Chances are you pay your taxes, give to worthy causes and tear up at the sight of a starving child. But chances are even greater that on the streets of L.A., whether you’re behind the wheel of a Beetle or a bus, you’re a conceited asshole. I know. I’ve studied you every day. And that includes you, former Spice Girl Geri Halliwell! Some of my best friends are assholes, too. There are maybe six or seven of us, out of the bazillion registered L.A. drivers, who actually use our turn signals, let other cars in on merging streets and refrain from tailgating. Running red lights, or as I like to call it, “attempted murder,” is an epidemic in this town.
I have recently learned about a public service more vital to L.A. drivers than diamond lanes and 980 AM’s “Traffic on the 1’s.” It’s a phone number: 1-800-TELL-CHP. When you see someone driving erratically, jot down the license-plate number, and when you get home — we saints never talk on the cell phone while driving — call the nice man and tell him what happened. It’s a 24-hour service, and in a matter of days, your bad driver will get a letter in the mail explaining that he or she was seen driving erratically on such-and-such street. It’s brilliant. You will need a pen and paper at the ready, or, better yet, a digital voice recorder — the safest way to go.
Here are the top three pet peeves that would force me to tell Mr. CHP on you, in order:
1. Ye who talk on cell phones while driving. Nothing you have to say or listen to can be that interesting.
2. Ye who roll to a stop 6 to 10 feet beyond the limit line at a stop sign on a street perpendicular to the one I am traveling on, thus causing me to assume you are going to blindside me (which happened for real once).
3. Ye oncoming Mulholland drivers who can’t stay in your fucking lane and cause me to assume you are going to kill me in a head-on collision, in which case I would be very much in the right but also very much dead.
Call early, call often.