- Oct 6, 2020
- Reaction score
What people don't understand is that Massachusetts drivers aren't crazy, they're assertive. I'll never forget the reaction as I was driving my friend's minivan into Boston one time. He was in the back seat, another friend beside me. A light turned green. Passenger beside me gasped in horror. I asked what the problem was. Van owner called out from back seat "Nothing you just got the jump on a cabbie" in one of those "2 lanes merge into 1 on the other side of the intersection" situations Boston loves. Cabbie of course realizing I got the jump on him backed off immediately.
My own favorite anecdote involves my first marriage. First wife was from Pittsburgh, and the in-laws and family connections came in a small horde to Boston. The rehearsal was in Malden, two cities north of Boston; the rehearsal dinner was at my grandmother's home in Quincy, the city that is Boston's immediate southern suburb. And I was in a large van with about a dozen of the Pittsburgh crowd. (Well, I knew where we were going.)
Now western Pennsylvania drivers are painfully polite. They will ALWAYS let you merge. If the sign says "Speed Limit 55" by heaven they will all drive 52 mph. Throwing them into the maelstrom of 1980s Boston rush hour traffic, transiting from north of the city to south of the city (and this is before the Big Dig), isn't like throwing the sheep to the wolves. It's like arming the wolves with machetes and BBQ sauce first. Those poor people were white with terror, as we were slinking on the lower deck of 93, and the driver was the most terrified of all.
So I barked "Pull over!" at the driver, who shakily complied. I said, "Look, give me the wheel. I'll get you all there. But you folks might want to shut your eyes for the next half hour or so."
I've no idea if they did, but I did get them all there in one piece.