frustration, but it will be of no use. Bubbas always have their radios blaring, so they won’t hear you. Bubbas also have total tunnel vision, seeing only those things directly in front of them so gesturing is useless. The tunnel vision rule does not apply to naked women, beer joints, and items that have fallen from other vehicles. Bubbas always will break their neck trying to stop so they can retrieve items that fall from other vehicles. It does not matter if these things can be used or not, they are free and therefore require quick action to rescue them, even it their final destination is in the back of the truck or trailer. These things require a Bubba to not only look but to stop abruptly, swerve erratically, hoot madly, and otherwise make a total jerk of them self.
So, there I was, behind an oblivious but content Bubba. I wanted to pass, but couldn’t. He wanted to drive, and did. Frustrated drivers were racing around me, cutting in front of me, blowing their horns at me, making obscene gestures at me and then waving to Bubba as they turn off the highway, going merrily to their appointed destination. I was getting jeers from the other drivers. Bubba was getting friendly waves. I was getting frustrated. Bubba was tooling along with no cares in the world. After much frustration, I abandoned my attempts to pass Bubba, instead I fell in behind Bubba and followed him for the next 13 miles at which point I could turn right, leaving Left Lane Bubba to the other drivers. As the last sighting, I was still late, but headed up the ramp and onto the interstate. Bubba continued west into the sunset.
From the life and mind of:
Wanda M. Argersinger
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