How to…Drive While in Georgia

Hey Y’all,

I’m starting to get back on track after last week’s big delay. I managed to finish my cartoons in about two days and I hope you like them. As for me I’m writing at night so I can get some rest and prepare for a big interview tomorrow. I love to blog, and will continue to do so every week, but I do need to pay the bills, so wish me luck.

The South Will Blog Again has made it into its third month! I cannot thank my readers and my loyal re-posters enough for checking this site out. I think this blog is starting to take off, and it has also developed its own language, routines, and gags. For instance, I hope y’all have been playing along and trying to find my signature and TSWBA tags in the drawings. As time goes on I’m planning to make them harder to spot, lest any counterfeiters pass off my cartoons as their own ;) I’ve also begun to write my posts in story arcs, such as the last series on singing, writing, and cooking, and my series on the SEC.

This week we return again to the “How To” series. We will have a serious discussion (and by serious I mean completely satirical) on the state of traffic laws in the state of Georgia. If any of you have ever travelled to Florida by car you have had to pass through the southern portions of the Peach State, you may know (and perhaps all too well like my brother in law) that certain jurisdictions in that state have a bit of a “toll” for passing through. Not a toll you pay at a booth, but the kind you pay via a pink slip handed to you by a member of law enforcement.

This won’t be an indictment of them so much (we all have to pay the bills) but rather a How-To guide for y’all to follow to avoid being ensnared, or if failing that, how to conduct yourself should you find yourself staring at flashing blue lights in the rear view mirror. So without further ado, I bring you HOW TO DRIVE THROUGH SOUTHERN GEORGIA.

-   Southern Blogger

See what happens when you don't take your own advice?

It’s Like the Discovery Channel on Wheels

Listen to me friends. When you get into a vehicle (with out-of-state plates) and drive through southern Georgia you are prey. And by prey I mean four-wheeled, metal, gazelles just waiting to be lunch for the local deputies. Like any potential prey in the wild, the stupid will be eaten and the smart will survive. Smart prey will survive through good instincts, skill, and camouflage.

Now some of you might be saying “I don’t get this analogy, I for one do not believe in hunting but the harmony of all creatures!”To which I say, good for you John Lennon, please enjoy your trip down South in a VW van, and do remember to yell loudly about your constitutional rights, that should go over real well.

Now for the rest of you, listen up. It’s a tough economy, and when times are tough tickets become more plentiful. Cops are doing their jobs, and there are millions of people with disposable income passing by every year, many of whom are just asking to be pulled over. I’m here to help you be the one that gets away.

Let’s take a look at your vehicle. Does it stick out? Red sports cars are a bad idea. First of all, they stand out like a sleek, sexy, sore thumb. That’s why you bought a red car Mr. Mid-Life Crisis. Two, people who drive sports cars speed. Three, the good sports cars are usually foreign. If you are driving a red sports car you will be toast. But if you are a Ferrari driver, you won’t be reading this poor little blog, will probably speed anywhere, have tons of cash to blow on tickets, and think you can out run an Ole Boy in a Dodge (you won’t btw).

What if you are driving a minivan? Also a big no-no. You are like a big lumbering fat wildebeest. You are slow, you are easy to catch, and you make a tasty meal. Anyone from out of state driving a minivan is going towards Disney World. You also probably have several kids in the back seat screaming or squirming because they’ve got to pee. You clearly won’t be paying attention enough to watch your acceleration.

The funny thing is some people put even more targets on themselves. Like Disney decals, bumper stickers promoting liberal causes and those annoying stick figures of families. But the real true indicator of your chances of being pulled over is your license plate.

Can you spot how many things are wrong with this vehicle?

Let’s look at that.

If your plate is from Georgia, chances are you have to be doing 90+ to get pulled over. Ditto for (some) Florida Counties (not Dade, Broward, or Palm Beach), and South Carolina. You’re too likely to be able to drive to court and fight the ticket. If your plate is from another Southern state you are 75% likely to get a pass, so long as you don’t push it, and depending on the officer’s “patriotism”. As for Yankees, your chances are 50-50 if you are Midwestern, better the odds the “redder” your state is. New Jersey, New York, Massachusetts, Maryland, and Connecticut…well I’d advise going the speed limit. But even THAT may look suspicious and you could be pulled for “excessive speed limit following”. See Georgia penal code, Section 104, part D6.

So, what happens if you put pedal to the medal and you get pulled?

