DeWayne's World - Peoria needs jerks

DeWayne Bartels

“Driving is fun,” she said.

I chuckled to myself.

The 15-year-old girl who told me that at Balda was right.

It can be fun.

But, it can also be incredibly frustrating. It can turn mild-mannered people into jerks.

I’m one of them.

But, there’s a distinction when it comes to me. I’m a righteous jerk.

Heading north on Prospect at Grandview Drive or south on Sheridan at War Memorial almost always turns me into a righteous jerk.

If you think about those two intersections, I bet you’ll see where I’m going with this line of thought.

Both of these busy North Peoria streets go from two lanes to one.

And, let us not forget heading east on Glen and Lake from Sheridan toward Knoxville, or heading north on Sheridan, just past Glen.

The thing is I’m not the biggest jerk out there.

That distinction is reserved for those people who get in the right-hand lane and speed up, trying to get ahead of someone who courteously has been traveling in the left-hand lane, all the while enduring the longer line.

Those are the people who turn me into a righteous driving jerk.

In the last couple of weeks, I was cut off by two people in two separate incidents on Prospect at Grandview Drive.

They merged over without regard for the fact that I was trying to force them to stop, and be stranded like they deserved.

I needed to teach the jerks a lesson. 

They forced me to hit the brakes, when I was where I should be, in the left-hand lane.

I honked, and offered some other salutations, but neither driver looked in the rear-view mirror.

At least they could look me in the eye and take what I offered.

But, no.

These jerks seldom offer the opportunity for any satisfaction. 

They knew they were acting like jerks whose mother never taught them manners.

I know they knew because right from the stoplight at Prospect and Glen they were inching forward trying to get a head start for the race to the merge where it goes from two lanes to one. 

They just don’t care.

You might say I’m acting the same way, but I’m righteous, remember.

You see the same thing everyday on Sheridan at War Memorial heading south.

These jerks have the attitude, I guess, that because I’m not in the right lane trying to cut in I must be not as big a jerk as they are.

They’re wrong.

Even jerks can drive in the left-hand lane.

When possible, I speed up trying to cut them off.

The problem at these intersections is there are never enough righteous jerks.

Peoria has a serious righteous jerk shortage.

These jerks in the right-hand-lane, in my experience, get caught too seldom by righteous jerks.

Inevitably someone in front of me will slow down and allow them to get over.

Why do people allow these jerks to get away with this behavior?

Do Peoria drivers have some kind of Golden Rule fetish when it comes to driving?

I’ll bet they don’t allow people to force them out of the checkout lane at the grocery store.

So, why allow it on the streets? 

Too seldom do I see the right-lane jerks get cut off and sit forced to wait on the righteous traffic in the left lane to pass.

Talk about frustrating.

It’s so sweet when they do get caught and you can drive by pointing at them and laughing.

Peoria drivers are too tolerant.

These jerks have to be taught a lesson.

Squeeze ‘em in the lane they chose and let them sit.

Join me and become a righteous jerk.

Look in your rear-view mirror when you do it.

I just might be there giving you a thumbs up.