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Being fined for speeding recently, I've been more than usually aware of the speed limit and sticking to that limit.

As a happy by-product I've discovered the joys of irritating other motorists by obeying the law.

It really is unbelieveable how annoyed and upset people can get at me, well, doing my civic duty. It seems to frustrate them further when I offer a cheery wave in condolance.

I guess it's a control thing, they don't like me making them go more slowly than the'd like.

But, hey, I'm really doing you a favour. You can thank me later.

As noders other than myself have also discovered, driving exactly at the speed limit can be a very entertaining thing to do. Let me tell you my story:

Near to where I live (Danderyd, Sweden), there's a pretty long and dull road that goes from, basically, where Danderyd ends to where another place called Sollentuna begins. In-between Danderyd and Sollentuna, there's a residential area, which the road in question runs along the border of. Previously, this road had a dark reputation for being the site of many traffic accidents, because people would cross the road without looking and get run over. As a result, the speed limit was lowered from 70 to 50 kph (from 45 to 30 in mph). However, this lowering was and still is to this day largely ignored by most people who drive on the road in question.

Now, it just so happens that my beloved grandmother lives on the opposite end of this road from me, and so I have to drive it every time I go visit her. As previously mentioned, the road is long and dull, being flanked by tall, ugly fences in order to reduce noise levels, and so, when driving it, I frequently look for other sources of entertainment (see the title of this node). As I mentioned, people like to drive above the speed limit on this road, and many are excessively pissed off when more law-abiding citizens get in their way.

So there I was, driving home from my grandmother's, on a cold and dark thursday night. Suddenly, a pair of headlights rapidly approaching in my rear view mirror drew my attention. Some guy and his wife (both 40 plus) were driving their shiny new Mitsubishi in the same direction I was going and apparently felt it was their God-given right to drive at twice the speed limit. Having previously coasted along at an ambitious 55 kph, I immediately slowed down to 50 (and my car's speedometer is a bit off, so it was probably more like 48). The Mitsubishi driver's response was to drive with his headlights about two metres from my exhaust pipe. One has to wonder if he honestly believed that would encourage me to speed up! 45 kph, and I could almost see the other driver's face turning red.

Now, this is obviously a very childish form of entertainment. I admit that. But hey, I was only following the law; There are reasons why we have speed limits, mainly because of people like the driver behind me who drove worse than my armpits smell after a weekend LAN party. But enough about my armpits. Since I felt I should milk the situation for all it's worth, I started up my trusty MP3 player with a nice bit of brainless happy hardcore techno*. I then proceeded by rocking my head and upper body in tune with the music. Wonderful, like a private disco in my 740. I can only imagine what the Mitsubishi driver and his wife were thinking when they saw it. Of course, even during my upper-body dancing act, I took every bit of care to maintain my perfectly lawful driving style.

Unfortunately, the song as well as the road soon ended, and me and the Mitsubishi couple parted ways. The last thing I saw was the lady in the passenger seat giving me the finger. Can't say I was surprised. I laughed and waved back at her, but somehow, I don't think she got the joke. Anyway, in conclusion, for a more enjoyable drive down a boring road, drive at the speed limit. You'll even do other people a favour by helping them resist the temptations of speed.

* DJ's at Work - Fly With Me (long distance mix).mp3

Well, I must say that your friend Behr never expected to find a node on this particular subject, for it is a heady one. It is with much consternation that I must clarify what the long dead ancient noders above had to say about this subject. Keeping in mind that these individuals submitted their "writeups" in the 1950s, the speed limit was a very different thing. At that time, the speed limit was merely a suggestion. The police would just tip their cap to you as you drove through the center of town at 70 in your Coupe DeVille and as long as you didn't run over any cowards, they were fine with that.

