for starters, downtown is a bit psychotic. example 1: most of the streets were planned by cows. you think i'm making this up? the Common was originally common grazing land. the cow paths became fairly set. then they became roads. then we paved them, about a hundred years ago. i doubt they've been repaved since. example 2: the streets that weren't built by cows are a grid on landfill. Boston was originally a peninsula (well, more like an island with a neck tagging it to the mainland). all the fens were gradually filled, and the streets were laid out neatly. you try driving that freaking grid. they're all one way, and they're all the wrong way. i swear, they've invented at least a half dozen ways to make a street one way. yes, i know. there should only be two.
and, of course, the big example: the Big Dig. don't even get me started on that. it's bad enough on the T, where i feel like a fucking lab rat. they redesign the layout every week, i kid you not. the door that was there last week? not there. signs to direct you out of the three layers of platform? also not there. it must be a big lab experiment, and they're taping it, and years from now, we'll see the tapes on America's Funniest Home Videos. and the roads... gah! they must rip them up on a whim. i seriously can't find my way home from downtown twice the same way. don't try giving directions. the streets won't be there. 'you drove thru there this morning? well, you're fucked then.'
one of the most flagrant examples of how my fellow Massholes (yes, i screw up on the road as well, so i guess i have to count myself among them) fail to understand the concept of 'driving' is this: the right hand turn from the left hand lane. i see this so often, it doesn't even phase me anymore. i just assume that the prick in the left lane will do his level best to take off my front end. more often than not, i'm right. the worst part is the domino effect. i'm so busy watching El Pricko in (more often than not) his Crown Vic or some other such atrocity that i pull some boneheaded move and piss off someone else.
here was the best example: i was coming thru an intersection where the road forks, and there's a parking island of about a dozen spaces in the middle. i come up on the left of the island, in the right lane. as i slow for the red light, i see El Pricko. and sure as shit, he tries to pull a right hand turn, thoroughly torquing off the SUV driver right behind him. as he eases his 87 foot long steel boat into the island, he realizes he's lost the parking spot. he starts banging on the wheel and cursing. *then* he executes a multiple point turn (on one way streets, mind you) thru a red light instead of going thru the light and coming back around the block. i have no idea what he was trying to do. he was going to end up pointed face into two lanes of oncoming traffic. i got right the hell past him as soon as i could, and peeked in the rear view mirror to see SUV Guy doing just the same.
is it any wonder i nearly go batshit driving around here?
interestingly, i rarely use my horn. instead, i yell. a lot. things i often yell in my car:
green light GreenLight GREENLIGHT! gogogogogo!
pick a lane, any lane. contrary to your belief, You Do Not OWN The Road, you prick!
if you think you're getting in front of me, think again. you so do not have the right to do that. (this move is often performed across multiple lanes, and always aimed for the side of my car. how you can get around me while aimed at my door, i do not know.)
two wheels, four wheels, same road! same road, you fucker!
go right ahead, sir. step in front of my car. step out on that green light. because YOUOWNTHEROAD! fucker. (this is best executed at top volume with the window rolled down. it's especially satisfying when they jump.)
What. The. Fuck. whatthefuck??????
oh, no. oh no, oh no, you don't, [insert expletive of choice]. i don't THINK so.
somehow, i find that things need to be yelled three times, with increasing volume and emphasis. makes it more effective.
oh, i nearly forgot this one - two way roads that are actually only a car and a half wide. yup. there's actually a T shirt you can get around here that demonstrates proper technique (there are rules of ettiquette as to who needs to pull over into non-existent space). i have to take one of these on the way home sometimes. there are cars parked on both sides, of course. and it's uphill, so you can only see oncoming traffic to a point. then you're on too steep a slope to see if there's a car coming at you. i just put it in third and pray.
all that being said, i do like being able to drive around. i just wish *i* owned the road. ;)