Mrs. Hyde

Welcome to day 4 of 30 Days of Writing, a creative writing challenge that will probably leave me alone and bitter, curled up in the fetal position.  Today’s prompt is “Behind the Wheel“. Enjoy, and don’t forget to link up at the end of this post if you’ve participated in today’s challenge so that I will know I am not the only one who cries themselves to sleep at night.


girl driving, steering wheel

I look so normal behind the wheel, don't I? But I'm not.

 Mrs. Hyde

I love to drive. And I know I’m not alone in that. Two of my most commented posts had to do with me taking road trips. The first was about a fantasy road trip I would take, zigzagging across North America and meeting other bloggers. The other was about a road trip I took to Ottawa, for a friend’s birthday.

The thing you might not realize, though, is that when I get behind the wheel, I become a different person. Gone is the kind and gentle girl you all know and love (Oh, shuddup. I will deduct 100 points for anyone making a smart-ass remark about that!).

The thing is, I learned to drive in and around Montreal, where residents are world-renowned for being as crazy as NYC drivers and only slightly less insane than Parisian drivers.

In Montreal, stop signs do not actually mean stop, but rather, slow down to about 50 kilometers an hour while whipping your head back at forth to determine the number of cars you will need to dodge.

Montreal, like New York City, does not allow right turns on red lights. The residents of Montreal, however, are seemingly unaware of this policy. Despite the big-ass signs with right-turning arrows with bold red slashes through them.

Drivers in Montreal fall into two basic categories. Those who believe that every road, avenue, boulevard and highway in and around Montreal are merely continuations of the Gilles Villeneuve racetrack, and those who believe that every road, avenue, boulevard and highway in and around Montreal are merely continuations of the Gilles Villeneuve racetrack and that they are following the pace car.

Except for Jepeto, that is. Jepeto drives like a 98 year old man on sedatives. But he spent a good portion of his formative years in far off places, where the air is thinner and has long-term effects on one’s ability to operate heavy machinery. And the ability to remain sober.

Forgive me, I’ve digressed.

So, yes, when I get behind the wheel, the Montreal in me comes out. I am impatient. I swear a lot. I drive fast. I weave. And I consider using my turn signals to be a waste of time – seriously, in the time it takes me to indicate I’d like to move into the left lane, I could have already cut you off and moved into the left lane.

And that’s pretty much why I never got a motorcycle license.


Now don’t forget to check out all the other wonderfully talented people who are participating in this challenge. And while you’re there, please let them know that because it’s Monday, everyone gets 100 points. And because it’s Monday and I wrote my post at 6am, I get 1,000 points.




Related Posts

  • Yikes. I thought drivers from New Jersey were scary…I guess it’s the ones from Montreal that you really have to watch. 😉

  • I think Mo would have given you a run for your money when she was younger. She would drive around London like a maniac. She slowed down a lot once we moved to Yorkshire. OK, she got older. It happens 😉

  • First of all, I think you’re the one that cut me off on Sherbrooke the last time I was in Montreal – and I was walking across the street. As well, I would have thought it was pretty hard to perambulate in the streets of Montreal these days. Aren’t they all under construction? And finally everyone knows the stop signs are different in Quebec from the rest of the world. They say WWT – Woah, Woah, Tabernacle. 

    No wonder Jepeto drinks! If I had to drive with you…

  • That’s me in my momvan – I’m an angry mom on a mission!

  • I’ve never been to Montreal or Paris, but I have been to Rome and Athens and sometimes the drivers there are a bit dodgy -or rather you have to be or you’re bumper bait!  But we made it through both capitals on consecutive weeks, on foot and usually wine sloshed -it was a great honeymoon.

  • This is extremely interesting. Every time I’ve come to your fair city, I see it totally different. I love driving in Montreal. It’s city driving, yes, but I never found it that bad. As someone who has driven many times in New York City, I never would compare the two. Maybe I’ve just been lucky in Montreal. But, I imagine all cities can be crazy places to drive, that’s for sure. 

    I used to be one of those crazy drivers. Impatient, swear etc. I still have my moments — for sure — but in the past few years I’ve become more calm and just kind of go with the flow. Until I get a car on a country highway doing 25 mph in a 55 — then it’s on. 

  • You’d be right at home in L.A.    It took me years to slow my driving to match the pace of my new lifestyle when I moved to the country.  

  • mikewjattoomanymornings

    Man, those are some big-ass sunglasses you’re wearing. Are those from the Jackie-O collection? Look like burned pancakes.

    But you know what? You and I are identical twins, Nicky. Well, maybe not identical. But very similar when we’re behind the wheel. Cars were made to go fast, to be driven. If you can’t handle that, then take the bus, right?

    Out of curiousity, what type of car does Jepeto drive? I’m guessing a Honda or a Subaru. Those sons of bitches are the slowest, most irritating drivers on the road.

  • Tami Von Zalez

    Day 4 – cute thang!  Yeah, I agree with you on the motorcycle license thing.

  • You really do have to watch them UP. And I prefer to watch them disappear in my rearview mirror. 🙂

  • I think Jepeto would really like to know at what age it happens. He still holds hope for a future where I don’t drive like a maniac. 🙂

  • Dufus, if I had known it was you… well, yeah, it wouldn’t have changed a thing. Did I forget to mention that circumventing construction zones and treating construction cones like slalom markers is a pasttime here in la belle province? I’m glad to see that Mrs. D is teaching you the fundamentals of the Quebec French language.

