No one would ever be able to identify the chipped beef.


No one would ever be able to identify the chipped beef.
My cool-ass ride. If I get hit by a giant truck, this thing will crumple like a beer can.

MR WRONG: I Need a Robot Car to Put Other People In

IN THE WORDS of Raymond Babbitt in the major motion picture Rain Man, I am an Excellent Driver. I have driven everything from an AMC Matador to a Chevrolet Vega to a Ford Mustang Mach 1 to a Cadillac Sedan de Ville to a Honda Civic to a Dodge Challenger to a big-ass 26-footer U-Haul moving truck, and I have never been killed or injured, and I have never killed or injured anyone. I have a spotless driving record, if you filter out speeding tickets, plus the one time a cop busted me for “avoiding a traffic signal” when I was working at my job to deliver pizzas. I cut through a parking lot so I wouldn’t have to wait at a red light. Time is Money when you are delivering pizzas, so yeah, Guilty as Charged, fucko.

I can drive a stick-shift and I can parallel-park, a skill that has been taken over by the Artificial Intellect-chips in today’s modern automobiles. Unless required, I do not back into a parking space. There’s all these backup-cams in cars now, so errbody prefers to back into parking spaces, and then they can blast off outta their parking space, but, like, at the mall or IKEA or whatever, super cool, yeah. If I ever get a new car with a back-cam I’ll probably wanna back up all the time, I’ll drive my car backwards and stuff, I guess. Anyway, I just wanted to highlight my Curriculum Vitae of piloting automobiles to give you a little background of my credentials as an Excellent Driver before I say that in my opinion, pretty much everybody out there driving cars is fucking terrible at it.

Yesterday, I’m minding my own business, puttin’ along in my van, maybe 5 MPH over the speed limit (all the speed-cams are set to 11 MPH over) and some asshole in a giant pickup truck starts drifting over into my lane, the left-hand lane, over from the right-hand lane because they were being driving insane on account of they were behind a car in the right-hand lane and they desperately needed to go faster. So they begin to slide into my lane, where I am driving, and I see nothing coming at me, so I slow down and slide across the double line so as not to trade paint with this idiot. At some point the dumbass in the truck realizes there is a whole entire automobile occupying the space they think they have a right to, and they get back into the right-hand lane behind a car that is doing the speed limit, which, for the dodo in the truck, is unacceptable. So they start riding the bumper of the car in front of them. So I do the safe thing, and slow down a bit, let them get in front of me, I let them cut me off. That’s Safe Driving, basically, Defensive Driving, predicting what every other asshole on the road is gonna do, and doing what you need to do to avoid a collision.

Of course the truck jumps into the left-hand lane and blasts off, rolls up to a red light, and I roll up behind them. I do not say anything, I do not look at them in their sideview mirror, I just mind my own business. Then when the light goes green, they LAUNCH and end up catching another red light a coupla blocks down. Again, I roll up behind ‘em and avoid doing anything like what I am thinking, which is: DOIN’ A GREAT JOB THERE, BIG-ASS TRUCK! HOW’S THE FUEL ECONOMY WITH THOSE DRAGSTRIP STARTS? THE GIANT SIDE-VIEW MIRRORS ON YOUR STUPID FUCKING TRUCK DIDN’T LET YOU SEE A CAR RIGHT FUCKING NEXT TO YOU? HECKUVA JOB, TRUCKIE.

I don’t say shit, I don’t do shit. I used to get mad and say stuff, and jump outta my car, and yell at people, and I’m lucky I never got shot or run over or had my ass kicked. I guess I just got older and saw the error of my ways, I dunno. I realized if I slow down a little and let the whole shitstream flow around me it’s less stressful and anger-making. I do my best to slide though traffic and not get hit. I minimize looking at my phone. I keep my head on a swivel. I have become a motherfucking Zen Master out on these roads, and yeah, I know that I can be as Calm, Cool, and Collected as I want, and it won’t save me from getting T-Boned someday by a dipshit looking at their phone.

