Wednesday, January 17, 2007

How to Handle Icy Roads: A How-To Guide for Morons

Brought to You by the Moron School of Driving

Lesson 1: Slick Parking Lots

First and foremost, when dealing with icy weather conditions, your initial responsibility will be to disembark from whatever location you inhabited while the weather was changing from fair to fowl. Be this a home, apartment, brothel, nightclub, cardboard box, or any random rock out from which you may have crawled…you will undoubtedly have to move from the previously stated location to whatever mode of transportation you are using to get around (e.g. car, truck, wagon, roller skate(s), horse and buggy, ad nauseum). For sake of example, the remainder of this article will assume that said mode of transportation is a sizeable family vehicle.

Upon leaving your location and stepping out into the cold, cold parking lot, make certain that you do not slip on the slick ice that has likely placed itself between yourself and your vehicle. Unless, of course, you are disembarking from a nightclub or other financially sound establishment, in which case you may feel free to slip, slide, and reel across their carelessly untreated parking lot, as there are financial gains to be made in doing so. However, if you are the owner/renter of the location you are leaving, be mindful of your step because ice is harder than bones, and you could end up “broke” in more ways than one. (Especially true of morons.)

Once you have successfully engineered your way to your vehicle, be certain to start the ignition right away, without giving your fuel line a chance to warm up. (If you’re a true moron, you likely don’t have time for that anyway, as you would never be so foolish as to give yourself extra time in wintery weather.) Once the car is started, be sure to rev the hell out of the engine -- it is a Moron School of Driving fact that doing this will help your car and/or heater to warm up much, much faster. After giving the gas pedal a few hard stomps, throw that stick into gear and GO, BABY, GO!

Likely you will encounter a stop or two in your venture toward the street or roadway. In this case, make certain to LOCK UP YOUR BRAKES. Repeat. LOCK UP YOUR BREAKS. This will ensure a proper skid across the pavement , which is loads of fun and leaves really cool tire marks in the ice/slush. It’s just like carving your name into the desk at school, except that it is accompanied by a really nifty “swooshing” sound.

Finally, when exiting the parking lot and entering the roadway, make sure to push the accelerator all the way to the floor to ensure that you can successfully outrun the sole driver in the oncoming lane. Nobody likes a slouch, so get with the program and move your ass.

Lesson 2: On the Road

Now that you have masterfully made your way into commuter traffic, you must ensure that proper driving etiquette be followed at all times:

(a) Signal a turn either well in advance (approximately one mile prior to your designated turn) or immediately before (less than five feet), and make sure to announce your turn by repeating the “Break-Lock-Swoosh-Sound” maneuver discussed in Lesson 1. This will ensure that any nearby drivers will be aware of your presence and make room for your actions. Once you have completed your turn and/or lane change, be mindful to leave your turn signal on a while longer to notify drivers of your original location, in the event that you should have to return to it with unannounced promptness.

(b) Share your driving experience with others. This can be done by way that modern and necessary invention: the cellular telephone. The Moron School of Driving recommends that you be on the phone at all times when on the road, to ensure that you never travel alone. This is also convenient in the event of a mishap, as the person on the other end can signal for help to meet you should things go awry. Now, while you could opt to utilize a hands-free attachment on your phone, such as an earbud, bluetooth earpiece, or other device, most Moron School of Driving graduates find these to be a put-off and pretentious. Nobody likes a smartypants, after all, and employing the use of these newfangled items is like telling the world you’re too hoity-toity to be a “hands on” individual. Therefore, when at all possible, holding your cellular telephone in your hand while driving is the moron-approved manner of sharing your driving experience. It also makes you look really cool and important to other drivers on the road!

(c) When coming upon notably large patches of ice, be sure to first depress your accelerator to the floorboard as much as possible and then, upon reaching the ice patch, lock up your breaks (again, as mentioned in Lesson 1 and previously in Lesson 2). This will enable you to “skate” across said patch of ice with the same grace and class as Tonya Harding (ah, the epitome of elegance). If you should happen to be surrounded by other drivers during your “lock-skate” action, do not fret. The other drivers’ vehicles are equipped with steering wheels and brakes for that very reason. Upon noting that you are a graduate of the Moron School of Driving, they will make certain to move out of your way and grant you plenty of space on the road. Note: Patch Skating, as we so lovingly refer to it, will be covered in even greater detail in Lesson 3: Bridges and Overpasses, so please be sure to read on.

