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Old 07-04-2007, 09:04 AM   #1
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Riding Shotgun - Revisited

It has been an interesting year since I first brought up the issue of riding shotgun after 35+ years of being the primary driver (and tow-er) of our vehicles. I have learned a number of key lessons I wanted to share with the group, and please feel free to add your own to the list as I'm sure there are quite a few more that I have yet to learn. If I can avoid even one more mistake it would be a very good thing. With over 38 years of marriage under my belt I'd like to stay that way....
  • Riding Shotgun can be scary when your wife figures out that her carrying a shot gun may be the only way to keep you quiet during the ride.
  • Gasping and grabbing the dash is actually worse than shouting slow down or look out.
  • As the driver's confidence increases, taking their (her) hand(s) off the steering wheel to throttle the passenger, instead of the vehicle, becomes far more of a risk. Did you know it can take several days for finger bruises to disappear completely from your neck? Campground sign-in folks know the syndrome well. I think it's called "You earned it mister" syndrome.
  • As suggested previously by another forums member who may want to remain anonymous, getting locked in the trailer is a real and viable potential. I took this as a great suggestion, however, Miss gotta-be-totally-legal didn't like the idea. I know it's because all the campfire goodies are stashed back there and she knows I'd stuff myself silly the whole trip.
  • When you have been told (generally more than a few times) to let her do the driving and then are asked for directions the proper response is to respond, and saying "oh sure, now you want me to talk" is NOT the correct answer. However, if you know you are coming up to a point where a turn or stop is required and it does not appear that the driver is aware of this, how you approach the subject is entirely up to you. I've learned that by putting both feet on the floor and pushing like I'm hard on the brakes provides that subtle suggestion that she might want to ask me if we have a turn or stop coming up.
  • If you are on anticoagulants it is probably better to ride in the back seat, directly behind the driver. Much harder to be reached for aforementioned throttling, and you can catch the body language when it appears she may be looking for that shotgun or some other tool to keep you in line. It takes a LOT longer for blood to stop flowing when it's thinned out, and it sure makes a mess of the T-Shirt you are wearing. I know, everything eventually heals, but it's the downtime, and the messy T-shirt, that bothers me.
  • Providing ongoing encouragement is a good thing. You can't expect her to drive exactly like you do and I've also learned that when she does drive exactly like I do it scares the bejabbers out of me even more than her driving her own way. Recognizing that was a big factor in our driving relationship.
  • Falling asleep on the passenger side like she often has in the past is not allowed. It is considered unfair (?) and you might also be required to provide copilot services - you know, answering the "what's that noise?", "does it look to you like we are coming into rain ahead", and "is the intersection we just blasted through where we were supposed to turn?" questions.
  • I have yet to learn the proper technique for duct tape removal. In particular the glue gets stuck in my mustache which is bothersome. I also find that having my hands taped behind my back for long periods of time causes my shoulders to get sore - does anyone have suggestions on these areas? My wife seems to think that a quick rip off of the tape eases the pain but no matter what, it still brings tears to my eyes and it's not just because I can fully breath again............
  • I HAVE memorized the married man's most practical response to pretty much anything my wife says in response to anything I happened to have said on the trip and it is now my mantra. It is, or course, "Oh yeah, right, sorry!" Mind you, I think she's getting a tad tired of this so if anyone has any other sayings that will keep me out of trouble and appearing appropriately humble that would be helpful.
As I think of other things I'll add them, but your recommendations are greatly appreciated.

Barry
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Old 07-04-2007, 09:13 AM   #2
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Well put; a lesson for us all.
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Old 07-04-2007, 09:23 AM   #3
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Great suggestions. Since I do all the driving I may use the duct tape idea for unsolicited "help"...luckily he doesn't have a mustache.
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Old 07-04-2007, 09:41 AM   #4
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(SNIP) "I HAVE memorized the married man's most practical response to pretty much anything my wife says in response to anything I happened to have said on the trip and it is now my mantra. It is, or course, "Oh yeah, right, sorry!" Mind you, I think she's getting a tad tired of this so if anyone has any other sayings that will keep me out of trouble and appearing appropriately humble that would be helpful."

