You used to be that kind of person: tough guy; your seat adjusted at maximum distance from the steering wheel to more closely resemble the La-Z-Boy from which you watch the Big Game.
Your weave through traffic was more expertly negotiated than that of reed through a basket. Speed was never a consideration; you were in control, everyone else should consider easing to the right with the rest of the slow moving vehicles.
And your bravado wasn't restricted to city roads: with your black concert t-shirt, wide leather watch band and washed-last-January jeans, the odd physical altercation was just part of being you, man. Cool. Hard. Wild. Crazy. Bad to the Bone.
But, a few months ago, a pregnancy and the birth of your first child mysteriously transformed you.
The miracle of gestation and the raw image of delivery sensitized you to your new role of Father. You were now to be made an example of.
Suddenly, like Teen Wolf your mind and body were undergoing changes beyond your control: you began eating more vegetables - Bok Choy, even - you chucked your last pack of smokes, your unrolled sleeves cover the tattoo on your arm, and you actually found yourself crying while cuddling your new infant in the middle of the night a few Wednesdays ago.
As a precaution, you licked and stuck a suction cup to your rear window. Suspended from it is a charming yellow diamond designed to replicate a school zone warning. It reads: "Baby on Board."
There. Now any motorist within six feet of your back bumper will be aware of your precious cargo. Mindful of your tiny offspring, drivers will keep their distance. Should they grow impatient behind you and your responsible daddy-driving, they will circumnavigate your safety car at a reasonable distance. As they pass, they will be drawn to your windows, smiling and waving at your little pea-in-a-pod strapped securely into his rear-facing overpriced car seat, originally designed for the monkey aboard Sputnik, as you travel along a major highway at 40 mph in the center lane. Safest place to be, you know, the center lane.
This was your new life.
Slowly, though, the shine wore off.
Being a parent was tiring.
You miss your fiends.
You miss leaving the house unencumbered by your man purse stuffed full of eighteen different types of absorbent materials.
You miss the person you used to be. The badass has been replaced by this tiny one, emitting weird smells.
One day, in your van, you notice the little guy remains asleep in the back whether the music is turned to a whisper, or quite a bit louder.
You realize he is undisturbed regardless of your car's velocity. So, why not ease the accelerator just a little closer to the floor; who'll know? As long as you don't come to a complete stop, he sleeps.
After all, caring for all his restless nights, teething, meconium, spit up, and fontanel, don't you deserve an occasional return to your badass roots?
After a couple of dozen trips, you affirm into the rear view mirror: you're an adult; as long as your wife isn't in the car with you, you can pretty much drive the way you always did and no one will object. The little guy unconscious in the back certainly doesn't care. Besides, he can't form words much less be able to tattle about your speed violations.
Screw it. Get you motor runnin'
Left lane...right lane...center lane...why is this jerk driving so slow?..get outta my way...why is this geezer not on the side-road?..GOD, THIS FEELS GOOD!
Look, ma, I can turn without signalling! I can break hard to check a street sign and then speed up again, and then break hard, and then speed up again...look at this soccer mom doing to the speed limit in the left lane....flash-flash-honk-honk...you know what, I think I'll give her the finger...TAKE THAT, SOCCER MOM!
Woah, woah, woah...is this my street...I can make it....screeech...phewf, the guy I just cut off must be pissed.
With my two kids.
In my van.
Without a sign in my back window, jerk.
Dear Reader, did you ever ponder whether morons should be allowed children?