The Curse of Golden Cars

As lovely as it is, this car is cursed

My daughter and I were driving through the Maryland portion of I-495 when we came up with this notion: there is a curse on gold-colored cars.

You know the drill. You’re in the middle lane of a multi-lane stretch, when suddenly you have to slow. Cars to the left of you, cars to the right of you, minivans, trucks, everyone else seems to be forging ahead while you . . . are . . . stuck. Behind a car that resolutely refuses to move over to the right. Apparently the driver believes that the right-hand lane is a non-commutable sentence, and no one is ever allowed back to the left, especially when the right-hand lane becomes the dreaded “exit only”.

(Fact: I let people move left out of exit-only lanes all the time.)

So, you’re poking along and watching your rearview mirror for a break in the take-no-prisoners deluge of vehicles ripping along at speeds well over the posted speed limit. You’re wondering about the thought processes of the driver ahead, who has nothing but clear road in front. You glance to see if that driver is on a cellphone, or is elderly, or alternatively too young to be driving in a middle lane of Apocalypse Car, or is besieged by small children worming their way out of safety restraints.

Suddenly you realize: you are behind a gold-colored car.

Aha. All is explained.

No wonder it’s slow. It’s gold. Of course it stays in one lane – it’s gold. You think the driver might notice everyone else is moving along? Forget it. The car is gold.

Once we made the connection, we observed that gold car after gold car behaved in the same way. They all took up space in lanes designed for faster movers, and stuck there, sometimes even under the speed limit.

Other people might wonder what it is about people who drive slowly that attracts them to golden cars. They might come up with ridiculous theories such as this: perhaps people who like to take up space buy gold cars to reinforce their grandiosity. Or they choose gold paint out of a reverse-Midas perception, so that they believe that the car entitles them to act like a king whose touch adds extra value.

I’m so not going there. Instead, I’ll stick with the fact that gold-painted cars carry a curse. Warn your nearest and dearest, so on the car lot they’ll choose white or blue or even silver. Anything but gold.


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