(d) Fishtailing. This most highly entertaining maneuver is fun for both yourself and the other drivers who share the road with you. Who doesn’t enjoy a little adrenaline-pumping adventure now and then, right? Everyone does, silly! Of course they do! And what better way to ensure everyone has a great time in transit than to fishtail your way across any ice-covered roads. It’s like an amusement park in the seat of your very own car! Hey, if it’s good enough for fish, then who says it’s not good enough for you, too. And once the other drivers witness what a grand time you’re having at the wheel, it’s all but certain that they will jump in and join the fun as well. Before you know it, everyone around you will be slip-sliding around, having the grandest time, and you’ll be the one to thank for it all. What a way to spread the cheer.

(e) Skidding is a common experience in slick-roadway driving, especially if you have followed the instructions in letter “d” above. However, the Moron Driving School will be the first to tell you that a skid can quickly go from fun to frightening if you’re not careful and fail to follow the moron-approved instructions provided here. First and foremost, when entering into a skid, made sure to TURN AWAY from the direction of the skid. Repeat. TURN AWAY FROM the DIRECTION of the SKID. No one wants to go the wrong direction, and the same is true when the rear of your car moves in opposition to the front of your car. Step two is to LOCK ‘EM UP. Lock your breaks so that your wheels stop turning. This will not stop them from moving across the ice, but it will ensure that you are no longer responsible for where they go after that. (Keep that last statement in mind, should your auto insurance provider request details of your actions at any time.) If all else fails, you may end up facing the other direction. If that should be the case, you’ll likely be worn out from your escapades and need to head back home for a little unwinding time. Go ahead. Call your boss, or whoever else may be awaiting your arrival, and inform them of the situation (making sure to use proper hand-to-ear phone etiquette) as you return home for the day.

Lesson 3: Bridges and Overpasses

This is always the most highly sought after section of our winter-weather driving section, as it provides you with plenty of “gusto” to get you over that overpass. Following the Moron School of Driving’s recommended actions will leave others in both wonder and awe of your mastery of vehicular movement on the roads.

Most importantly, when coming upon an iced-over bridge or overpass, remember the fundamental law of inertia: an object in motion will remain in motion unless acted upon by an outside force. The greater the momentum, however, the less likely that any outside force will impede your progress. Therefore, you should make certain to tackle these suspended concrete appendages with courage and plenty of speed.

Since most bridges tend to be straight in nature, feel free to gun your engine as much as possible prior to entering in order to ensure that you can skate efficiently across it without interruption. (Any questions on this method should be referred back to the previous sections of Lesson 2 regarding Patch-Skating.) It is unlikely that you will find use for your brakes while crossing bridges, but if you should find need to do so, make sure to LOCK ‘EM UP, pressing the brake pedal firmly to the floorboard as quickly and with as much force as possible.

Overpasses are much more fun for moron drivers, as they have a tendency to curve and swing about much like the tail of a contented cat. They also have the added attraction of altitude, which sometimes makes a moron driver feel as though they are soaring through the air in an airplane! Oh, the joy! However, since overpasses tend to begin low and rise quite rapidly, make sure to accelerate well in advance and then slam on your brakes just prior to entering the overpass…this is one time when you want to slow down and enjoy the ride. Once you are established on the overpass, follow an alternating process of speeding up and slowing down so that you neither impede upon the enjoyment/progress of other drivers, nor end the pleasant experience too quickly. The stop and go technique is also believed to provide morons with better traction, which is handy on those sharp curves. As you near the bottom of the overpass, keep in mind that, while the ride may be over for you, it’s just beginning for other drivers behind you. You should probably slam your brake pedal to remind them to utilize the stop and go technique, as well. So, out of courtesy, go ahead and LOCK ‘EM UP one last time.

Should you find yourself rubbing bumpers with the guardrail, don’t fret. It’s there to protect you from falling. Feel free to slide along any guardrails you encounter along your travels, employing them much like training wheels, whenever necessary. Should you tire from one guardrail, jerk your steering wheel sharply in the opposite direction and move to the other side. This enables drivers to enjoy these protective barriers without wearing one out faster than the other. You can rest assured that your local Departments of Transportation appreciate your courtesy in proper guardrail usage.


Now that you have been thoroughly instructed on moron driver safety during winter weather conditions, you should be fully prepared to hit the road hard. Should you come across any encounters not previously mentioned in this course, or should you forget these lengthy lessons, here is a quick and simple way to remember how to handle any situation: GUN IT - AND LOCK ‘EM UP. This technique is sure to help anyone, regardless of experience level, master the Moron Method of Driving.

Moron School of Driving graduates, be sure to check back with us soon for our next lesson on driving on wet and/or flooded roads. This lesson will be available this spring.