If I don’t see a traffic-light, it doesn’t exist!
It made me overly conscious of idiots, and some of the things they do.
This has saved my ass hundreds of times.
I find this to be especially true at the supermarket on Saturday afternoon.
Not just the crammed parking-lot, but also Granny in her battery-powered shopping-cart charging the freebie-stations.
Bam-slam: “Oh my golly!” Apples all over the floor.
“Gimme that dip, if you please, honey! SHLURP!”
I look both ways before I start into an intersection, traffic-light or not. And I expect anything from other drivers.
Just because someone has their turn-signal on, doesn’t mean they’re gonna turn.
I also check my right-side mirror in locations where some glowering intimidator might pass me illegally on my right, middle finger upraised. All because I was only doing 10 mph over the speed-limit, not 50.
And I don’t follow the advice of back-seat drivers. The one driving is me.
One morning my wife was driving me to work at Transit.
We were motoring blithely down the street, when suddenly back-up lights winked on in a car 75 feet up its driveway next to a house.
“LOOK OUT!” I screamed. “This idiot is liable to back out right in front of us!.”
He didn’t, of course, but that’s the old bus-driver jones.
We’d notice things like back-up lights flashing on — and go into defensive mode.
I was motoring with another retired bus-driver — I too was retired by then — down an extremely busy street in a nearby suburb.
We’d advance about 100 feet, then stop, then advance another 100 feet, and stop again.
“Do you see how much slop I have in front of me?” I observed. “That’s my bus-driving experience,” I said. “I wanna be able to stop without throwing my passengers out of their seats.”
I had maybe six car-lengths, yet we were crawling at about three mph.
All-of-a-sudden a black Lexus changed lanes right in front of me, unsignaled of course.
“Did you see that?” my friend cried. “He cut you right off!”
“Yep,” I said; “which is why I have so much slop in front of me, to allow for idiots like that.”
The fact I had six car-lengths ahead of me left him a hole to charge into. But no drama or histrionics were needed on my part.
And I’d say I was gonna get to my destination about the same time as him. Assertiveness might save him two-three minutes.
So he changed lanes. He was gonna have to stop just like me.
One of the supermarkets I patronize has its parking-lot exit into a main road protected by a traffic-light.
The light changed — I had a green light.
But a semi was in the process of running the light. His light probably changed to yellow as he approached.
So my light changed to green, and like the old bus-driver I am, I looked both ways before driving into the intersection.
Yep, here comes Granny in her CR-V, blithely following the semi. So by now she’s running a red-light.
Did she see the light at all? I doubt it; she didn’t act like she did.
If you can’t see a traffic-light, it doesn’t exist. —Ahem, I’ve lived in this town long enough to know where the traffic-lights are.
If a semi is blocking my view of a traffic-light, I don’t just blithely follow the semi.
• “Transit” equals Regional Transit Service, the public transit-bus operator in Rochester, NY, where I drove transit-bus for 16&1/2 years (1977-1993). My stroke October 26, 1993 ended that. I retired on medical-disability.
• A “glowering intimidator” is a tailgater, named after Dale Earnhardt, deceased, the so-called “intimidator” of NASCAR fame, who used to tailgate race-leaders and bump them at speed until they let him pass. Glowering intimidators usually shake their fist at me, blow their horn, and give me the middle-finger salute as they roar past.
Labels: Driving insanity