Modern Explorer Discovers Another Asshole State

I think when you drive into Texas, you should see a big highway sign that says:

This isn't real, but it should be.
This isn’t real, but it should be.

I’ve taken a lot of road trips in recent times, and the lesson I’ve learned over and over is that Texas is, at least partially, an Asshole State.

Let me define that. (That is, after all, my job.) An Asshole State is a state in which drivers think it’s okay to drive slowly in the passing lane, even if they aren’t passing, regardless of how badly they might be holding up traffic.

Texas isn’t the worst. The worst is Nevada, which is full of arrogant jerks who really seem to do this out of malice, and enjoy giving you nasty looks when you finally manage to get past them on the right as they commute home, inch by spiteful inch, from their day jobs torturing puppies and kittens. Arizona can be pretty bad, too. Texas is better than either of those two Asshole States, but it isn’t good, either. In most other states, people understand that if they aren’t passing someone, then the right thing to do is to get the hell out of the passing lane, and if they forget, their state highway patrol might just give them an expensive reminder.

The worst case that I’ve seen lately (I was on highway 71, if it matters) was a Texan veering slowly and erratically around the passing lane. When I finally managed to get by her on the right, I saw that she was texting. For that, I made an exception to my strict politeness policy and gave her the finger, which she surely didn’t see.

If she had been the only one, I wouldn’t be writing this post. She was merely the worst of them.

Sorry, Texas, you have many fine qualities that I admire, especially your friendly people and your football culture, but when it comes to highway etiquette, you are clearly an Asshole State.

5 thoughts on “Modern Explorer Discovers Another Asshole State

  1. I have to differ! Texas is the only state I’ve lived in where you can actually pull over—and NOT stop—onto the SHOULDER of the road to let other cars go by. Then, once the coast is clear, you just cruise right back over without aggravating anyone! Even the cops do it. And, this is on farm to market roads, the little ones where you always get trapped. Maybe you didn’t experience those roads, but when you live there you certainly appreciate them!!!

  2. I’ll give you that, Lisa. I remember it from family vacations as a kid, that Texan drivers on 2-lane roads would pull aside to let you go past. It was a uniquely Texan custom, and very neighborly as well. So why can’t people extend the same courtesy on four-lane highways? I just don’t get it.

  3. I like to wave when people let me in on a highway. We Texans are mostly a friendly bunch, I only wish the road rage was a little more under control.

  4. You are a friendly bunch, Angela! My favorite thing about moving here is that I’m allowed to be friendly to strangers again. (You can’t do that in southern California, where I spent a few years. They’ll think you’re weird. I think there might be a law against eye contact.) I’ll even grant you the possibility that the people who act like asses on the highway aren’t native-born Texans. But the fact remains that when I cross the border into Oklahoma, the abuse of the passing lane seems to stop, pretty much right there. I truly don’t understand it.

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