We have all these self-driving cars that don’t really do a great job of self-driving in cities, but the real value of cars that can be programmed is that they should be programmed to drive the speed limit! I absolutely don’t drive the speed limit, I always go a little faster, but if we’re gonna have cars in cities—and I’m totally cool with figuring out ways to have less cars in cities—there should be some sorta Electro-Beacon that cities have that will limit the speed, it’s that simple. They should also be programmed to stop completely at stop signs and red lights and slow down for yellows. They should also be programmed to let the goddamn firetrucks and ambulances have the right of way like they’re supposed to, instead of people treating them like traffic competition in a zero-sum game for the 10 feet in front of your stupid fucking car.

I am an excellent driver, and I am completely OK with Technology that will control my car in the city and protect me from the shitty drivers who surround me!

Also, bicycle riders should stop at intersections.

The MR. WRONG COLUMN is a general-interest column appearing weekly wherever it can appear. Always Be Columning. No refunds. Why don’t you go ahead and please write Wrong:


ALERT READER Josh Levin noted that we mishandled yesterday's soccer-related correction to which we had been alerted by a previous alert reader. The United States Women's National Team, after its final friendly match against Wales, is moving on to World Cup group play, not qualifying play. Indignity regrets the error, and the error before that, but by now is almost looking forward to finding whatever error we have introduced this time around.


New York City, July 12, 2023

★★★ Morning was cloudless and not yet too hot at the bus stop, as the bus made its long approach. The heat and glare picked up within the hour, and kept coming. A mourning dove perched on a birdbath in the flourishing community garden, eyes huge and dark through the chain-link fence, like a misplaced piece of some pastoral scene. Even the resilient fig plant was looking withered and yellow in the air conditioner exhaust. Clouds showed up in the west before the sun could reach its much-publicized alignment with the grid. The twilight sky was faintly mottled blue and white.


Indignity Morning Podcast No. 106: Lots of terrible things going on out there.

Tom Scocca • Jul 13, 2023

Listen now (4 min) |

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WE PRESENT INSTRUCTIONS for the assembly of select sandwiches from "Dame Curtsey's" Book of Recipes, by Ellye Howell Glover, Author of “Dame Curtsey’s” Book of Novel Entertainments, etc. Published in 1909, this book is in the Public Domain and available at for the delectation of all.

Piquant Sandwiches
CHIPPED beef, chopped very fine and mixed with mayonnaise, is a simple, inexpensive, and delicious sandwich filling. No one would ever be able to identify the chipped beef.

Lemon Sandwiches
MASH the yolks of three hard-boiled eggs, add two ounces of butter, one-fourth teaspoonful of salt, a dash of cayenne, one teaspoonful of chopped parsley, grated rind of a lemon. Mix these well together and then mix into a paste with three tablespoonfuls of lemon juice. Spread upon slices of whole wheat bread cut in fancy shapes, and serve. Cut the slices as thin as possible. These are delicious with a fish or seafood salad.

If you decide to prepare and attempt to enjoy a sandwich inspired by this offering, kindly send a picture to us at


19 FOLKTALES collects a series of timeless tales of canny animals, foolish people, monsters, magic, ambition, adventure, glory, failure, inexorable death, and ripe fruits and vegetables. Written by Tom Scocca and richly illustrated by Jim Cooke, these fables stand at the crossroads of wisdom and absurdity.

HMM WEEKLY MINI-ZINE, Subject: GAME SHOW, Joe MacLeod’s account of the Total Experience of a Journey Into Television, expanded from the original published account found here at HMM DAILY. The special MINI ZINE features other viewpoints related to an appearance on, at, and inside the teevee game show Who Wants to Be A Millionaire. Your $20 plus shipping and tax helps fund The Brick House collective, a Publishing Concern featuring a globally diverse set of publishers who do their own thing, and also have interesting items and publications on offer. This all goes to help the Brick House collective continue to be an independent alliance and not depend on Advertisers or a Billionaire who wants to be an Astronaut. Thank you.

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