How to Avoid Being in a Heap of Trouble

Ignorance of foliage blockage is no excuse

You didn’t see the sign, honestly you didn’t. And you’re probably right, being that certain counties have an odd habit of letting trees and kudzu cover the speed limit signs, especially the ones that drop from 70 mph to 50 mph. You hear the siren, you see the lights and now you are pulled over, nervously breathing and fumbling for your license and registration.

You roll down the window and you can hear a car door slam and the sound of boots treading on the emergency lane gravel. You make an anxious swallow and look over toward the window and find yourself staring into your reflection from mirrored sunglasses.

These glasses have scarred people ever since Cool Hand Luke came out

Don’t panic, it’s critical that you do not act or appear to act like a Yankee @#$%@#.

Don’t make excuses, don’t plead ignorance, and don’t cop an attitude.

Be cool and you might get a warning. Even if not, be cool, take your ticket and don’t cause trouble.

Of course most of my readers get this since they’ve learned a bunch about Southern culture from this blog. But the Ferrari drivers, oh the Ferrari drivers are going to totally blow it. They may claim not to have seen the sign, may mention how much they hate such and such “hick town”, talk about their high priced lawyer cousin, threaten to sue the Podunk county, and cause a giant ruckus.

But what if through “no fault of your own” you have a misunderstanding and should find yourself behind bars. What then?

Make the Good Ole Boy System Work for You

You know the movie My Cousin Vinny? Joe Pesci and Marissa Thomei team up and help free their kin down in Alabama who are innocently behind bars. A clash of cultures results, yet the boys are freed, and the New Yorkers win the hearts and respect of the locals. Great film, pretty funny, touching heart-warming comedy…yeah…DON’T DO THAT! You will lose and possibly do life without parole for a mere lane change violation.

Rather make the system work for you. Of course anybody who’s been to a school in the SEC or grew up in such environs, or has committed this blog to memory knows that. But let’s say you’ve stumbled onto this site for the first time, maybe even by accident. If you should find yourself in trouble in southern Georgia make use of the local legal system.

What I mean by that is to get a lawyer who graduated from the right law school. I didn’t say TOP law school. Top law school is irrelevant and potentially dangerous. Nobody wants to hear your lawyer brag about being top in the class at an Ivy League university. You might both end up in the slammer. No friends, the key to getting a good lawyer is picking one that went to the same college as the judge’s favorite football team. So you’re best to go with the University of Georgia. Ideally you want an attorney that speaks like Matlock, looks like a corrupt version of Gregory Peck, and can dissect the Dawgs defensive line’s chances against Florida’s passing scheme.

I’m serious. Print this essay out, cut out the preceding paragraph, and tape it to your refrigerator. You can thank me later.

This is the sign of a good lawyer

Now I hope after reading this that you aren’t afraid to drive through Georgia. It’s a fine state full of fine people. Remember, we are in a recession and we all have to find ways to raise our revenue. If you follow my advice you should be okay. This article also doesn’t apply to all parts of Georgia.

For example, if you are driving near Atlanta you probably won’t have to worry about any of this. One, you’d have to be clocked at about Mach 5 to get pulled for speeding in Atlanta. Two, the rules of “Southerness” haven’t really applied to Atlanta for over 100 years, so you New Yorkers can rest easy you’re practically “home”.  Third, half of the time the traffic in Atlanta is so bad only the people on foot could be truly “speeding”.

You can also speed through Georgia if you know how to outrun the law. To do THAT properly you’d best be a native and know the back roads. I’d have a few trucker friends to help or an orange race car that can fly. In either case you probably don’t really need to worry about being caught by “John Law” since you’re likely to out run ‘em anyway. But for the rest of you, here’s a summary of my advice.

Some folks don't need to worry about getting caught

  1. Don’t drive with Yankee plates or Disney accessories. You can always rent a car with Georgia tags.
  2. If you are an out-of state driver, stay in the middle lane and don’t go more than 5 mph over.
  3. When you see a road sign obscured by foliage assume the speed limit is no more than 45 mph.
  4. Should you be pulled over and stare into some mirrored sunglasses, do remember your manners. What you say and do in this moment can make all the difference in the world.
  5. Make sure you use a good local lawyer should you find yourself in trouble. Your lawyer should be better able to quote Herschel Walker than Alan Derschowitz.
  6. If you get a ticket, pay the fine, and be happy you are contributing to the economy. We all gotta make a living.

Stay smart and stay safe out there people. We could all do well to slow down a bit.

Thanks again for reading. Next week we’ll probably talk a little more about law enforcement as we discuss HOW TO…SUCCEED IN POLITICS

-  Southern Blogger



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