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J. Reed Anderson

Rural, John, is a mindset. You've got to unlearn everything you were taught as a city boy. It's as simple as that. The best way to learn rural, is to work hard and dirty for a living. Manliness, or rather, the want and ability to survive, are still valued traits--although public education is trying hard to eliminate them.
As far as the driving: don't worry about it. Just keep an eye out for deer (or bear or moose or cattle).
And for pets: A bit too much of a generalization for me. I know lots of folks with beloved dogs, which are never allowed in the house, and others, like ours, who are allowed to sleep on any piece of furniture found comfortable. And I know lots of folks in the city who are afraid of their own animals, treat them like trophies, or keep them caged in a kennel.

John Pepple

Thanks for your input. I've already hit a deer, which has made me appreciate hunters. I don't think there are any moose or bears around here, but I'll keep cattle in mind.

I'm not too worried about the rural tailgaters; I'm just curious about what they are doing.

It seems like I've jumped to a conclusion about pets. I bow to your superior experience.

I learn a lot from the people who comment here.


On the driving---I'm pretty annoyed by the tailgating habits of most drivers too. Thing is, in the city, the only tailgaters you notice are the ones who want to go way, way faster than you are. Everyone else is more or less just keeping up the traffic. When the road is really open you see something profoundly disturbing:

Most people have no freaking clue how fast they want to travel. They take their cues instead from the traffic around them. When they glom onto you, they kind of anchor their speed to yours, deciding whether to be in front of you or behind you. The most annoying sorts will pass you and then SLOW down. You don't see this behavior in cities because you so rarely have the open roads that make it visible. Why do they do this? Is it a herding instinct? I've no idea, but this is the observed behavior.

John Pepple

"they kind of anchor their speed to yours"
Yes, that's the explanation I was given. It's awfully strange.


Think of it like this---they rarely look at their speedometer---unless they perceive there's maybe a cop around---this is why speed traps are such lucrative 'revenue enhancers'. Instead they just sort of go by feel for how fast they're going. When they see you, you become their new reference point for 'appropriate speed', and they then apply a tiny delta based on their personality to your speed. When you leave their field of conscious vision, their speed starts to drift again. Back when I was a teenager, driving instructors called it 'highway hypnosis', especially when you left a highway and briefly stayed in that mode of operation.

Andrea Harris

I moved from an urban to a rural area too. And the ass-riders (as I call them) are driving me nuts. Let's just say I learned to drive in Miami, and one thing that was drilled into me is you never, never ride up any other car's bumper like they seem to do in all of the rest of the southeast US outside of Florida. Florida has other bad driver problems, but people riding up so close to the back of your car that you start thinking "I'm not ready for a relationship" isn't one of them. It's one of the few things I miss about Florida -- that, and all the Cuban coffee places in Miami.

John Pepple

Jehu: They rarely look at their speedometer? How strange.

Another problem is the people who want to go 50mph. If you're in a 45mph zone, they are ass-riding, as you call it, Andrea. Then you get to a 55mph zone, and they fall back. Sheesh.

Car Dealers Houston

I've never lived in a rural area; more like suburban but I know many people who don't play with their pets often and never let them enter the house for making it messy. I dont think its a rural thing.

John Pepple

Yeah, I probably overgeneralized about pets.

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