Sometimes, we don't realize how nice we have it until we go somewhere else.
A good case in point is drivers and how polite - or impolite - they may be.
One of our staff members recently drove to the East Coast and had a good reminder of how rude, obnoxious and dangerous drivers can really be.
It all started near Chicago.
Just pull up to a toll booth and pull away, and there it is, right behind you, someone honking and giving a one-finger traffic signal for you to get out of the way.
The further east you go, the worse it gets.
By New Jersey, it's horrible.
It's reminiscent of those bumper cars you used to ride at the carnival, actually. People play chicken, darting across multiple traffic lanes at 80 miles an hour without a traffic signal, missing other vehicles by inches.
At the first toll booth he pulled up to at the New Jersey turnpike, the woman said in a very rude and obnoxious voice, "Turn off your wipers" as rain cascaded in torrents. Presumably, the wipers were too noisy.
When he turned off the turnpike, though, this time the toll booth operator was playing rap music at a deafening level. Apparently, though, New Jersey Turnpike officials had absolutely no problem with hideous noise emanating FROM a toll booth.
On the return trip, the further west he went, the more polite other drivers became. Everyone politely took his or her turn, using four-way stop signs for their intended purpose, signaling when changing lanes, not tailgating, using all the fingers of the hand while waving.
It was downright refreshing.
We are indeed lucky to live in a state where people act like human beings on the roadways - not like a bunch of drug-crazed, drunken degenerates trying to commit vehicular homicide.
And isn't that nice?