I was driving home last night on the highway when that old Eagles song came on the radio, "Life in the Fast Lane."
At the time, I was in the middle lane.
I love the middle lane. If I could live my life in the middle lane, I would.
I avoid the fast lane at all costs, because I'm not that kind of girl.
I belong in the middle lane because I follow the rules and I drive the speed limit. I don't like to go too fast, and I don't like to go too slow. I'm Goldilocks, on wheels.
Also, the middle lane is the safest. I like to keep my options open, so if there's an accident, I could escape left or right. This reminds me of my divorce from Thing One and Thing Two. The middle lane is for people who understand the necessity for Plan B on the turnpike of life.
Life in the fast lane is too risky for me. Cars could cross over the divider. Also highway debris, or low-flying geese.
The slow lane is equally treacherous. Trees could topple onto me. Deer could dart in front of me from the woods. And don't get me started on falling rocks. You ever drive by those Falling Rocks signs? They're always placed next to a tall mountain composed entirely of loose boulders, which are held in place only by chicken wire.
This is straight-up crazy.
Take it from me, chicken wire doesn't have a chance against falling rocks. I know because chicken wire doesn't even hold back chickens. I had to replace my chicken wire because one of my hens, Princess Ida, chewed it up, determined to fly the coop. In fact, if you ask me, we should put Princess Ida in charge of falling rocks.
She could stop them with one wing tied behind her back.
The only time the middle lane becomes dangerous is at night, when some truckers get cranky. Let me first say that I love truckers. They're the only men left who still flirt with me, and I suspect that's because I look my best from a distance.
Like if you're driving on I-95 and I'm driving on I-78, I'm superhot.
Also I love truckers because they send me lots of e-mail, telling me that they like listening to my books on tape while they drive. It turns out that truckers are some of the best-read people around, which shows that you can't judge an audiobook by its cover.
And if they read me, even better. I love anybody who reads me. Except when they try to run me off the road.
Truckers have to use the middle lane, and they tend to line up behind me, flashing their massive headlights to pressure me out of their way. This happened again last night, when it was proverbially dark and stormy. I was driving the speed limit, but the trucker kept honking and flashing his lights. I would have switched lanes, but I couldn't. The fast lane was full of speeders avoiding geese, and the slow lane was clogged with people distracted by Falling Rocks signs.
Nobody would let me in, which was obvious to everyone but the trucker, who kept honking and tailgating me until my car flooded with light from his high beams. His big rig even had those scary shark teeth that shone through the rain, and a teddy bear was roped to his grille like a hostage.
Maybe Stephen King was driving.
My fingers tightened on the wheel, and I kept looking left and right but couldn't switch lanes.
Still, HONK! HONK!
At first, I felt bullied. Then angry. And finally, I admit it, I got so scared that I couldn't even flip him the bird.
In time, I saw my opening and got out of his way, then he sped past me, spraying me with water and road dirt.
Maybe he didn't like my audiobook?
In time, I got back where I belonged, cruising calmly.
Life in the middle lane has its own rewards.