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“What's the difference between a Massachusetts driver and a New York driver?”
No other state's residents use this epithet as these two states do. For example, it would be mere snobbery for drivers from Connecticut and New York to object to the driving of a Massachusetts resident, which is no worse than their own, merely on the basis of not being one of them. Maine and New Hampshire residents have peculiar ways of turning the names of other nearby states into scatological terms, such as Connecticunts, but identifying and ridiculing Massholes is much more satisfying.
Massholes are drivers whose motto is: "Pushy and bossy win the race." Not unlike their politicians. They get drunk, drive recklessly, weave among traffic at 25 over the speed limit, and throw litter out the window of their car, which has a busted tail light, confident that their fate will be benign based on the sticker on the rear window--the one that says, "State Troopers are our Best Protection."
Why do Massholes drive so poorly? There are many reasons.
edit Massachusetts state government
The Massachusetts government is organized to grant impunity to unionized state workers, to extract the maximum in fees and taxes from the citizenry, and above all not to get the job done. The notorious Registry of Motor Vehicles embodies this tradition fully, for decades being unable to even issue front license plates despite full control over the cost and the terms of the transaction. Regarding licensing of drivers, the Registry, not unlike I.C.E. regarding access to the national territory, is just as unable to keep the unqualified away as it is to issue credentials to the qualified. So any car with Mass. plates should be given a wide berth.
The dysfunction of state government partly explains why Massholes can't smoothly leave a lane that is closing, even when given a mile of advance notice. The signs are likely to be wrong, left in place to maximize the billings of the politically connected contractor from whom they were rented.
Massachusetts itself is a scary place, as nearly every vehicle on the road, judging from its plates, is either driven by a jerk, or is mislabeled.
edit Youth and inexperience
“Have a drink, have a drive. Go out and see what you can find.”
Young people like to get wasted and then have adventures. New Hampshire is a great place to do this, such as racing, banging Ewies (180 degrees) and Doughnuts (360 degrees), and practicing weaving, as no one lives up there, seemingly.
For a long time, what happened in New Hampshire stayed in New Hampshire. Citations and jail time in New Hampshire tended not to get reported to Massachusetts, because Massachusetts was governed by Michael Dukakis, who wouldn't talk to the then-Governor of New Hampshire, Attila the Hun. Currently, both states are governed by leftie moonbats who are eager to exchange data on, and wealth of, their constituents, so in the future, the comparative advantage of joy-riding by Massholes may be limited.
edit Race and culture
| Advisory for the thin-skinned
Be sure to read to the end of this section before contacting any of the Anti-Defamation Leagues.
People are flooding into the U.S. from everywhere. Assimilation--learning to be like Americans--includes learning to drive like Americans. One thing about a flood is that people show up faster than they can assimilate. (It doesn't help when the government gives them "Diversity Visas" that imply they don't have to.) The unassimilated tend to drive the way they drove back home. In most of these places, the driving laws are summarized as follows:
- If there is empty pavement between where I am and where I want to be, I have dibs on it if I get there first.
- If I am ahead of you, then you have to wait for me, even if I stop to give a lift to a friend, to scan an accident scene for spurting blood, to buy something from a curbside vendor, or to haggle about the price. You have to wait for me if I am in the fast lane and suddenly decide I want to exit here.
- If I am blocking you, such as sideways halfway into the travel lane, you likewise have to wait for me. If you are a baptized Christian, you will take pity on my unfortunate situation (into which I have intentionally put myself in order to get an advantage over you).
- If I see a cop, I immediately panic-brake to 30 under the speed limit, because I assume he works for $50 per month plus tips.
- And if you don't like it, you've got a horn, don't you?
Within Massachusetts, the vast majority of rush-hour tie-ups are at junctions of two Interstates and are caused by this driving ethic, which makes drivers utterly unable to merge courteously.
edit Cultural issues
Different cultures are not the same and are not equally good at everything. Latino culture prizes spontaneity and acting on a whim, and views advance planning as something for cranky old gringos. Consequently, unassimilated Latino drivers aim not to "Bring 'em back alive," to quote the trite old safety campaign, but to build up massive G forces in the passenger compartment, as though they were Luke Skywalker taking aim on the Death Star.
Displaying the flag of one's former nation, on the rear window or dangling from the rear-view mirror, indicates that the driver values his former culture, is unassimilated and perhaps is proud to be, and has an above-average likelihood to drive according to it. It is simpler than printing up "Uncircumcised Savage Aboard" bumper stickers.
“Paying taxes is for chumps!”
The average border-jumper is less like the average Mexican than the average Mexican criminal. Like Timothy MacVeigh speeding away from Oklahoma City after blowing up the Federal Building, someone who has just gotten away with breaking a big rule is likely to flout little rules. So: What does a guy, who has succeeded in breaking into the best country on Earth, need with lane restrictions?
Massachusetts deals with misbehavior through gentleness, as when it reacted to the use of the shoulder to pass cars by putting up signs with a timetable for the practice. This both encourages misbehavior and encourages the influx of people who like to misbehave.
edit Racial manipulation
“I don't have all the facts but...the Cambridge Police acted stupidly”
Finally, minority populations receive a constant stream of advice from "community organizers" that any failure is directly caused by Whitey's success. Crackers, except for active members of the KKK, receive no comparable input that nonwhites matter in their lives. Consequently, minority status may lead some drivers to view situations, uh, competitively.
edit Confounding factors
That you are not a Masshole does not mean you are a good driver. New Hampshire drivers, for instance, are clueless on who has the right-of-way at an intersection. They start an impromptu game of Charades to determine by hand signal who is in the better mood that day. (And if you think the question of who got to the intersection first is decided calmly and respectfully, you don't know about School District Town Meeting.)
Vanity license plates conveniently identify horrible drivers:
- The American-flag "Veteran" plate is foremost, as the only veterans that think people give a damn about whether they served are veterans of World War 2. They sport "Veteran" vanity plates because there are no "Blind Driver" plates.
- Heart-on-sleeve plates, such as "Conservation Heritage" plates, are lower on the list, but indicate that the driver is not on the road to get anywhere, but to make a difference in the community. Any perceived misstep of yours may become a teachable moment.
- House and Senate license plates are the strongest hint that the driver feels he outranks you and believes that the ends justify the means.
New Hampshirites pride themselves on courtesy and patience. However, those living within 30 miles of the Mass. border have learned that the technical term for them is "chump." Consequently, many border residents drive defensively, with the grace of muscular basketball players on defense.
That was a pile of racial generalizations, wasn't it? None of the above tendencies is dictated by skin color or race, and anyone of any group remains able to choose good conduct. Ideally, we should always judge individuals based on complete information rather than jump to conclusions based on stereotypes. So...at 70 miles per hour, just roll down the window and conduct a bleeping job interview with that swarthy lug in the next lane who cut you off! If you find this infeasible, employ a labor-saving device: Note his Mass. plates and Cape Verdean windshield sticker and assume he is trying to kill you.
When you encounter a Masshole, what do you do about him? Nothing. If you believe otherwise, it is because you believe he is dissatisfied with his value system and is eager to adopt yours. You may be a social activist. Either way, you are wrong.
Being just another car on the road gives you relative anonymity. You can't improve his driving etiquette without sacrificing that anonymity. Whether done positively (through patient explanation, as you do to little Brittany and Bottany until they tune you out), or done confrontationally (using your middle finger), the bottom line is that you do not want to know this driver any better. Besides, many Massholes, when confronted with their misbehavior, claim inability to speak English.