    Oh, and Jepeto drank long before he ever got into a car with me. It’s one of his endearing qualities.  🙂

  • But you’re the laughing mom, not the angry mom! Unless I’m not the only one to undergo a metamorphosis…?

  • Actually, to tell you the truth, Montreal pedestrians are just as crazy as drivers. We cross anywhere, anytime, lights and crosswalks be damned! And don’t even get me started on the cyclists…

  • So, what you’re saying is that it’s not all Montreal drivers, it’s just me? Yeah, I can own that. 🙂

  • I really can’t imagine driving in a leisurely manner. I admire your ability to adapt!

  • Actually, Jepeto owns a Tercel, which I drive since my Grand Am passed away. *wipes tears away*

    He uses public transport since he works downtown and parking is a nightmare.

  • Why thank you Tami! Yeah, I love motorcycles but realized quite early in life that I also enjoy living 🙂

  • You may have to do both – get older AND move out of the city! Mo was around 60 when it started, so you have a while yet 🙂

  • I tried in vain to get a picture that I could plant your cute self into from the front but then I couldn’t get the signs to work.   Oh well…we will just have to deal with my limited ability to make things work the way I want them to.

    You do sound like a totally fun person to be on the highway with.  I love the guessing game of trying to figure out if people are going to turn or change lanes.  You would love Kansas City!!! You would feel  right at home. 

  •  Yeah, you best not get started on them, if you get my drift.

  • Ellie Belen

    Are the signs in Montreal bi-lingual?

  • Nicky, I will let you drive our car when you are here.  We need to get out of Alameda though.  Oakland is quite close to us, and the cops are too busy with drive by shooters to mess with speeders!  It’s all good!

  • It’s a maniacal laugh in the car.

  • I suck because I’m just now telling you that I can’t do this and I got your email and everything.  Don’t hate me.  I’m working on a novel (yay!) and it’s taking up the bulk of my writing energies right now.  Also, still kind of getting over that photo thing but don’t tell Ziva or Mike.  Can’t wait to read everyone’s posts!

  • I get it. You spoke the truth, man.

  • Oh puuleeeze, you’ve never driven in Winnipeg have you? I’ve been a Montreal driver, and now when I go back there, I’m all “I can’t believe how nice the drivers are here!” ~warm fuzzies~ PS: Dont photograph and drive! PPS: I do love that you included a pic of yourself. I like looking at you.

  • Ha! That’s highly possible. Or it’s just me mixing in?? 🙂 

    For the record, you do look bad ass in that photo! If I get to Montreal soon and poutine is on the line, I can just meet somewhere and not have to go through the white-knuckle passenger ride, right?? 😀

  • Cheryl, you crack me up! We need to make up some bumper stickers ASAP! I would LOVE to take a road trip to Kansas City. The pictures you post always make me want to visit.

  • Actually, Ellie, they are not. In France, stop signs say STOP. In Quebec, they say ARRET. We always have to be a little different 🙂

  • Oooh, I’m thinking Oakland is the perfect place for me to drive! Everyone else will be gunning it as well, to avoid the shots. 🙂

  • Nora! There you are! I was wondering what happened to you… don’t worry about it, girl. It’s awesome that you’re working on a book. If you feel like taking a break and writing a post based on one of our prompts, feel free to jump in!

  • Nope, you’re right. I’ve never driven in Winnipeg. And yes, maybe I exaggerate a little. Montreal drivers have actually toned down in recent years. It’s kind of depressing, really. Now I’m the only crazy on the road. 🙂

    Oh, and PS: I set the timer on the camera, so I didn’t photograph and drive! And PPS: I realize it’s not me in a bikini, but nobody wants to see that. 🙂

  • Nope, sorry P.J. Prepare your knuckles in advance. It’s a rite of passage. 🙂

  • Hmmm…

  • Where I live they say WWT

  • HA! You’re an awesome driver. Me? Not so much. I drive more like Jepeto, and a 98 year old man on sedatives!

  • I just may do that. I won’t be writing AS much but believe that I’ll still be blogging some!
    —–Original message—–

  • Nope, not true, sweet thing! I followed behind you from the hotel AND I rode in the car while you drove to the club and back home… and you NEVER drove like Jepeto!! Trust me 🙂

  • Okay! That makes me feel better!

  • mikewjattoomanymornings

    I know what you’re thinking, NoName, and I agree.

  • mikewjattoomanymornings

    You had a Grand Am? You’re awesome.

  • What a pair – Sandra and Nicky.

  • “Except for Jepeto, that is. Jepeto drives like a 98 year old man on
    sedatives. But he spent a good portion of his formative years in far off
    places, where the air is thinner and has long-term effects on one’s
    ability to operate heavy machinery. And the ability to remain sober.”

    This made me laugh!  I read it to my husband and he  laughed, too.  I’ve seen drivers like that.  Frustrating!  There are so many folks who appear to never see the speed limit signs, or 45 is the only speed they know.


  • RSS Feed
  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • Pinterest