I often use "Yes, dear. Whatever you'd like dear" it seems to work well. Thanks for sharing what it's like to have the wife drive. The rivettes got my wife thinking she should learn to drive (well, tow) and I will be showing her how soon. Think she'll enjoy it. Me on the other hand am looking for ideas to make it safe to ride in the trailer, it'd be much safer than in the truck!!!--dave
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Old 07-04-2007, 10:16 AM   #5
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Dipping your mustache brush or comb in mineral spirits or GooGone will help soften the glue remaining in your mustache.
I have found Valium and Zoloft to be extremely useful when riding shotgun, also from my recent stint in the "other seat".
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Old 07-04-2007, 10:50 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Streamin 65

I often use "Yes, dear. Whatever you'd like dear" it seems to work well. Thanks for sharing what it's like to have the wife drive. The rivettes got my wife thinking she should learn to drive (well, tow) and I will be showing her how soon. Think she'll enjoy it. Me on the other hand am looking for ideas to make it safe to ride in the trailer, it'd be much safer than in the truck!!!--dave
Dave, this new one is very helpful. I will have to write that down and hide it in my wallet. I can attest that riding in the trailer is a bit scary. Sudden turns will cause your beverage to tip and then wiping that mess up you are highly likely to spill the chips and maybe even the licorice or marshmallows. The cookies seem to be not too bad as you can use the 3 second rule and pop them in your mouth before they are considered "dirty". Thus you can tell your wife you were busy cleaning the trailer for her while she did the fun part of driving.

Terry, good ideas on glue removal. I could even use something that would provide a bit of a "lift" while I'm inhaling it. Very thoughtful of you.
As for your learning curve on the shot gun side of things I might suggest you start with a paper bag. You can draw a smiley face on it so whenever your wife looks over to you after you have offered some key bit of advice she can't help but laughing. It will work for at least the first ten or so minutes of the trip, enough time for you to provide a lot of guidance.

Barry
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Old 07-08-2007, 03:13 PM   #7
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Talking shotgun? not a problem

Never given bad directions - Does require potty stops
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Old 07-08-2007, 05:16 PM   #8
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David

You might just be on to something. My problem, though, is that Donna is doing the driving now, thus I could be the one at home and she and her cat Smoky would be heading down the road with the Airstream in tow. I do however had some friends who might be willing to take your suggestion to heart.

Thanks,
Barry
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Old 07-08-2007, 06:07 PM   #9
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Here's a couple of suggestions that might help you stay alive.

1, Anti anxiety pills. We both know your wife as wonderfull as she is will never drive as well as you. So take the pill lean back relax and quietly enjoy the ride.

2, Always look straight out the side window. What you don't see won't hurt or scare you.

3, Only give directions or advice when asked. This little tidbit will save your marriage and possibly your life.

4, Go take classes in meditation.

I truly feel your pain as my lovely wife not only drives like a maniac but is also a trap shooting champion.
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Old 07-08-2007, 06:15 PM   #10
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Trap shooting? Has to do with comunications or guns?? I seem to remember my father, may he rest in peace, shouting something like "Zip your trap". Had nothing to do with guns.
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Old 07-08-2007, 07:35 PM   #11
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Thumbs up Tell her "you tow girl!!"

You know it never would hurt to have some nice chocolate/her favorite sweets on hand for her specially after the orange barrels or when the troopers are tailgating her, play Van Morrison's "Have I told you lately that I love you?" on the cd, agree with most everything she says but don't be too obvious, tell her you'd love to go shopping at the next outlet, say thanks honey for helping tow, it really makes the trip more fun when we work together as a team... Oh yeah and no whining!!
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Old 07-08-2007, 08:36 PM   #12
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Meditation is good - it helps me immensely, particularly while I'm filling the gas tank and she's getting a cup of coffee, and not that we needed either excepting things were a tad "close" in the car..........oops.

Steph - If I told her I'd be glad to go shopping she'd be wheeling me into emergency. She knows from our wonderful 38 years of marriage that I'd rather stick needles in my eyes than go shopping with her. She'd be asking everyone we know what happened to her husband and who the heck am I?

The chocolates are a good thing. I can stuff my face and will be too busy snacking to make many comments on the activity that's going on all around the car as we careen down the highways and byways.

Barry
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Old 07-08-2007, 09:22 PM   #13
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Tips for the women drivers

In addition to encouraging him to stuff his face *er* enjoy a snack while on the road, it also helps to let him be in charge of the radio/cd player.

It gives him something to do and is almost as good as letting him hold the remote...
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Old 07-08-2007, 09:47 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David Alan
Trap shooting? Has to do with comunications or guns?? I seem to remember my father, may he rest in peace, shouting something like "Zip your trap". Had nothing to do with guns.
Her kind of trap shooting involves a 12gauge and a moving target.
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