So I'm driving back from getting that tyre
fixed and looking forward to getting home to a nice cuppa, because I'm tired and dirty from grubbing around in the dirt to fit the spare. I just spent two hours bored out of my mind in 28 Days Later
City because the coffee shops and restaurants are closed, there was nowhere to sit and the nearest decent cup of tea was a 35-minute drive away, back at the ranch. I didn't have the foresight to take a book and the nearest place likely to sell a newspaper
was a thirty-minute walk in downtown and I did not feel like doing that.
Now I'm driving back on a nice rural road looking forward to a shower and a civilised sit down. The Casino's closed because of the Covid-19 pandemic and traffic has fallen to pre-casino levels, which is basically "see a car and wave because that's a neighbour". This should be an easy drive. Locals know this rural road and it's not as winding as it used to be since the powers that be straightened some of those dangerous curves and installed turnouts. In short, this should have been a breeze; the Mercedes Grandmas are staying at home and so there should be no-one doing 45mph on this 55. Except there is.
Normally there are three kinds of drivers on this highway. There are the locals and people going about their business and I will include most of the casino patrons in this category; all these folks are generally patient and understanding (apart from the loonies in their dickup trucks who clearly need to get that hay bale home before the horse dies of starvation or somesuch). There are also a few irritatingly thoughtless drivers (sporty Honda Civics and Beemers usually) who tailgate you before suddenly overtaking dangerously so they can catch up to the next driver doing 57 rinse, repeat…. There there's the aforementioned Nana doing 45, bless her heart.
This guy is in his Tesla something. On the rear is a badge that reads Dual Motor. On the top is that absurd glass, and under the glass is some cockwomble driving at 45. Now normally I'm not in a hurry, would happily sit behind someone who (for whatever reason) is going a little below the speed limit. After all, it's a limit, not a requirement. In fact if I'm not in any rush I will frequently drop to below 55 myself, but if I see someone coming up behind me I'll speed up so as to not delay them. After all, I was brought up to be polite and thoughtful. But this <insert invective> was not brought up that way and is staunch in his resolve to do 45, probably because the nearest charging station was too many miles back and he can't run out of electrons. A mile down the road and a UPS truck snugs up behind me. Another couple of miles and there are two other cars behind that.
At this point, common human decency and California law dictate that if you're holding up traffic you should pull over to let it past. But this wanker is either unaware or uncaring. He sticks at his 40 now, I say FORTY miles an hour, I mean he's slowed down! He's passed up two opportunities to pull over and I'm now sufficiently ticked off to overtake him. Which I do, safely enough on the newly-straightened road. Even the UPS truck, not the nimblest of beasts, has enough time and space to overtake behind me. We leave the slowpoke in our wake, and he's last seen still trailing well behind. He's probably cursing us for being impatient and wasting petrol, secure on his environmental high horse. But today, I do not care.
I know a couple of people who drive Teslas, and one of them recently confirmed a suspicion I've long had that there are two kinds of Tesla drivers. The first is the person who has decided that they want to do something about the fuel/environmental crisis, and are willing to make the investment in a company willing to put its neck on the line to drive the technology forward. Then there's the type that buys Tesla ostensibly for the same reason, but really want to be able to boast that they're reducing their carbon footprint, with all the benefits that entails (reducing pollution, and the like). This latter is the kind that looks down its collective nose at the rest of us dinosaurs and enviro-rednecks because we scorn the rationale and are selling our birthright, so intent are we on ruining their children's future.
Both these types are subject to the same limitations of the burgeoning technology though. Simply put, there aren't enough electric vehicles yet that you'll find charging stations everywhere. The result is that the limited range means they have to eke out the most of each charge because their cars sometimes lack the safe range; as a result, they don't tend to burn rubber as much, rather being more cautious and driving like, well, a grandma. And I get it. I'd probably do the same.
But there's a reason that we drive a petrol-powered vehicle. We drive to farmers' markets three times a week, for a total of at least 450 miles. We live in the countryside, probably 40 miles from the nearest charging station, in an area whose electricity is vulnerable to anyone who, say, drives their ve-hickle into a power pole, bringing it down. And yes, I am looking at you, the drunken ninny who wrote off his dickup truck the other morning, rendering us without power for six hours and more. The thought of relying on an electrically-powered vehicle out in the sticks makes me itch. And no, we're not going to get off-the-grid solar, a huge bank of rechargeable batteries or a huge generator anytime soon. Not to mention that, as far as I know, no-one yet has designed an electric-powered cargo van big enough for our needs.
Tesla drivers, I'm not oblivious to your needs, and I'm not unsympathetic to your cause. But if you stray outside of the Bay Area, please be aware that you're in our country now, and we will despise you if you rattle us enough. But there was a moment back there on the road when I wanted to shout at one of your brethren that honestly, the best place for a Tesla is on the top of a Falcon Heavy spaceship being launched into orbit.