A lot of what can be said about the modern philosophy on speed limits and what they represent can be found in what I call "book learnings." This involves going to your local lending library and taking out a book on the topic. Do not take out any racy books by Joan Collins or any of that, tasty as the inner thighs of Joan Collins (even at this age) truly are. You want a book about American roads and the laws that govern them. You can even aggressively confront a registry of motor vehicles employee and berate him or her to hell and back on the topic. Either method can help you do more research, but I will share what I have learned in my 89 years on this planet, 70 of those behind the wheel of a car. I have driven many miles as a travelling, well armed salesman before I became a full fledged businessman, not to mention a fully tenured professor of ethics, and someone who has fucked with time.

At the end of the glorious 1970s (when America was great before), Democrats pushed hard on laws that made the speed limit mandatory rather than voluntary. In other words, it was no longer a suggestion. It was the law. A lot of people were upset, and so many were fined and jailed, and Jimmy Carter era FBI agents would go in their holding cells and beat the crap out of them over speed limit violations. It was a horrible time, the Carter years. Law enforcement was out of control and the peanut farmer just smiled and said, "Let the beatings continue!" to his subordinates. I digress.

With the speed limit being mandatory and harsh sentences handed out, people began to find ways to keep themselves from violating the mandate. Speeding through the streets, whipping around corners, this was the American way, and now Carter's oppression of the people (which took MANY forms - remember Jonestown?) was reaching into the last great American tradition that hadn't been stomped out, the American automobile. The joy of zipping here and there was lost under Carter's jackboots and new forms of entertainment needed to be found. This led to the discovery of the motion picture art form, sculpture, and macrame, but driving needed to be fun again.

During that time, I tried many things to bring the joy back to driving. One favorite of mine was to follow a vacationing family off the highway and to a rest area. There, once they disembarked to toilet and soda machines, I would slash their tires and smash their windshield. I would hide behind a bush and wait for them to return. They would call for help, in a time before cell phones, but I had cut the cords on all the phones in the rest area. They were fucked, and it was about to become a lot worse. This was during the time the Friday the 13th movies were popular, so I put on a hockey mask and got my baseball bat and ball peen hammer and once it got dark and no help had arrived, only a few other travellers who beat them up and took their belongings and the innocence of the children and left them with nothing. When the tow truck finally arrived, it was a rough character who demanded the wife "go down" on him in the rest area toilets in return for the tow since their money and belongings had been stolen. She did, but then he just laughed and drove off without helping and told them, "I let all the places in the area know that prank callers are tricking tow truck drivers." They were now ready for me to knock them off, one by one, in splendid ways. What a way to spend a day off.

There were other ways to make driving fun after the speed limit began getting "strictly enforced," but the one we are going to talk about today is "obeying the speed limit as a form of entertainment."

Romancing the gas pedal and then the brake, you can maintain exactly the speed limit for up to two hours, but you will have what I call the "Tricksie McJitters" after that period of time. Why? It is not scientific. Science is dead wrong about everything. It is because you were not up to the task, and now you must try, try again. With practice, you can drive on the highways and maintain exactly the speed limit for up to 36 hours, but at that point your brain will turn to scrambled eggs and every part of you will hurt. Your bowels will move on their own, and you will no longer be able to control you urine, even with a full erection. It can cause that level of madness in the unprepared.

It is, however, very entertaining. Do it for as long as you can. I love imagining your brain turning colors, changing form, melting a full ten percent of the capacity, and then they become scrambled eggs. I bet you could eat your own brain if you fished it out of there after driving exactly the speed limit for 36 hours because it would taste almost exactly like scrambled eggs. Give it a try. You'll nut.

The reasons for everything can be found in the two things I sought to celebrate by building a theme park in my neighborhood through use of the manifest destiny clause in the U.S. Constitution. The Bible tells of Moses who fetched the Ten Commandments from a high mountain wearing sandals and a gauze robe, and when he returned he was high out of his mind because he had strictly obeyed the commandments he had been given by the angel Azrael, the most dank of all the archangels. By strictly following those commandments it was like he was on heroin, feeling total bliss. This is the same effect it has when you follow the speed limit exactly, never going above or below. You are strictly obeying the law, You are tasting nature's candy now.

Life begins anew.

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