Someone moving to Massachusetts from another area of the country is bound to notice one very interesting fact very quickly: no one in the whole state knows how to drive a car properly! Do driver's licenses in this area come from the proverbial box of Cracker Jack?
When I emigrated from the calm and polite byways of Ohio, I had to take a written test to get my Massachusetts driver's license. The similarity between the Massachusetts and Ohio tests is remarkable, but I don't think it accurately reflects the way people in the heart of New England drive.
So I've devised my own test for Massachusetts drivers, and I hope it will give them a little insight into the real rules of the road. Good luck, drivers! Sharpen your pencils, and start your engines!
1) When approaching a busy main street from a side street, you should:
a) Slow to a stop well before reaching the main street, look both ways for traffic, then proceed with caution.
b) Drive as fast as you can to the main street, slam on your brakes, and skid halfway out into the main street, all the while giving a dirty look and mouthing curse words to anyone who is unfortunate enough to have the "right of way."
c) Give up and go home while you’re still safe.
2) How often must you renew your license?
a) Once a year.
b) Once a day.
c) Who can afford to waste all that time waiting in line to renew their license at that ridiculous fee?
3) When a pedestrian is crossing the street in a specially marked crosswalk, you are required to:
a) Shout abusive statements at the pedestrian.
b) Stop and allow the pedestrian to cross.
c) Consider stopping, then decide it would be more fun to run over the pedestrian's foot instead.
4) If a street is not divided by a center line, you should:
a) Assume the street has as many lanes as you would like it to have and pass on either side, regardless of how many cars/sidewalks/pedestrians/buildings you might have to hit.
b) Not be in such a damned hurry and just drive like you have some common sense and decency.
c) Rear-end the car in front of you until it is disabled and you can pass safely.
5) At a traffic light, who has the right of way -- a car going straight through the intersection or an oncoming car making a left turn?
a) Whichever car has quicker acceleration.
b) The car going straight through, but only if the driver can out-glower the oncoming driver.
c) Neither car has the right of way because cars traveling on the crossing street will undoubtedly run the red light before anyone has a chance to get through the green light.
6) The police have every right to stop your car for speeding if:
a) They feel like it at that particular moment.
b) You exceed the speed limit, and you are silly enough to drive the interstate without a radar detector.
c) You have out-of-state plates and skis strapped to your car.
7) Which of the following is not a reason why the state requires cars to be inspected?
a) To provide steady jobs for automobile mechanics.
b) To provide money for the state's anemic budget while ensuring the safety of all cars on the road.
c) To make sure that all state drivers must sit in a dirty, smelly, disgusting garage while some guy they don't trust pokes around inside their car.
8) When approaching a bicyclist on a narrow country road, you should:
a) Wait until no cars are coming from the opposite direction, then pass the bicycle, allowing at least ten feet clearance for proper safety.
b) Test the rider's reflexes and patience by driving less than a foot behind the rear wheel, then blasting your horn for ten seconds.
c) Pass the bicycle at close range while having a passenger in your car reach out the window and pinch the rider on the seat of his or her tight, shiny bicycle pants.
9) When driving on one of the state's countless scenic roads, you should:
a) Keep your eyes on the road and go almost as fast as the speed limit.
b) Drive as slowly as possible, frequently stretching your neck to look at exotic native New England things that you might find incredibly fascinating (trees, houses, hillsides, animals -- wow!), all the while collecting a line of fifty cars behind you, driven by people who have more important things to do than go sight-seeing.
c) Follow the instructions in (b) above, but do so while straddling the center line of the road and frequently swerving into the oncoming lane.
10) When driving on a four-lane highway, you should:
a) Drive in the left or right lane, whichever makes you happier.
b) Stay in the right lane most of the time, moving to the left lane only to pass.
c) Drive in the left lane at exactly the same speed as the car next to you in the right lane to make sure that none of those nasty fast drivers can pass you.
Correct Answers (based on old-fashioned common sense):
1-a; 2-a; 3-b; 4-b; 5-b; 6-b; 7-b; 8-a; 9-a; 10-b
8-10 correct: Move out of Massachusetts before the other drivers give you an ulcer.
3-7 correct: Keep studying the drivers around you, and you'll get the hang of it soon.
0-3 correct: Congratulations! You're a typical Massachusetts driver, known affectionately as a "Masshole." A bit of advice: Don't ever go to Ohio, or you’ll get arrested within five miles of the border.