The L.A. Drivers You’ll Meet on Your Morning Commute
It’s Monday morning in the City of Angels. The sun is out and you’re cruising west down Santa Monica Boulevard, past strip malls, breakfast-taco venders, and plenty of roadwork. Here are some of the folks you’ll encounter on your way into work:
Agent: Think that Fyre Festival guy, but shittier. He’s on a Bluetooth call and he’s mad as hell. He’s wheeling and dealing on the phone and in the car, changing lanes every few feet. He will honk at you the second the light turns green and then throw his hands up in the air, as if to say, “What’s taking you so long?” His vanity plate reads BOSTONMGC which probably stands for Boston Movie Gift Card.
Lap Dog: At first glance, it looks like a dog is driving. This is adorable, so you scramble to snap a photo, but, at the last second, the dog’s owner rears her head and ruins what would have been Insta gold!
Tourist: Just landed today, probably from Australia. Not being used to drving on the right, so he keeps veering away from oncoming cars. He seems super excited about getting to Coachella, or whatever, but plans to spend a few days in L.A. first, to hike. He requested a Nissan Altima from the rental-car company, but they only had yellow Dodge Rams left. This breed of L.A. driver is not to be confused with . . .
#Vanlife: This couple has been travelling for almost a year in their 1967 Volkswagen. They are halfway through the audio book of “Helter Skelter.” What started as a fun way to escape the throes of late-capitalist society has turned into one long nightmare on wheels. They despise everything that L.A. represents but are just passing through en route to Valle de Guadalupe, Baja California.
Barry’s Bootcampers: These people are strictly not to be fucked with. They wake up with the singular goal of getting to their high-intensity workout as quickly as possible. They can be spotted using their “car time” to tweeze unwanted facial hairs or conduct in-depth investigations, via Siri, into “CHRIS. PINE. HOW. OLD.”
Tesla Driver: Flat-Earther. Lately, his favorite cocktail-party conversation starter has been “The big one is coming any day now,” which he follows up (unprompted) with his fail-safe earthquake plan.
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Landscaper: He is somehow FaceTiming his family, eating a sandwich, and gesturing at things out the window to his co-worker in the passenger seat. This guy is a legend. He lets you in with a friendly wave when you need to change lanes at the last minute.
Fashion Gal: She’s in a vintage Mercedes that she’s nicknamed “Boo.” She’s coming off a big night and keeps wondering if she has any real friends, like, real though. She deletes Instagram from her phone because she’s embarrassed by her stories from last night, but then re-downloads it at the next light. She works in retail but is interviewing with BuzzFeed’s video team later in the week.
UPS Driver: These two-day deliveries of toilet paper and books on wabi-sabi aren’t going to transport themselves!
Mom: She’s just dropped off her kid at school and is sipping Nespresso from her ceramic to-go cup. She worries that she developed a temporary lack of curiosity about the outside world after having her baby—who is now almost six years old. She’s excited to finally have time to practice some self-care, like listening to Oprah’s SuperSoul Conversations podcast. She and her husband finally made the decision not to go for one more (kid), but what she doesn’t know is that she’s already pregnant. Oops.
Uber Driver: Listening to “The Boys of Summer” by Don Henley. He just started using Waze and keeps trying to take left turns across oncoming traffic, jamming up everyone behind him. He has one of those stick-figure-family bumper stickers, but it’s “Star Wars”-themed.
Stoned Woman: At first glance, she definitely seems too stoned to be on the road. Turns out, she’s just moving her car for street cleaning before retreating indoors for the rest of the day.
Beck?: Roughly five hundred and thirty-eight times a day, as you drive around L.A., you will see someone in a car and think, “Oh, shit, is that Beck?” It probably isn’t Beck.