4x4 Rules of the Road
by Trebe Callahan

If you intend to own and drive a pickup there are a few absolutes:

     1. You should drive a pickup truck whether you need one or not. It should be extremely large with lots of blinding yellow fog lights. If it doesn't have them already, purchase used tires from MX missile transport trucks (roughly six feet in diameter) and raise the suspension to allow clearance over the wimps that drive cars. If you must drive a car, make sure that it couldn't possibly pass inspection.

     2. Practice your best scowl. Remember that this is the only expression you are permitted to show once behind the wheel. So make it as ugly as possible.

     3. Do NOT be intimidated by the weather. It should never affect your macho driving style. Under no circumstances should you use windshield wipers. The are for appearance only. If snow has blanketed your vehicle, clear a peep-hole just large enough to see what's in front of you. You are not permitted to leave your vehicle to do this, however! If you can't reach around to the windshield while you are driving, then put on your defroster and windshield wipers full blast until you can just see the road.

     4. Darkness intimidates wimps! Only use your headlights when its pitch dark and you see the police. Of course, if you do have those blinding yellow fog lights, you may use them whenever you see fit. It is also considered macho if only one front headlight works.

     5. Always drive with your right hand on the wheel and your entire left arm hanging loosely out the window like a slab of meat.

     6. Any loose objects in the vehicle may be thrown out of the window without hesitation (especially macho is throwing out burning objects like cigars).

     7. The only appropriate time to use directional signals, if you must use them at all, is while you're driving in a straight line down the highway (you could actually leave them on all the time since nobody really believes you are going to turn anyway).

     8. You must be prepared to yell obscenities at and give the finger to anything that moves. If you are always prepared, you will beat the other macho drivers to the punch.

     9. In Los Angeles, the road sign YIELD has no meaning, but the sign STOP means YIELD. A flashing yellow or green light means the same thing as a YIELD sign, and a flashing red light is the same as a STOP sign. You must never come to a complete stop unless the vehicle in front of you comes to a complete stop. Only wimps stop for red lights. So be sure to blast your horn the split second the light turns green.

     10. Driving in the breakdown lane is strongly encouraged. Passing traffic in the breakdown lane on multi-lane highways is particularly macho. Driving over the road shoulder or on top of the median strip to get around traffic should be left to the experienced macho driver.

     11. Passing traffic on winding, narrow roads without hesitation will gain the respect of other macho drivers.

     12. Never yield to emergency road vehicles such as ambulances. They will find a way to get around you (they should never have caught up with you in the first place).

     13. You must master the art of tailgating to become a full-fledged macho driver. With practice, it is possible to maintain a distance of two to three inches between you and the vehicle in front of you without even paying attention! This is particularly confusing to the driver when you are in heavy traffic. If the driver in front of you tries something cute like slowing down, jamming on the brakes, or flipping the lights on and off, be ready with your obscenities and finger. Remember that you are always in a bigger hurry than the guy in front of you.

     14. Another art to master is that of "cutting off" other drivers. This must be done with great care when cutting off other macho drivers. Sometimes it is necessary to wait for the oncoming vehicle for quite some time before rolling out in front of it, but that is the art. Your mission is to see the front of the vehicle you're cutting off nearly hit the ground as it brakes to a screeching halt. Of course, you appear never to have seen the oncoming vehicle even though you had to wait for it. You must then be careful not to accelerate until the driver you just cut off has finished giving you the finger and yelling obscenities.

     15. Sometimes associated with "cutting off" is the ability to close off gaps in traffic. This is one of my favorite macho-driving techniques. When you detect a vehicle either trying to pull into traffic or accelerating towards you in an attempt to get past you, you must adjust your speed such that the gap in traffic will NOT be there when the vehicle gets to it. You must anticipate the driver's intention while nonchalantly altering your speed to intercept. A fun variation of this technique is to use it to prevent vehicles from getting on or off the highway. Remember that you must not notice the other driver's predicament as he/she jams on the brakes.

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