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Zen and the Art of Driving on Maui

March 6, 2012
Charles Laquidara , The Maui Weekly

Even though he's on your butt with those huge black monster tires, and his vehicle is six feet higher than your car and so close you know he's going to ram you any second (especially if you put on your brakes too quickly), be zen-ful. We live in Paradise.

Life is short; take the high road. Don't think of him as the enemy--think of him as as as a friend who is having a great time listening to his radio and daydreaming. As the guy you know from down the street, who's in a good mood and is not being aggressive at all.

He is a buddy and he's not even thinking about you or what he's doing. He's not purposely trying to upset you. He's merely pondering the events of his day, what he's going to have for dinner and whether he's going to watch the game on TV tonight or "Family Guy."

Think positive thoughts... although all you can see in your rear-view mirror now is that big metal grill with six pairs of headlights glaring through your back windshield, and you cannot go any faster because of the cars in front of you. Deep breath. Relax. Ommmmmm.

Only five more miles until you can turn into your destination. You can do this. Do not get aggravated. Understand that the driver who is now almost hooked to your rear bumper is not the enemy. He is a brother. He is not trying to intimidate you. He is just someone who doesn't realize how disturbing and frightening it is for you to be tailgated so closely.

He is now so close that you should both just apply for a marriage license.

You start to sweat a bit and think, "What if the car in front of me has to stop quickly? What if"

Okay, I'm over this! Enough is enough!

You find an opening and quickly manage to force yourself over into the next lane to let your "friend" pass. As he roars by, you notice the white-on-black sticker on his rear bumper: "Slow Down. This Ain't the Mainland."

A few turns later and you're finally home. You get out of your car, slowly stretch your legs and arms, and look up at the beautiful sunset burning across the sky.

Tonight it's spaghetti with marinara sauce and a nice Kula salad with tomatoes from your garden. Life is good.


Charles Laquidara has lived on Maui for over 11 years. He worked at WBCN radio in Boston for 30 years as the morning-drive host of a show called "The Big Mattress" and is occasionally heard on Mana'o Radio here on island.



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