Blood (Boils) On The Highway, But At Least You Got Your Way

Uncle AndrewUncle Andrew
Filed under: @ 4:16 pm

Here’s a scenario I’m sure you’ve come across yourself in your many meanderings ‘mongst the multitude of mindless mung-munching manatees manning our municipal mainlines. Mayhap.

I’m on my way back from my favorite PC recycling place in the Sodo district, driving down a four-lane road that passes by SeaTac and winds its way towards my home. Up ahead, just by the coffee shack (good coffee, but I’m always a little paranoid about buying by joe from a place that resides not twenty feet from a service station or auto-repair outfit; am I getting a complimentary shot of MTBE with every cup? Or are they simply replacing the fine coffee normally served in this establishment with recycled motor oil?), this side of the road widens out to three lanes, the third being a left-turn lane onto a cross street. There are a number of vehicles in line, waiting for the left-turn arrow to go green.

There is also a car standing stock still in the otherwise-clear next lane over, just shy of the intersection. I slow down and shift over to the right. Is it a disabled vehicle? A medical emergency? Did the driver clothesline one of the many, varied and largely traffic-blind junior high kids that plod across the street against the traffic signal?

Why no, of course not! What kind of simpleton are you, anyway? The driver had merely failed to get into line for the left turn lane while there were still openings, and was now blithely blocking the roadway, waiting until the line of cars driven by actual tool-using primates thinned out to the point where he could slip into place.

If I were capable of telepathy, I would have taken a moment to point out to this mollusk that, were he to actually use his currently occupied lane in the manner intended by its creators, he could pull forward some thirty yards, make a left into the parking lot of the Public Storage across the street, turn around, perform two subsequent right turns and probably make it back onto his desired vector of travel before the people waiting at the light even had a chance to move. Then I would have used my psychic powers to briefly fill his head with an HD-DVD-quality rendering of his body being ground between two steamroller-sized cheese graters. Then I would have smiled.

But instead, I passed by on the right, twin contrails of steam billowing from my ears and catching the midafternoon light, as he sat staring cowlike (so far he’s a manatee/primate/mollusk/cow hybrid of some sort; man I’d hate to clean that thing’s cage!) at the line of cars waiting their proper turn, in their proper lane. If a thought were actually able to find its way around in the labrynthine, lipid-occluded passages of his head, it was probably something like, “Come on dammit, move, what’s the problem?”

Why, you are, you schmuck!

You see this kind of thing all the time, in different road scenarios: the minivan that abruptly cuts across four lanes of crowded highway in order to take an exit at the very last second. Because God knows there’s not ever going to be an opportunity to get off the highway again, turn around and make it back to your exit from the other direction, oh golly, no!

Or the Chrysler K-Car sedan stopped dead at an intersection while cars thrombose behind it, the codger behind the wheel peering myopically at the street signs, trying to reconcile the names on the poles with the information on the scrap of paper in his lap. Pull into a parking space and then try to figure out where the fuck you’re going? No thanks, I’m perfectly comfortable jamming a 4-way intersection while I try to decide if this is my podiatrist’s street!

The 4-Runner that guns his way to the front of the crowded off-ramp before trying to cut in. The station wagon driving 40 miiles per hour on a residential street in a vain attempt to pick up the kid at daycare before they get docked an additional twenty bucks.

At these times I am beset by a truly burning question, one that no antibiotic will cure: are people really this gorge-risingly selfish, or are they just mind-bendingly stupid?

I’m terribly afraid that the answer is a definitive “yes”.

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