Alter Ego

Posted by Ryan Jerz on Monday December 27, 2004.

Who’s in control? It’s a question I have been pondering since we arrived in Las Vegas on Christmas Day. Christy grew up here, and we visit every year for Christmas. And in the ten years we’ve been together, we’ve never driven here together. Actually, only at first did she even drive down. Since we’ve been a couple and lived together, no driving. And it’s not like it’s all that far. I mean, we did the L.A.-San Diego drive this past summer, but no Vegas. Our kids don’t even realize how much empty space our great state has in it. They just hop on a plane and an hour later they’re among the fake racks that Vegas has to offer in abundance. I’ve done the drive a couple of times for work in the past couple of years. And it’s not too bad, so it’s something we’ll do, I’m sure, in the future.

But none of that is even the point of this. Basiclly, I getting at this: since we don’t have a car down here, and all we do is drive around, who is actually in control? Is it the car, or the person? Does the person take on an alter ego when they drive a different car? Sure, to some extent, that’s necessary, right? You can’t drive a buddy’s car like a total ass monkey and get it wrecked. That would be rude. But do you have to revert to your dad, a person whose driving is mocked with reckless abandon at the drop of a hat? Apparently, if you’re Christy, the answer is a resounding “YES!!!”

Maybe Vegas is a different town altogether. Maybe the driving here is a little less patient. But my wife, the person who I only let drive because I have a camera attached to my eyeball when we go anywhere together because normally she scares the shit out of me, became a 90-year-old woman on that plane. Twice, in just three trips in the car together, she has had to be prodded by a driver behind us with a horn just to get her ass moving. Of course, if I say anything, I’m the spawn of Satan. And my mom would be pissed if she knew Christy thought that, because I don’t think my mom ever even knew Satan, but Mom, she does think that. A typical “Christy at the stoplight in Vegas” scene would look like this:

[We’re the third car back in a line of 8-11 cars. Light turns green. Cars in fron of us are a good forty feet ahead. Christy hits the gas, slowly, and is honked at.]
Christy: Why are they honking. Crap, people here are idiots.
Me: Maybe they honked because we could be in Tonopah by now if you’d gone when you were supposed to.
C: Shut up. You know, you can drive if you want to.
Me: No thanks, the last thing I need is to wreck one of your parents’ 14 cars.
C: Well then let me drive, spawn of Satan.
Me: Hey, you asked.
[Then, we approach the next light]
C: We have to turn right up here, should I get in the right lane?
Me: Since we have to turn in thirty feet, um, maybe?
C: You suck.

That’s it. Happiness. I love it here. Does everybody else Have these problems in Vegas? Well, maybe. Today her dad drove me around a bit, nt because I was afraid to go by myself, but because I think he’s scared to let me drive anywhere for fear of me getting lost, even though I never get lost, plus he had to go where I was going anyway. It took a good thirty seconds to get up to 40mph just about every time we hit a light. The Girl was even in the back saying things like, “come on, let’s go!” Luckily, he doesn’t hear all that well, and I think he didn’t notice. But when a five-year-old knows you’re moving slowly, there is a serious situation.

Ryan JerzRyan Jerz is an all-around good guy who wants people to eventually refer to him as "that dude who climbs mountains."

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