Sunday, August 14, 2011

On the Road Again...(the Horror)

   Why do I drive? Why do I consistently subject myself to the lunacy that is the road? Oh...wait, I have to get around and walking the distances I have to travel isn’t practical, although probably great for my health, and taking a bus or train would subject me to a different brand of lunacy just as distasteful...or worse. So I drive...all the while wishing feverishly to be done with my trip and off the road that seems to be infested with people that display all the intelligence of a soap dish.
   I’m optimistic a well educated soap dish can figure out some of the stuff I’m going to rant about. I say rant because after this is written and read...nothing will change (woe is me). Why can’t some people figure out what to do at yield signs?  I’ve seen some make it spin by how fast they are they careen into traffic like they are in a movie car chase...and others stop and break out a blanket and picnic basket. Sometimes I see them yield to right-of-way traffic...but that’s like seeing a bald eagle in the wild, rare bordering next to impossible. It’s a simple idea really...the right-of-way traffic has the right of way, and you must merge into them. If there is no traffic at all...not so much as a sign that a vehicle has ever come through, there is no need to stop and wait for fifteen minutes to make sure your lying eyes are not deceiving you again.
   Most of the craziness I see with yield signs happen at rotaries....but rotaries are also a place I see another phenomenon that simply baffles me as well. In Massachusetts (I realize not everyone reading this is from my home state), the law states that you must yield to traffic in the rotary. Let me explain this another way...vehicles already in the rotary have the right-of-way. I’m certain everyone with a license has gone through the same test I did and read from the same why, oh...why do some people not only yield while in the rotary, but STOP for traffic to enter? Someone told me a theory about this and said that in other states, cars in the rotary do not have the right-of-way and that many of the offenders of this are college students that don’t know any better. This might be true...but I say ignorance of the law is no excuse and if you’re coming from out of state to educate yourself, then start with our motor vehicle laws.
   Here’s a’re driving along and your cell phone rings...what do you do?
         A.) Ignore it because you are driving.
           B.) Pull over and answer it because driving while on the phone can be dangerous.
        C.) Answer it, get into a conversation, the subject of which hinges the fate of the world causing you to quickly get into the fast lane (without any indication that you were going to do so) and just as quickly slow down to the approximate speed of a five year old on a rusty scooter. 

   I swear...eighty percent of the people that travel the same roads I do pick “C” every time! I never get to say this when it happens, mostly because I’m usually driving in my official capacity, but if you are one of these people that do this, I’d like to take this opportunity to kindly...and with love and respect, tell you to SHUT UP AND DRIVE!
   Believe me when I tell you that the phone is not the only self imposed distraction with calls and texting. It seems that putting on make-up is best suited for the sun visor mirror or rear view mirror while traveling at rusty scooter speed in the fast lane instead of the safety and comfort of that huge bathroom mirror that is such a bother to use before leaving the house. Believe me again when I tell you that some people are such awesome writers...I mean, beyond best seller material, that their books have to be read...behind the the fast lane...traveling at...yup, rusty scooter speed. 

If I said all this was driving blasphemy, pure road madness...I fully expect someone would kick me in the stomach and scream "!" Where is King Leonidas when I need him?
   Which brings me, again, to traffic lights...but this time my beef isn’t with the drivers not understanding the lights and how they work, but me not understanding the mindset of the programmers that program them to be red, in alternating succession, during rush hour...and green, in succession, between 2 and 4 A.M. Really? This made sense to them? So traffic is packed and bottled up while the next section of road has a green light...but not a single car to travel through it. When it turns red, packed traffic then gets the green travel seventy-five feet to another red light. I’m sorry....who thought that this going on for miles was good idea again?
   Ok, I’ll concede somebody somewhere must have gotten a huge laugh as they programmed the lights knowing they were getting a pink slip. After all, revenge is a dish best served in traffic...but after all this time nobody has gotten a clue to do something about this? As if dealing with the lower lifeforms behind the wheel wasn’t bad enough, now I’m a victim of bureaucracy and budget cuts? 
   Will the horror ever end? Will people realize they’re doing it all wrong and finally learn how to drive? Will I write another post about the epic failure that is Massachusetts drivers? Stay tuned...

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