Has being on the road these days ever made you think you were part of some larger conspiracy? One that made you feel slightly crazier than normal, and just that much more prone to road rage? Have you experienced being on the freeway in the middle of the day when it’s nowhere near rush hour but you find yourself unable to get anywhere because you’re boxed in by a bunch of cars going no more than 65 mph? Has every stop sign become a nightmare because you find yourself slamming on the breaks when the car in front of you makes a full and complete stop when you expected them to slowly roll through it? Do yellow lights no longer mean “go faster” now that the car in front of you interprets them as “slow down even though you know this light will stay yellow for the next ten seconds” and keeps you from crossing the intersection? You are not alone.

With camera flashes blinding folks as they run red lights, signs that remind lone drivers how much carpool violations cost, and cash-strapped counties setting up sting operations to check if people stop for pedestrians, there is no room for the unemployed to be racking up traffic tickets for any offenses, no matter how minor. As if it weren’t bad enough to be stripped of their jobs, the unemployed have found themselves unable to enjoy the simple things in life such as driving like they own the road, mouthing off to cops that give them tickets, and begrudgingly paying for fines that have increased tenfold due to lack of payment. Now they’re just left driving in paranoia, unable to remember what a dotted and solid line mean in conjunction, whether a yellow speed limit sign has to be followed, and if it’s acceptable to give that obnoxious hipster riding around on a unicycle a gentle “love tap” with the car.

All of the uncertainty culminates in the unemployed driving at or below the speed limit, constantly braking because they don’t know what to do, blinding people with their headlights during the day because they don’t want to risk forgetting to turn them on at night, and just generally inciting rage in those forced to be in the same car or same street as them. Unemployed drivers are usually easy to spot: they’re the ones doing something stupid on the road wearing an unemployment suit, back seat driving while doling out little pearls of criticism from the DMV Handbook, and drawing glares from everyone around them. If you happen to see an unemployed driver, do them and everyone else a favor, honk incessantly, shout excessively, and throw a packet of bus tickets at them. Do whatever it takes to get them off the road until this whole recession thing blows over and they can stop driving around like uptight grannies.

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