Mightier Than The Pen

Making The World A Bitter Place

I Am Driven to Comment

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Just like 100% of all other drivers, I consider myself a better than average driver: assertive only when absolutely necessary of course, cautious the vast majority of the time (as opposed to all those other idiots who somehow bribed or stumbled their way to a license), mindful of other drivers’ needs and good at anticipating others’ moves. Unlike the numskulls behind, in front and on either side of me.

Assertive when necessary: such as when it’s really trafficky and the extra four feet can make the difference between making it through the intersection one traffic signal cycle earlier, thereby gaining a full three minutes in my quest to reach the next traffic signal. But I do not enter an intersection unless it’s clear, even though my fair metropolis does not feature Manhattan’s famous “Do Not Block the Box” on penalty of fines and points. This generates many a car horn blaring to my rear (we shall refrain from noting explicitly which half of the species, without exception, favors me with the solo horn passage).

Cautious the vast majority of the time: that is, if you exclude the turn I have to make out of my street. I live on a one-way street off a major artery, and only a right turn is permitted onto that artery – a left turn requires crossing two lanes of right-bound traffic, then crossing a solid line, which any fool can tell you is a no-no. Well, no-no or not, if the best route to my destination lies to the left and the road is clear, I ain’t traveling the half-mile up the road, past two traffic lights in the wrong direction to the only place I can reverse course, a T-intersection with no traffic signal, just to travel back down the same road. If I have no choice, such as when traffic is heavy, I try to get into the left lane and make a K-turn somewhere along the way. Across the same solid line, of course. Hey, there are places on the other side where the sidewalk is clearly tapered for cars – that must be what they’re for.

Mindful of other drivers’ needs: no tongue-in-cheek comments here, actually. I don’t like speeding, so I tend to stay in the right lane on major roads, allowing countless befuddled others to pass. If I encounter someone ever more cautious (read: dodderingly slow), I have no choice but to pass, often shooting an icy look at the snail to my right in the process. I drive a four-cylinder minivan, so I have justification for not pushing it to hard. The sedan in front of me moving barely faster than a lame hippo? Take a bus, dude.

Good at anticipating others’ moves: such as whether the guy in front of me will try to make it through the yellow, so that I might also give it a go. You know, such as this past Friday when I thought he would and didn’t, and barely managed to brake hard and swerve into the fortunately empty adjacent lane. The kids thought it was so cool.

As a pedestrian, my considerations differ markedly. Whereas while driving in the left lane I know better than to infuriate the guy behind me by adhering to the posted speed limit – tempting as I find it, paternalistic nitwit that I am – I have few compunctions about stepping in front of a moving car, provided that car is not moving particularly fast. This happens with some frequency at the intersection up at the main artery: the more visible of the two traffic lights lies some distance past the pedestrian crosswalk, leading inattentive drivers to assume they may continue a bit farther on red (it doesn’t help that the first of the two signals, even with the crosswalk, has become somewhat obscured by a tree). The sense of triumph in causing a driver to stop suddenly and simultaneously flashing him or her a look of bewildered indignation, never gets old. And if I keep at it, I won’t, either.


Written by Thag

October 18, 2010 at 8:21 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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